The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

February 26, 2013

Sunday liquor sales killed again by lobby


Reinert told MinnPost that if consumers want the longstanding law to change, they have to do something to combat the powerful interests pushing for the status quo.

“You have a powerful lobby in the liquor stores. You have a powerful union with the Teamsters, and those two pair up, and they’re here every day talking to legislators,” Reinert said.

“Everybody always asks me, ‘Who’s asking for this?’ People. Remember those folks out there that we’re supposed to represent that shouldn’t have to have a lobbyist and an organization to make something happen? That’s who’s in favor of it.”

A grass-roots group called Minnesota Beer Activists has come forward to fill that void.

Andrew Schmitt, the organization’s director, thanked Metzen for holding the hearing after it had finished and casually dropped into conversation that the group had a 2,000-person-strong petition asking for Sunday sales.

Reinert believes that’s the sort of action necessary to change the law. He points to the success of the so-called “Surly bill” — which came from the support of beer lovers across the state.

“I think the politicians are used to hearing lobbyists. They’re down here every day, but consumers don’t have a chance to get their voice heard. They’re busy working, paying the bills,” Schmitt said. “Although we don’t make great beer, we sure support it. That’s one of the great challenges. As a consumer organization, we don’t have a bunch of money to throw behind it.”

Commerce Committee Chairman James Metzen, DFL-South St. Paul, said he’s likely willing to have a straightforward vote on the measure if Reinert pushes for it. 

Metzen, who said he hasn’t formed an opinion on the issue, said he isn’t sure if it would pass through the committee. “That’s why I think [Reinert’s] hesitating,” he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Ukraine reports overnight rebel attacks on border MOSCOW (AP) — The Ukrainian army on Friday claimed that soldiers came under artillery fire from the Russian side of the border overnight and were attacked by rebels in several other places in the restive east. Ukrainian forces are trying to close in

    July 25, 2014

  • Deal still elusive for Gaza cease-fire CAIRO (AP) — Turbulent negotiations to broker a temporary truce in the Gaza Strip are continuing against the backdrop of fresh Israeli attacks on Palestinian militants. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met twice Friday in Cairo with U.N. chief Ban

    July 25, 2014

  • Transcript shows concerns during Arizona execution FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake was attending a ceremony for a judicial colleague when he received an urgent — and unusual — request: Lawyers for a condemned inmate wanted him to stop an execution that didn't seem to be workin

    July 25, 2014

  • Sniper-Author-Ventura [Duplicate] Day 3 of deliberations ends in Ventura lawsuit Jury has deliberated 19 hours

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man accused of stealing from group HASTINGS (AP) — An Apple Valley man is charged with five counts of theft for allegedly stealing more than $113,000 from a Rosemount youth athletics group. Sixty-two-year-old Robert Steven Reischauer was the former finance manager of the Rosemount Ar

    July 24, 2014

  • Sanders offers lower-cost bill to reform VA Bill would allow vets to go to private doctors

    July 24, 2014

  • Wetland Loss [Duplicate] Report says Prairie Pothole region losing wetlands BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Federal officials and conservationists say a recent report detailing wetland losses in the five-state Prairie Pothole Region over the past decade highlights the need for increased protection for the region that provides breeding

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • France: Air Algerie flight vanishes over N Mali ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali, the plane's owner and a French government official said. Air navigation services lost

    July 24, 2014

  • Migrant children face test in Dallas immigration court DALLAS — In a packed Dallas immigration courtroom, Elsy Garcia sits next to her 16-year-old brother, Jose. She last saw him when he was 9, when she fled their home in Usulutan in southern El Salvador. Now Jose is facing deportation. His case is conf

    July 24, 2014

  • Poet takes his act to Las Vegas LAS VEGAS — The old poet is dressed in black, his platinum-blond hair rakishly moussed. He stands amid the hubbub, facing a stern test of his crafted words and carnival-barker delivery. The venue is a smoky lounge called Ichabod’s, east of the Strip.

    July 23, 2014