Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Huntsman fights Utah Tea-Totalers

For background: tourists who want to get a drink in one of Utah's private clubs (i.e. bars) must first pay membership fees and fill out application forms.

Utah Governor Jon Huntsman thinks that's hurting the tourist industry, and is trying to reform those laws by eliminating club membership requirements.

But this is one party the powers-that-be are crashing:

"Status quo is where we're going to stay," Senate President-elect Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, said Monday. And the Senate's GOP majority unanimously agrees, he said.

"We've got lots of things to offer in the state of Utah," he said, citing a number of tourist attractions. "If all we've got to offer them is alcohol, they'd better not come."

Okay. Just crossed out Bryce Canyon National Park Summer 2009.

Hat-tip to Jeremy at Jeremy's Jeremiad for being a non-drinking resident of Utah who, nevertheless, gets it.

As a non-drinker I’m usually not directly affected by our state’s dumb alcohol laws. As someone who has lived in a state with normal liquor laws I can see how obvious it is that our laws are a pointless nuisance to lawabiding citizens who just want to have a drink. It really is time for a change. Utah’s Senate leaders should get out of the way.