As my House rep is Nancy Pelosi, who owns a vineyard, I expected her to line up with all the producers opposing the bill: the Wine Institute, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, and the Kentucky Distillers Association are just three big names. For more about the bill, click here.
I was disappointed. Here's my letter; below is her response.
Dear Congressperson Pelosi:
I hope you will oppose HR 5034, the anti-consumer bill that would make it difficult for small wineries and breweries to get their products to consumers.
I know beer distributors are large contributors to political campaigns, but I hope you will find ways to raise money without providing such an obvious payoff.
This bill benefits nobody but beer, wine and spirits distributors. It is bad for consumers and small businesses and does not help local communities or governments in any way.
Those who support it will be demonstrating for anyone paying attention that their vote is for sale. As you are my representative, I hope you will show the integrity that this district expects.
W. Blake Gray
I got this response by email
May 24, 2010
Dear Mr. Gray:
Thank you for contacting me about H.R. 5034, the Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.
H.R. 5034, introduced by Representative Bill Delahunt (D-MA), would recognize that alcohol is different from other consumer products and that it should be regulated by the States according to the laws thereof.. On April 15, 2010, this bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee. No further action has been taken. Please be assured I will keep your comments under consideration should H.R. 5034 come before the 111th Congress.
Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue. I hope you will continue to communicate with me on matters of concern to you. For more information on this or other issues affecting our city and our nation, please visit my website at www.house.gov/pelosi or sign up to receive e-mail updates at www.house.gov/pelosi/IMA/subscription.html.
Member of Congress
Please do not reply to this e-mail because this mailbox is unattended.
Now, to be fair to Pelosi, what she's saying is that it's in committee and she hasn't had to make any decision. She's not for it or against it yet because she doesn't have to be.
I guess I was hoping for a little more commitment than that from a vineyard owner who represents the most wine-loving city in America. I'm just so naive.