I am a California resident, from birth, a registered voter and a California wine consumer. It has come to my attention through several sources that certain of our California legislators and special interest groups, i.e., Seagrams and the liquor lobby, are pushing a bill that would severely hurt the California wine industry. This is Senate Bill 589, sponsored by Sen. Ralph Dills (D-Gardena).
I am quite interested to know how and why this bill continues to progress through the Legislature when such people and organizations as Jerry Mead, "Mead on Wine," and other well-known and respected wine writers, the Consumer's Union, Common Cause and the attorney general's office have all spoken out in opposition of this bill. And yet the liquor lobby is still getting its way.
This bill does nothing for the California wine industry or wine-grape growers. All this bill does is protect large companies and distributors such as Seagrams and Moet-Hennessey, giving them a license to steal excessive profits, and all legally, through our California lawmakers.
I find it interesting that Seagrams chose a California senator who knows nothing about wine to sponsor this bill. How much are they contributing toward his campaign? He certainly is not representing his constituents or the people of California. Also when so many responsible people and organizations are totally against this bill, why is this bill being pushed so hurriedly through the Legislature by this senator? He must be afraid that careful examination of this bill would prove to be extremely detrimental to all Californians, except of course to himself and Seagrams.