WAMU 88.5 : News

Virginia Libertarian Takes Aim At State-Owned Liquor Stores

Play associated audio
In Virginia, the sale of liquor is run by the government.
In Virginia, the sale of liquor is run by the government.

In Virginia, the Libertarian candidate for governor is calling for major changes to how the commonwealth regulates alcohol.

Back in April, a University of Virginia student spent a night in jail after state agents with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control arrested her after mistaking a case of sparkling water for beer. Now Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian candidate for governor, is calling for the state agency's law-enforcement powers to be shifted to local jurisdictions.

"When you get a regulatory agency that also has its own enforcement arm, you get a very sort of narrow-minded mentality," he says.

Sarvis is also calling for the state-owned monopoly of liquor sales to end, one of the central campaign promises of Republican Governor Bob McDonnell. He was unable to persuade Democrats skeptical of losing revenue and Republicans wary of increasing availability of alcohol. Sarvis thinks he might have better luck.

"I think a third-party governor actually has more opportunity to get certain types of things done," he says.

University of Virginia Center for Politics analyst Geoff Skelley says Sarvis is unlikely to win, but he has an opportunity to contribute to the debate.

"If the argument is made strongly by Sarvis, you know, maybe could actually pay attention to it and be, like, yeah, that's an interesting idea," he says.

So far, most of the discussion in the race for governor has been about scandals surrounding Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Meanwhile, Sarvis has been trying to gain attention for his Libertarian campaign.


'Hollywood Reporter' Ending Annual Index Of Powerful Women In Entertainment

Janice Min, president of The Hollywood Reporter, tells Steve Inskeep why the magazine will stop publishing its "Women in Entertainment Power 100" list as a ranking.

As Big Food Feels Threat Of Climate Change, Companies Speak Up

A warming climate is likely to disrupt global food production, which has Big Food companies worried. Some, like Mars, are becoming increasingly vocal advocates for action on greenhouse gas emissions.
WAMU 88.5

U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes On How Money Influences Politics, Locally And Nationally

One of Maryland's federal lawmakers is behind some new ideas about campaign finance reform that have stalled in Congress, but are being taken up by local legislatures, including D.C.

WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys And Gal

Computer Guys and Gal sort out all the latest technology news from the last month.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.