The current County Executive and County Council as well as the Delegation to the State House have studied and debated the monopoly and reform but accomplished little. Nevertheless, because of the institution of term limits and other factors, there will be new Council Members and a new County Executive elected this year. This finally presents an opportunity for the election of candidates favoring alcohol reform. Accordingly, during this election cycle, VOCAL MOCO will continue to present its views and seek support for change. On this site, we are also publishing the views of candidates on alcohol reform to assist voters.
In order to elicit the candidates' views, VOCAL MOCO prepared a brief survey questionnaire for all 2018 candidates for Governor, Comptroller, County Executive, County Council, the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates asking specific questions on where the candidates stand on ending the monopoly and reforming the County's alcohol laws. It was first sent out in early May to primary candidates . VOCAL MOCO is now seeking responses from additional candidates in races and any updates from those who have responded. It will post them as received. We will also post a new comprehensive list of candidates supporting reform prior to the election.
The following was sent to the candidates seeking to govern or represent voters in MOCO:
Candidate Questionnaire from VOCAL MOCO
Background: Voters Opposing County Alcohol Laws in Montgomery County, Maryland (VOCAL MOCO) is a nonprofit advocacy organization established by Montgomery County consumers. Its purpose is to end MOCO's alcohol monopoly and modernize the County's alcohol laws. Our website is located at www.vocalmoco.org
VOCAL MOCO realizes an end to the County’s alcohol monopoly and modernization of its alcohol laws will require legislation at the County and State levels that may ultimately require popular referenda.
Accordingly, VOCAL MOCO asks:
1. If elected, would you support legislation to end Montgomery County's wholesale monopoly on the sale of liquor, wine and beer to restaurants and wine and beer to County retailers?
2. If elected, would you support legislation to end the County’s retail monopoly on the sale of liquor and permit licensed County retailers to sell liquor?
3. If elected, would you not only support legislation ending the County’s monopoly but support ending the County’s wholesale and retail alcohol sales altogether?
___Yes __ No
4. If elected, would you support legislation to permit grocery stores, convenience and other stores, large and small, to sell alcoholic beverages, subject to reasonable licensing requirements, as is allowed in DC and Virginia?
5. If elected, would you support efforts to address any revenue shortfall resulting from an end to the County's monopoly, including requiring the State of Maryland to allot a portion of sales taxes on County alcohol sales to the County?
6. If the monopoly were ended, would you support efforts to help affected County Department of Liquor Control employees transition to good public and private sector jobs?
7. Finally, if elected, would you support legislation that would remove statutory and regulatory impediments to the growth and success of Maryland's craft beer industry, specifically provisions that cap production, sale, and distribution of Maryland craft beer products?
__ Yes __No
We have posted the each of the responses we received from the candidates so far on the next two pages.
Candidates Survey Results
Candidates Survey Part 2
Most responses are supportive of ending the monopoly and reforming the alcohol laws but some are not. We encourage you to read them all.
We will soon prepare a list of those candidates who, based on their responses support ending the monopoly and reform.