Saturday, December 20, 2008

Liquor by the Drink- A Study in Political Power

On a recent Inside Politics, Pat Nolan's excellent Tennessee politics interview program on Newschannel5, Pat interviewed Eddie Jones about the 1967 campaign to approve liquor by the drink. The campaign involved two interesting and significant abuses of political power.

1- The LT Governor kept secret an AGs opinion which nullified a bill-killing amendment by a Senator. She did amend the bill but, unknown to her of course, the AG had already said the bill could be passed in the House and become law without her amendment, which was a condition to get her vote. She was furious but couldn't stop the bill's passage.

2- Right before the vote occurred in Nashville, Mayor Briley, who supported the bill, said that in order to pass the bill he would have to "make the people thirsty." So, he called the police chief and had him shut down all the illegal liquor sales which had been openly tolerated at country clubs and printer's alley night clubs. Here is audio of the program discussing Mayor Briley's intervention.