Indiana Senate President Pro Tem Robert Garton exercises a selective respect for the independence of the judicial branch of government.
The Republican Senate leader last week unilaterally killed a bill that would have allowed wine to be shipped to customers in Indiana, a move that, left unchallenged, could cause great damage to the state's promising homegrown wine industry...
Garton killed the bill arguing, speciously, that because there is a lawsuit pending by Indiana wineries, "it will not be considered further by the Senate this year."
"We are not the judicial branch of government," the Republican leader said.
Consider the ramifications of Garton's position. Want to stop a bill, any bill, from making its way through the Indiana General Assembly? Apparently, all it takes is the filing of a lawsuit? Now consider the hypocrisy.
The Legislature is not, as Garton asserts, the judicial branch of government...
About 30 wineries in the state get up to 40 percent of their sales through mailed shipments, according to state winery officials who say that many could be forced out of business if the Legislature fails to act.
Gov. Mitch Daniels needs to enter this fray forcefully and on behalf of the state's wineries, which are important to the state's tourism and economic development. The days of legislatively picking winners and losers among the state's diverse and competitive alcohol beverage interests must fall beneath the weight of open markets.
Palladium-Item - www.pal-item.com - Richmond, Ind.