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Defeat of Liquor Tax Propositions

November 19, 1990

Kudos to the liquor industry! It proved more astute than politicians in totally outmaneuvering two usually allied groups of respected professionals--public school educators and physical and mental health practitioners. Both wanted and needed money; both got none.

Prop. 134 was drafted to raise funds via taxes on alcohol products in order to pay for medical and mental health treatment of liquor damaged people. Fair enough!

Now comes the liquor industry with the perspicacity of a Solomon. The industry proposed Prop. 126 which promised money to schools ostensibly to teach responsible drinking of alcoholic beverages. Never mind that only 20% of what a successful Prop. 134 would cost was proffered. The beauty of Prop. 126 was that the liquor industry lured public educators to side with it against proponents of Prop. 134.

The disgruntled voter has been primed to vote no on all propositions, and with the school and health sectors effectively canceling out each other's vote, neither proposition passed. Not only has the liquor industry defeated Prop. 134, but its own poison pill, Prop. 126, too; and in the process, made fools of public education and health practitioners. Isn't that brilliant--morality aside?

ED POLLACK, Apple Valley

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