Shortly before the vote on Proposition 1, which allowed for the citywide off-premise sale of beer and wine, we noted: Goody Goody Liquor and Vantex Enterprises, the parent company of Centennial and Big Daddy's, contributed $30,000 to the anti- campaign under the moniker No Alcohol PAC/Neighborhood For Safety. They were, according to campaign finance docs filed with the city, contributors to the campaign that funded radio spots (voiced by Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway) and newspaper ads pleading with folks, especially those living in the southern sector, to vote down the proposition, which eventually passed overwhelmingly.
As it turns out, several Friends of Unfair Park were so displeased with the stores' involvement in the campaign they sent e-mails to Goody Goody and Centennial demanding an explanation. Separately, two Friends of Unfair Park received a lengthy statement from Goody Goody's general manager Randy Furry, which they forwarded to Unfair Park late yesterday.
"It's something that's been prepared for quite some time," Furry says this morning. "The first time we got an e-mail, we said, 'Let's leave it alone,' and then we got a few more, and we wanted to let people know where we stood."
The letter follows, but long story short: The passage of Proposition 1 "grants a monopoly on beer and wine but excludes distilled spirits in these new areas," per the missive. "Goody Goody would have supported the election had it allowed all alcoholic beverages to be sold in the new areas. We could then build new stores and service areas of town that we currently cannot. Instead, we are losing market share but cannot go into the new areas to get it back."
Says Furry, "That's the message we wanted to get out before the election, and it obviously wasn't very effective." He laughs, slightly.
The letter also contains one other bit of news: Sigel's did in fact contribute to the campaign against Proposition 1. "They've been involved," Furry says. "But their money came in late." But Furry says the liquor distributors are not involved in Andy Siegel's attempts to overturn the election at the courthouse. "I don't know where that's coming from," he says. Now jump for the letter.
Goody Goody, Sigels, and Centennial made a contribution to Dwayne Caraway in opposition to the election as a very unsuccessful last ditch effort to get a few points out to the voters that I will outline below.
We are in the Spirits business and the "dampening" up of these areas around town hurts this section of the business. The reason for this is that it grants a monopoly on beer and wine but excludes distilled spirits in these new areas. Since distilled spirits cannot be sold in the new areas, many people will just buy a bottle of wine or some beer for their dinner party rather than having to drive to the store for a bottle of Scotch. The monopoly is created because we cannot take our concepts into these areas since distilled spirits are not allowed. We have all built our locations around these wet and dry lines and now allowing some alcoholic beverages to be sold but not others is stretching these lines.
I cannot speak for my competition but I know that Goody Goody would have supported the election had it allowed all alcoholic beverages to be sold in the new areas. We could then build new stores and service areas of town that we currently cannot. Instead, we are losing market share but cannot go into the new areas to get it back.
Dwayne Caraway is enraged that the city has allowed people outside of his district to vote it damp when his voters overwhelmingly (65% of the southern sector voted against the measure) support their area of the city to be dry. I believe that he and his peers are going to continue to fight this election because they believe it was not a certifiable petition. As far as Goody Goody is concerned, that is up to a judge.
Finally, we do not believe that tax revenues will increase because there are more locations to purchase beer and wine. This will not make people drink more and it will not create new drinkers. The Perryman study that the city was shown was based on a large area being dry around a new wet area. This is not the case in the city of Dallas. There are very few areas of town that are far from a wet area. For the most part, the people in and around Dallas are already buying their beverages in Dallas so existing sales are only spread out to a wider area. These people are not traveling to different cities to purchase their beer and wine so Dallas will see very little increase in tax revenues. The city claims that they will receive 13.1 million per year in additional revenue. Since the city retains 1% of sales taxes, the election would have to bring in 1.3 Billion dollars in new beer and wine sales. I believe that is over double what is being sold now. The city, media, and the voters were simply lied to on this point.
In conclusion, Goody Goody, Centennial, and Sigels did not support the election because it's discriminating to distilled spirits and therefore takes business away from us without letting us go into the new areas to compete for it back. We also do not feel like it's a good thing for Dallas.
I hope that you understand our position and that you continue to patronize our stores. We try to have the widest selection, a knowledgeable staff, and the best prices in town. Your business is very important to us and we thank you for it.
Goody Goody Liquor, Inc.
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