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Spin Control

Studying the sale of the liquor warehouse

OLYMPIA -- As retail giants pour money into an intiative campaign to get the state completely out of the liquor business, a special state committee meets today to discuss cutting loose just a part of it.

The Liquor Distribution Advisory Committee has an 11 a.m. hearing, which some members apparently will attend by phone, to work on coming up with bid specifications for the possible sale of the wholesale end of the booze biz.

One problem to wrestle with: by the time the committee gets the bids out and back, voters may have passed judgment on the state's control of the liquor wholesale and retail system, and decided to turn the whole thing over to private enterprise. That's what Initiative 1183 would do.

Supporting I-1183 are Costco, Trader Joe's, Safeway and some other large retailers. Opposing it are the national wine and liquor distributors, some of the smaller grocery chains, and some unions. 

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.