Barnes Would Sign Sunday Sales

Yesterday, Jim Galloway at the AJC does a quick piece on Roy Barnes’ recent statements about Sunday sales:

“Yes. It ought to be a local decision. I believe in local control. It ought to be a local referendum, just like we do any of the others. I don’t know why we get cranked up about this, to be frank. That’s something that people ought to have to regulate themselves.”

Barnes goes as far as saying that he would sign the measure into law, given that the legislature acts to put it on his desk.

I’ve said it to many state politicians and I’ll say it here again: if there is one issue that seems to resonate with the average voter, it’s Sunday sales. I am aware of the sensitivity of the issue in many rural parts of the state, but the fact that we have put this issue on the table several times in the past few years, and cannot get it moved forward, is incredulous to vast majorities of the people that will be pushing the button for you in the Fall.

With politicians from President to dogcatcher trying to claim the populist crown, it’s a smart move on Barnes’ part to reclaim his seat.

98 comments

  1. polisavvy says:

    My feeling on Sunday sales is that it should be there. Those who oppose are not going to be hogtied, bound, gagged, and forced into a liquor store nor are they going to be forced to drink in a restaurant. Let it be an option for whoever opts to do it. As for Barnes’ statement, well, he could be pandering, in my opinion.

    • Goldwater Conservative says:

      Yeah, he must be pandering. Afterall, if a politician says something that the general public agrees with…it must be pandering. How could you, a Republican, possibly agree with a policy position held by a Democrat?

      Get over it. Barnes is not pandering. It is common sense to end prohibition.

      Besides, even if people in rural counties do not like the idea of alcohol sales on Sundays, what are they going to do? Vote against their republican representatives?

      As if that would ever happen.

  2. Harry says:

    You got that right. I’m ramping up my small part to get Barnes defeated.

    You pundits complain about Chambliss not being in touch…well let me tell you, you guys have no clue about Georgia grassroots politics. There is a lot of opposition to Sunday sales, or or any sales of alcohol. Those of you who lobby or work for the liquor industry, or live from the tax revenues – I hope you don’t like it.

    • B Balz says:

      One day I looked at the MMV financial disclosure list of donors. Man, Glenn consistently received a big bunch of dough from a big distributor and a national brewery.

      Harry I hear you. I also think the right to vote on the issue is important. Let those who eschew the use of liquor show their disdain for it by voting NAY.

      Otherwise, your argument rings hollow.

      • Harry says:

        A vote on Sunday sales would be the greatest stimulus imaginable for billboard advertising, print media and broadcast media in Georgia. The liquor industry would spend a fortune on that. They’d outspend us 100 to 1, and still most likely be defeated.

  3. Chris says:

    I’ve said this before, Roy Barnes has done more for the free-market in Gwinnett than the so-called Republican County Commission.

  4. Jane says:

    Lacks alcohol laws and apartments developments attract undesirables and we do not need any more Democrats living in my part of the state.

  5. AubieTurtle says:

    Well Jane, if you don’t like those people, you should be for local control. Then when Atlanta votes yes and your part of the state votes no, all of the undesirables in your part of the state will move.

    Unless of course you don’t actually believe the will of the people in your part of the state is the same as yours in which case the only way for you to continue to force everyone to live under your belief system is to deny anyone the right to vote on the issue.

  6. ChiefofStaff65 says:

    I believe I heard Rep. Austin Scott say the same thing in a speech. Something along the lines of, “I am not running to be your Pastor, but to be your Governor.” He stated he would sign both school choice legislation and Sunday sales if they came across his desk.

    Anyone else hear this?

    • HowardRoark says:

      No, but that is a great quote. Should really define anyone running on the more libertarian/fiscally conservative platform in a GOP primary.

      Austin just went up in my book.

    • LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

      Just what we need. Another weak Governor. Look, the problem I have with what Barnes and Scott are saying is that, they’ll sign it if the General Assembly passes it. What they should have said is “My floor leaders will introduce a Sunday sales bill, and I will fight for it all the way through both chambers until it passes. Then I will sign it.”

      I guess what I’m saying is, that it’s easy to say you’ll sign a controversial bill when you know that the bill has very little chance of passing in the first place. The reason why the bill has made no headway in the legislature is not because of Sonny, but because certain legislators are afraid of the Christian Right….I’m sure contributions from liquor stores, restaurant associations, and maybe even from criminal defense attorneys specializing in DUIs hurts too.

      After 8 years of buffoonery, I want some leadership from my governor, not some dumbass who claims that he/she “will sign it if it passes.” UGH.

    • Briardawg says:

      Thats a good point; why do politicians think we elect them to be our moral conscience or a prayer warrior?

  7. macho says:

    To quote Roy Barnes on this issue, “I don’t know why we get cranked up about this…” If I were in the legislature, I would vote to allow alcohol sales on Sunday, but I’m almost indifferent on the subject. I’ve lived in Georgia for 30 years, and not being able to buy alcohol on a Sunday has had zero effect on my life. I know, I know it infringes on our liberty. But seriously, there are about a million other issues that effect our liberty in more serious ways.

    I think it’s the simplicity compared to other issues that attracts so much attention. Both sides can completely explain their positions in about 30 seconds.

    • Bucky Plyler says:

      Which proves a point I’ve made before on this subject….there were a whole lot of D’s who didn’t want a vote on this subject before there were any R’s. The reason why it has been this way is because the voters don’t want this issue.

      The only folks that think it’s an issue are here on PP!

        • Bucky Plyler says:

          Yep..I’m aware of the issue in Snellville. Just stating the facts on the majority of voters, Mr. B.

          • B Balz says:

            The majority of voters don’t want this issue on the ballot?

            Is that due to the fact that those good folk fear the ‘undesirables’ and Democrats could out vote them?

        • macho says:

          I’m sure, through proper due diligence, the franchisee, who opened the Mellow Mushroom in Snellville, was aware of the fact he would not be able to sell alcohol on Sundays when he made the initial investment. Is so, he should have included that analysis in his business plan.

          I’ll readily admit, it’s why a lot of restaurants don’t get opened in areas that don’t allow 7 day a week alcohol, but I don’t have a lot of sympathy for someone who opens a business under those conditions and cries about it after the fact.

          One could argue, the commercial property that is being leased, or sold, for the restaurant was not worth as much under the 6 day a week law as it would be under the 7 day a week law. Other restaurants may have passed based on a 6 day a week business plan. The current owner / lessee would receive a potential windfall based on a new law.

          You can find inequities everywhere.

  8. GOPGeorgia says:

    I don’t think Sunday sales will be on the mind of most voters, and it is, it’s probably not one of their top 10 issues. People directly engaged in that line of work may have it as their number one issue but that’s about it.

    I’d be in favor of it passing, but that’s just me.

    The number one issue should be JOBS.

    • polisavvy says:

      Agreed. Most people will still just do what they have for years and that’s purchase on Saturday. Jobs are pretty much what everyone is concerned about having addressed.

    • Lawton Sack says:

      There is the issue of state revenue from taxes on the alcohol and the proprietors’ revenue from Sunday sales, though. I have no idea what those revenue numbers generated from Sunday sales would look like.

      • John Konop says:

        I think Lawton Sack is right and you are way underestimating the issues with revenue shortfalls at the state and county level. My prediction is you will not only see Sunday sales, but you will see casino, horse racing…….

        • B Balz says:

          Or even Las Vegas style gambling in the Underground?

          It is pretty frightening that we are discussing using two of seven deadly ‘sins’ revenues as the salvation for Georgia’s economic woes.

          Harry and Mr. Plyler, I hear you. May not agree, but I surely do hear you.

          • John Konop says:

            B Balz,

            I was at a Townhall meeting in Cherokee a very republican district and the support was overwhelming. It was clear people are scared about jobs and the lack of services from no jobs ie schools…..

  9. Our legislators obviously are extremely busy. They’ve spent their time writing, reading and passing bills that do nothing more than honor individual citizens (HR 331 and HR 690), create a Gwinnett County Day at the state capitol (HR 377), outlaw salvia divinorum (HB 1021) and other extremely useful items.

    I would think that something as simple as allowing Georgians to vote on Sunday alcohol sales, freeing us to make our own decisions as to when to purchase alcohol, should be at least a little bit more significant than the 4 items I’ve listed above….

  10. chefdavid says:

    We have Sunday Sales up here in Dade County. Just drive up the interstate a couple of miles and you are in TN. If we move the border 1 mile North, can we grandfather in the Stores in TN that are selling now? And the Mellow Mushroom is great in Downtown Chattanooga.

      • B Balz says:

        Right ON, dude/ette!

        Seriously though, I think that the Leg may have gotten this one right. These types of mail order ‘drugs’, additives, supplements, etc. are unregulated and their effects are largely unknown.

        I personally hate the fact that we can get mail order drugs over the net. I saw the adverse effect recently, it was fatal.

        • Careful though… as soon as you outlaw mail order drugs, you could also be including mail order prescription plans like Medco. Was it the Salvia plant that was fatal though or some other form of drugs?

          My thoughts are that I’d rather see the legislature pass a bill allowing Georgia voters to vote on whether alcohol should be sold on Sundays, rather than “Commending Miss Chasity Hardman on placing as first runner-up in the Miss America Pageant and inviting her to appear before the House of Representatives; and for other purposes.”

          http://www.legis.ga.gov/legis/2009_10/fulltext/hr344.htm

          What other purposes might those be? Sounds like another GOP scandal in the makings…

        • polisavvy says:

          Hope the fatal consequences that happened to someone was not a friend or family member of yours. I agree that this seems like a very dangerous drug and that the legislature should have tackled it. I have concerns about buying just about any drug through mail order. I’m concerned that you may not be getting exactly what you need in the correct dosages. That’s why we don’t order our stuff that way. Guess I trust a pharmacy more, JMO.

  11. barstool69 says:

    Georgia is one of three states left in the nation with a complete ban on off-premises alcohol sales (many allow just beer and wine and some other southern states like Arkansas and Louisiana allow liquor sales via local option). What makes Georgia unique is that the opposition to Sunday sales in the other two states (Indiana & Connecticut) seems to primarily come from the package industry where as in GA it seems to come from the coincidence of having religiously motivated people in the right positions to block the bill.

    • Harry says:

      As I said above, a vote on Sunday sales would be the greatest stimulus imaginable for billboard advertising, print media and broadcast media in Georgia. The liquor industry would spend a fortune on that. They’d outspend us 100 to 1, and still most likely be defeated.

      • Well then why not help push for letting Georgians vote on it? 🙂 I think you underestimate the number of non-drinkers who realize the importance of passing this type of bill. As someone who drinks wine and liquor from time to time, I’d prefer it if the state stayed out of my decision of when to purchase it. That should be between me and whichever Publix, Kroger or liquor store I choose.

        Your religion should not have any influence over my habits as a consumer.

        • B Balz says:

          I won’t threadjack here, but Mr. Staples last point holds true for researching cures to dreadful diseases using embryonic stem cells.

        • Harry says:

          I maintain that society has a duty to protect its citizens against results of harmful behavior, medical practice, etc…..whether due to chemical substances, human error, etc.

          • So you believe people need to be protected from themselves… is that what you’re saying? I’m assuming you never eat at Burger King, McDonalds, or any other fast food establishment? I’m assuming you never eat chocolate or anything containing high fructose corn syrup or other sugars? After all… those things are harmful and have been shown to cause heart problems.

            A glass of red wine, on the other hand, has been shown to have positive health effects in moderation. So in effect, according to your last post, there should be no reason why someone should not be able to buy a bottle of red wine on a Sunday, so long as they enjoy it in moderation.

            Or are you going to take your last statement back now that I’ve shown it’s flaws of only benefitting your cause when you want it to?

          • Demonbeck says:

            So does Barack Obama. Are you saying you are in support of a nationalized health care plan as well?

            Personally, I believe that people should be given the freedom to decide for themselves.

    • Chris says:

      The package industry is very much against Sunday Sales. That said, should their be a local vote, it will be the Package Store Lobby that will be funding the neo-prohibitionists like Harry. Do local ballot initiative sides have to file disclosures?

  12. barstool69 says:

    So you’re going to point to that New Mexico study that shows banning Sunday Sales will protect people? Seriously people, we’re the ONLY state in the entire country where religion is preventing all off-premises Sunday sales.

    • Harry says:

      Corn syrup is not beneficial for the human organism, and people should take the time to educate themselves about it…but it doesn’t cause behavior modification problems and directly endanger others. If you can handle alcohol in moderation then good for you. Not everyone can, and as far as I’m concerned the laws should be enforced to the max. Those who manufacture alcoholic products should be sued for damages, same as tobacco companies.

      • John Konop says:

        Harry,

        As you know Harry I like and respect you, but this issue is a slippery slope via individual rights. Alnd the only winners on the war on drugs are terrorist, gangs and drug lords.

      • So everything you eat is healthy then? Because if not, what if you have a heart attack while driving? You’re directly endangering others. As you said, as far as you’re concerned the laws should be enforced to the max. I guess that means we need to look at taking away your driver’s license and anyone else that eats anything that’s not healthy for them. As well, we need to make sure that everyones’ cell phone turns off the minute they get in the car. We need to ban car radios (after all, they’re a distraction and can modify the driver’s behavior, directly endangering others..). As John Konop mentions below me… this issue is a slippery slope. Where do banning an individual’s rights stop? And who are you to tell me that I shouldn’t be able to go to a liquor store and buy an 18 year old Macallan to sip on a Sunday afternoon at the lake house?

      • Dave says:

        Harry,

        You’re way off on this one. You’re going to sue the producers of beer because someone consumed their product, a legal product, and had an accident? The tobacco companies should never have been sued either. Not one red cent. The warning labels had been on them since the mid 60s. It was nothing more than money. People should be held responsible for their actions and not file some weenie lawsuit against the manufacturer when you screw up or damage yourself. Enough nanny state.

  13. Jeff says:

    First GAGOV candidate I saw supporting this issue this cyle? John Monds

    I’ve also heard the “not running to be your pastor, I’m running to be your Governor” line from Scott – not sure if it was during a campaign speech or talking to him one on one.

    Hell, I’ve even heard the absolute nutcase in the race already say HE would support it.

    Seems Barnes is the johnny-come-last on this issue. Thing about Barnes, other than coming out in support only after at least three other candidates already have, is that he WAS Governor for 4 years, and the Demcrats HAD control during that time. They could have gotten the job done on this issue a decade ago, and maybe the budget crisis we are in now wouldn’t be QUITE as dire.

      • Jeff says:

        Every little bit helps when you’re in a budget crunch. Even $10 brought it from Sunday Sales is $10 we don’t have right now.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        (tough in cheek) Yeah Byte, changing the flag was so easy and paid off so handsomely for Barnes at re-election that in hindsight, Sunday sales would’ve been a cakewalk.

      • AubieTurtle says:

        Perhaps a reach on the budget issue but I think Jeff has a valid point on Barnes and the Democrats having been in the position to have taken care of this issue long ago. Of course the dirty little secret here is quite a few of those Democrats are now the Republicans who are opposed to giving people the choice.

        Let’s face it, party affilication does matter… but nowhere as much as the partisans would have you believe.

        • ByteMe says:

          I was too tired to type everything you just did, but it’s exactly what I was thinking. It’s ridiculous to think that this would have solved ANY budget crisis because they would have either spent the money on something else or they would have cut taxes somewhere else and still ended up in this crunch. It’s also ridiculous to think that just because the (D)’s were in power 10 years ago, that the politics of Georgia were actually better for getting Sunday sales passed or that the (D)’s from back then aren’t just (R)’s now in FOX clothing.

          And in your last sentence are you trying to say “party affiliation” or “party affliction”, both of which are appropriate? 🙂

          • AubieTurtle says:

            Sometimes I make up my own words… it’s part of my master plan to time travel back to 2000 and get elected President.

          • ByteMe says:

            Or somehow fake your birth in Hawaii so that 47 years later on the off chance you get elected President….

  14. Mayonnaise says:

    Just curious … what other issues controlled at state level should be kicked down to the local level?

    • ByteMe says:

      Depends on the locality. You could say “transit”, but some of the poorer counties would have a cow for not having better roads. You could say “schools”, but some of the poorer counties would just shut ’em down except for Friday night football games.

    • You know, that’s a good question, and not one that you hear around this state too terribly much. The first one that comes to mind is gambling. Seems to me that if a county in Georgia wanted to allow the operation of a casino, that it should have that right. Why should Butts County have any influence over whether a casino opens in Columbus or Savannah or Smyrna or wherever? Along those same lines, I’m hoping HR1177 passes, which legalizes betting on horse racing.

      As for transit, I’m good with localizing that as much as possible with certain things being privatized and certain other things being an effort by multiple cities or counties working together. There’s nothing wrong with living on a dirt or gravel road. If the residents that live on or use that road want it paved, they should pay to have it paved… not people that live hundreds of miles away. I’m all for high speed rail, but I’d rather it be run by a private company. I believe I remember reading that Amtrak already has high speed rail in the DC area. However, I’m not sure if they really market that or not. Seems to me that I never really hear anything about Amtrak… but I’m not sure if it’s just poorly run or whether it actually has a tough time competing because flying is typically faster. Even so, I know Amtrak is government subsidized or whatever. I believe that too should end and Amtrak cut it’s costs and rebuild itself from within. I would think that with good management it should be able to stand on it’s own.

  15. seenbetrdayz says:

    Sunday sales having an impact on the budget does seem to be a bit of a stretch. Don’t you folks know that Sunday sales already occur—on Saturday up until 11:59PM EST? God would be so angry if he ever figured out how people get around the system.

    It is true, though, that when you have the majority and intend to do something reasonable like let local governments decide on certain issues, you’d best do it while you have the chance.

    • John Konop says:

      I think the largest increase would be seen at restaurants on Sunday night. It would be hard to argue that X amount of people would not order a drink at dinner if they could. And this would give restaurants a needed boost sales.

      I do agree retail sales of booze are more of shift in sales from one day to another. But one could argue the extra day open for liquor stores would create an extra day of employment.

      • Well, we typically do our grocery shopping on Sunday afternoons. I don’t really go out to make a special trip too often to pick up an extra bottle of wine or liquor. But if I’m walking down the aisle while I’m at the grocery store and see a bottle of something that looks good, I’ll buy it. I wouldn’t imagine the increase in alcohol sales would be extravagant by any means, but I would think that overall sales should at least increase a little bit from nothing more than spur of the moment buyers who don’t think about what day it is when they’re shopping…

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