Tag Archives: full

Business Battles a Blessing to Lobbyists

While the Legislature’s Republican “supermajority” regularly proclaims devotion to making Tennessee business friendly, on occasion a choice must be made between friends. And that is a good thing for the lobbying business.
The most publicized example of the current session has been authorizing the sale of wine in grocery stores. The dispute has pitted the 500-plus package stores, who present themselves as small businesses under attack, against convenience stores and big-box retailers, who present themselves as champions of consumer convenience.
Both, of course, are interested in maximizing profits. At this writing, it appears the liquor stores, defenders of the status quo, have prevailed again. That means in 2014 — for the seventh consecutive year — both sides will hire lobbyists for another round of what has become a major revenue generator for the lobbying business.
This year, 64 lobbyists for 43 clients listed “alcoholic beverage regulation” on their registration forms, which require a check beside areas of lobbying interest. A skim through the listings indicates the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association, leading proponent of the bill (HB610), has registered the highest number of lobbyists at 10.

Continue reading