Thanks to Republicans, you may have cracked open your last craft beer

But before the growler bill they were advocating got to a vote, the Senate Rules Committee passed an amended bill that would allow the sale of growlers but would also heavily restrict the sale of virtually all craft beer sold by microbrewers.

Published in the Tampa Tribune, Sunday, April 27, 2014

By Chris Ingram

In what has to be the new poster child of the laws of unintended consequences, craft beer brewers and their beer-drinking enthusiasts have to be scratching their heads and asking, “What happened?”

Craft brewers — or microbrewers — had gotten the Florida Legislature to consider a bill to allow the sale of growlers, half-gallon sized containers of beer that are prohibited by state law. Along with Florida, growlers are illegal in only two other states.

But before the growler bill they were advocating got to a vote, the Senate Rules Committee passed an amended bill that would allow the sale of growlers but would also heavily restrict the sale of virtually all craft beer sold by microbrewers.

The devil is in the details.

SB 1714 would permit the sale of growlers by microbrewers who sell fewer than 2,000 kegs of beer per year. So far so good, but not great. Brewers producing more than 2,000 kegs per year would be permitted to sell growlers, but they would also be required to distribute all of their beers, regardless of size, through an established beer distributor.

craftbeer1
Fla. Senate leaders want you to pay more for craft beer.

The effect of the distribution requirement would be higher costs to consumers, since the beer distributors would be due a large cut for their role as a middle man. Adding insult to injury, any microbrewery in the state producing over 2,000 kegs would have to sell its beer to the distributor and then buy it back (after a mark-up from the distributor), to sell their own beer in their own microbrewery.

Absurd!

Is it any wonder we call it the “Flori-duh” Legislature?

The bill is being pushed by (Click here to read the full column in today’s Tampa Tribune.)

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him atChris@IrreverentView.com.

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Florida forgives, and you get the bill

The state of Florida recently “forgave” $142.2 million in taxes, fines and overpaid benefits for the third year in a row. The previous two years, the state wrote off $110.5 million and $109 million. I wasn’t ever really good at math, but I can add 142, plus 110, plus 109 and realize that’s more than $350 million the state failed to collect.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Saturday, December 28, 2012

The state of Florida recently “forgave” $142.2 million in taxes, fines and overpaid benefits for the third year in a row. The previous two years, the state wrote off $110.5 million and $109 million. I wasn’t ever really good at math, but I can add 142, plus 110, plus 109 and realize that’s more than $350 million the state failed to collect.

What I lack in math skills, I make up for in knowing how government works. It works like this: Every time the state fails to collect money it is owed, somebody else has to make up the difference.

That’s you and me, folks. It works out to be about 19 bucks a person for every resident of the state — that is, if the state could collect it.

To make matters worse, Continue reading “Florida forgives, and you get the bill”

Don’t know? Vote “No”

Florida voters have voted on everything from gambling, term limits, land use, taxes, gay marriage, smoking in public, and pregnant pigs. I kid you not — there is an amendment in the Flori-duh constitution that guarantees the rights of pregnant pigs. The constitution! And pigs! You can’t make up nonsense like this.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Saturday, October 20, 2012

In 1968, Florida adopted a new constitution that provided a mechanism to amend the state’s constitution through ballot initiative. The new right was first exercised in 1976, when the “Sunshine Amendment” — which related to ethics in government and financial disclosure for elected officials — was approved.

Since then, there have been 124 proposed constitutional amendments for voters to consider. Of those, 54 percent have been put on the ballot by the state Legislature, 26 percent by citizens and 19 percent by the Constitutional Review Commission or the Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Committee.

Florida voters have voted on everything from gambling, term limits, land use, taxes, gay marriage, smoking in public, and pregnant pigs. I kid you not — there is an amendment in the Flori-duh constitution that guarantees the rights of pregnant pigs. The constitution! And pigs! You can’t make up nonsense like this.

Since 1976, Continue reading “Don’t know? Vote “No””

Don’t send party faithful out to pasture for primary date

The RNC has the right to do whatever it wants regarding the management of its convention, which will be in Tampa in August. This includes everything from the seating of delegates, to assigning hotel rooms for state delegations, to designating seating for delegates on the convention floor, to how many stupid hats, pins and buttons a delegate should be required to wear before plopping themselves in front of a TV camera to make total fools of themselves on national television.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published January 17, 2012

Ask any Republican — from the rank-and-file grassroots to party leadership — what their No. 1 goal for 2012 is and the answer is always, “Send Obama an eviction notice.”

Yet somehow the Republican National Committee, most of its members and its national chairman, Reince Priebus, are hellbent on airing the party’s dirty laundry by taking Florida to the woodshed for violating the RNC’s “rules” about election dates.

I have what I think is a great idea to solve this “problem.” But first, it’s important to understand the facts. They are: Continue reading “Don’t send party faithful out to pasture for primary date”

“Non-performin'” Norman needs a job

As you know, it’s tough being an elected official when the darned media starts asking questions about where you got your lakefront resort home in Arkansas and a pair of nice boats to go with it. What they don’t realize is it is tough being a county commissioner; and I need those boats for recreation – especially fishing for some big Bass! I have done my best to keep who paid for my wife’s house from you and the media because I don’t like to see people get upset. And that’s what you would be if you really knew where the coin came from. You would say: “that smells like something Kevin White dragged in.”

Never content to be outdone by Kevin White, Jim Norman is equally disgraceful.

A satirical look at Norman’s latest plea for help

By Chris Ingram

Dear sycophant Kool-aid drinking Republicans:
 
As you know, it’s tough being an elected official when the darned media starts asking questions about where you got your lakefront resort home in Arkansas and a pair of nice boats to go with it. What they don’t realize is it is tough being a county commissioner; and I need those boats for recreation – especially fishing for some big Bass! I have done my best to keep who paid for my wife’s house from you and the media because I don’t like to see people get upset. And that’s what you would be if you really knew where the coin came from. You would say: “that smells like something Kevin White dragged in.” Continue reading ““Non-performin’” Norman needs a job”