Tomorrow, September 9 at 10:30 a.m., a press conference will be held at Rubicon Brewing in Sacramento, California to rally support for a veto of AB 1245, dubbed “The Trash & Trinkets Bill.” The bill, supported by only one beer company — Anheuser-Busch — sailed through both the state house and senate, showing just what lobbying money can buy in the state of California. What will A-B get for it’s money? “AB 1245 would significantly increase the amount of marketing dollars Anheuser-Busch wants to spend courting new drinkers. Promoting an increase of 1200% in direct marketing swag the largest beer manufacturer in the U.S. wants to further exploit its marketing clout to the detriment of smaller brewers.”
“The real loser in the AB marketing game will be the consumer who will likely see reduced choices at their local market,” said Tom McCormick, executive director of the California Small Brewers Association. The fact that every single beer company — large and small, domestic and import — with the singular exception of A-B opposes this bill, it’s bewildering to me that our elected officials turn so blind an eye to the will of not only the people, but the majority of the business community, too, in passing this bill. With a total impact of over 24 and a half billion dollars, California represents 13% of the beer industry in America. We have more breweries than any other state and, until last year (when Colorado overtook us), brewed the most beer, too. Apparently our state government is more interested in the soon-to-be world’s largest multinational beer company being happy than they are in protecting the interests of the local beer economy as a whole. I know money is the grease that moves politics, but this is just such a blatant example of greed over what’s good for the state that it boggles the mind. Don’t we want our state elected officials to care more about the best interests of our state?
Come out and show your support tomorrow for vetoing the bill. It’s our last chance to keep the playing field where it is, not as level as we’d like but certainly more so than if Governor Schwarzenegger signs AB 1245 into law. On hand at Rubicon will be owner Glynn Phillips, Susan Little (owner of St. Stan Brewery in Modesto) and Tom McCormick (executive director of the California Small Brewers Association). Rubicon is located at 2004 Capitol Avenue in Sacramento, California.
Even the Sacramento Bee is opposed to the bill. This is from an editorial in the paper on Saturday:
Assembly Bill 1245: Anheuser Busch galloped into the Legislature this year like a team of Clydesdales. The company’s lobbying mission? To get a law passed that would allow beer brewers to distribute more free trinkets, such as Bud Light key chains. Smaller brewers and groups crusading against alchohol abuse oppose SB 1245 by Assemblyman Albert Torrico, D-Fremont. It sailed easily through both houses but deserves a red veto stamp on the governor’s desk.