NASHVILLE - Just in time for Christmas, a libertarian-style think tank/advocacy group has awarded Tennessee's powerful liquor lobby its annual "Lump of Coal" award for its successful effort to block sales of wine in grocery stores.
The Beacon Center of Tennessee announced the award to the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Tennessee, basing the move on an online poll.
The Lump of Coal Award goes to the association for its actions to prevent grocery stores from selling wine in the state, a measure that 33 states allow and one that would benefit Tennesseans economically.
"The liquor lobby, led by the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Tennessee, has used questionable tactics to scare rural Tennesseans and lawmakers into erroneously believing that allowing grocery stores to sell wine will bring about some type of booze-propelled chaos, all in an effort to protect its powerful monopoly over wine," said Justin Owen, the Beacon Center's president and CEO in a news release.
The center says it gives the "lump of coal" award each year "to the person or group in Tennessee who, more than any other during the past year, acted as a Grinch to Tennesseans by bah-humbugging the principles of liberty and limited government."