Last week, Jay Nixon vetoed a law introduced and passed by the Missouri legislature.
The Missouri legislature, dominated by Republicans, passed an inexorable, inexplicable bill that would have transmogrified a business relationship to favor one powerful party in the relationship:
Distributors, including St. Louis-based Major Brands, had pushed for the change in Missouri law that would once again make their relationships fall under franchise protections – limiting producers from dumping distributors for competitors.
The bill would have tied distributors to alcohol producers in much the same way that national conglomerates such as McDonald’s are tied to their local franchise restaurant owners under Missouri law.
It’s unclear to this poor little Tea Party Republican what’s so special about the distributors of liquor as opposed to the middle men who resell other retail goods from producers to consumers. What is clear is that the powerful, monied interests who own the distributorships wanted to use their influence in Jefferson City to get the Missouri Legislature to alter the rules to make it so that producers could not do business with other distributors who offered better terms to the producers.
A free market like that would lead to more efficient delivery methods and lower prices to consumers through competition, but less money in the pockets of the established distributors. Of course, they cannot abide by that.
It’s less clear why Republicans in the legislature wanted to indenture wineries, distilleries, and small brewers to those established distributorships.