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ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

Wal-Mart outsourcing security issue could make Democrats ‘natural allies’ in whiskey and Wheaties fight

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Chinese philosopher-general Sun Tzu once wrote: “Know your enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.” This could also be valuable advice for Florida unions and Democrats — pick your battles wisely. The recent dust-up between unions and Wal-Mart over outsourcing security in Florida could impact another upcoming fight in the 2017 Legislative Session – the effort to tear down the wall of separation between groceries and liquor stores. Recently, the Tampa Bay Times estimated law enforcement in four Florida counties…

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Ray Pilon raises $6,850 in November for HD 72 re-election campaign

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Rep. Ray Pilon took in a moderate haul last month in his campaign to retain his Sarasota-based House seat, raising $6,850 during the November reporting period according to recently submitted campaign finance data. The contributions take the third-term Republican to $96,275 raised overall so far, with $66,438 of that remaining on hand. Pilon, a Sarasota County commissioner from 1996 to 2000, has represented the moderate-leaning HD 72 seat since defeating former Democratic Rep. Keith Fitzgerald during the 2010 midterm elections. This cycle, Pilon faces a Democratic…

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Is the ‘whiskey and Wheaties’ bill on the rocks?

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Give state Rep. Carlos Trujillo credit for frankness. On Tuesday, he yanked his ‘whiskey and Wheaties’ bill from the agenda of the House Business and Professions subcommittee because, as he said, “one of my four votes is not here today” (though four votes is a minority on the 13-member committee). Trujillo, a Miami Republican, was referring to the panel’s Democratic ranking member, Kevin Rader of Delray Beach. The temporary postponement, of course, immediately started the buzz that the always contentious measure was on the rocks even before…

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ABC’s app-based alcohol delivery service tears down its argument for keeping ‘whiskey & Wheaties’ wall

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If you listen to the lobbyists for ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and other independent liquor retailers, it would be the bacchanal end-of-the-world if the state’s Prohibition-era law that requires retailers to sell hard liquor in a separate store from groceries and other wares was repealed. For three years now, various lawmakers have carried legislation — nicknamed “whiskey and Wheaties” bills — pushed by Wal-Mart, Target and other big-box retailers that would ease regulations on the sale of alcohol. The bill for…

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New group enters ‘whiskey and Wheaties’ fray

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Groups opposed to an effort to do away with retailers having separate stores to sell liquor have banded together as Florida Businesses Unite. The new alliance includes ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, the Florida Independent Spirits Association and Publix, according to a Wednesday news release. For three years now, various lawmakers have carried legislation – or “whiskey and Wheaties” bills – pushed by Wal-Mart, Target and other big-box retailers that would ease regulations on the sale of alcohol. State Rep. Carlos Trujillo, a Miami…

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