Tuesday, March 31, 2009


We guess that we need to give some kind of a shout out to Crain's Insider's Erik Engquist who elevated us-over a cast of hundreds-as one of the biggest losers in the recently concluded budget battle: "Supermarkets: They struck out on their top two issues, the bottle bill and wine sales. Supermarkets didn’t want the hassle of taking back empty water bottles, and they desperately wanted to sell wine. Lobbyist Richard Lipsky suffered both defeats, and the additional blow of having the wine bill killed in part by his ally, Sen. Carl Kruger, D-Brooklyn."

Now over the past twenty five years we have been in the forefront of many battles, and as a result, a certain amount of notoriety gets attached; so much so, that at times we get undeserved credit for victories that we played a minor role in. Similarly, we often shoulder the blame for defeats that-as with the victories-were team efforts. On balance, however, this stuff all evens out. Or, as one wag once put it: "I'd rather have flunked my Wasserman test, then never to have loved at all."

Others are stepping up in response to the legislative assault on the food and beverage industry-not chagrined, but angry. Also in Crain's: "No one is more incensed at how the state budget unfolded than the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500, which was “treated with a lack of respect,” says organizer Pat Purcell. He blasts Sen. Daniel Squadron, D-Brooklyn, for supporting the bottle bill before anyone read it and slams the governor’s top environmental adviser, Judith Enck, for calling UFCW “tools of the supermarket industry.” Says Purcell, “We may not win everything, but at least represent us. Don’t ignore us. Don’t be condescending. Don’t seek money from us with one hand and stick your finger in your ear with the other.” The union will respond with a public campaign titled “We Matter.”

So, as we said, this is always a team issue-but anyone who puts themselves out in front will have to develop a thick skin. And as far as the wine issue goes, it ain't over yet-but that's for another post.