Commonwealth Journal

Local News

July 10, 2013

Spirited Debate

Girdler & Turner’s disagreement over liquor stores creates brew-haha among alcohol control officials


Somerset —

According to Ellis, lawmakers who disagreed included Turner, a Republican, and Rep. Jimmie Lee, an Elizabethtown Democrat who felt it was unfair to the five existing businesses that they would face competition from other stores.
Girdler feels this represents using the political process to establish a monopoly.
“I think monopolies are bad and un-American,” he said. “Alcohol sales should be competitive and open to the competitive environment. ... Certain people on the general assembly believe that there should be monopolies.”
Things intensified when Girdler made the comment in the meeting that “everyone knows a representative who lives in the county,” referring to Turner, and was told by the committee chairperson not to personalize his comments.
It’s something that Turner took personally, as he told the Commonwealth Journal. 
“It’s unfortunate that the mayor wants to make it about personal issues,” he said. “It’s about my beliefs. The first comment he made when he got up there was about me being from the county. The chairman asked him to quit making inflammatory accusations about who lives in the county or city. We’re all created equal and trying to do what is the best for us. The mayor seems to think that everyone it the county is different from everyone in the city, and that troubles me.”
Girdler has a starkly different view of the exchange. “I said I live in the city; I know how the vote went. (Turner) did not live in the city, and did not vote in the election. What the chairman said was that we weren’t here to discuss those kinds of issues. They were making the point of how the city voted. My only point was that I live in the city and voted, and those who did not participate could not know what the city wanted.”

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