McDonnell Liquor Store Sale Campaign Comes to NoVa. - NBC4 Washington

McDonnell Liquor Store Sale Campaign Comes to NoVa.



    Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's plan to private ABC liquor stores is getting met with much resistance at public town meetings across the commonwealth. (Published Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010)

    In Virginia, you can get beer and wine in many locations, but liquor is only sold by the commonwealth's ABC stores.

    Gov. Bob McDonnell has a plan to privatize the ABC stores by selling them off along with additional licenses.

    That means there could be more liquor stores, which is creating controversy at public town meetings being held across Virginia.

    There are 334 ABC stores throughout Virginia. Last year, they reported a profit of more than $120 million.

    McDonnell is holding town hall meetings throughout the state, including one Wednesday night in Herndon, to gauge support for his proposal to privative the ABC stores and sell the additional licenses, using the proceeds to pay for traffic improvements.

    "Virginia shouldn't have a liquor monopoly," he said. "By selling those stores we could raise $500 million for transportation that's needed in northern Virginia."

    Democrats and conservatives are cool to the idea of privatizing the ABC stores.

    "My calls are 30-1 against privatization," said Sen. Linda "Toddy" Puller, a Democrat from Mt. Vernon. "Right now, I would vote against it."

    Opponents of privatizing Virginia's ABC stores and selling new licenses say there could be a three-fold increase in the number of liquor stores in the state and they wonder where they will be located.

    "I don't want to see what has happened in other jurisdictions," said Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff Mc Kay, a Democrat representing the Lee District. "I don't want a liquor store on every street corner in Fairfax County."

    Some customers like things the way they are, but others wouldn't mind more money for roads and transportation.