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Wisconsin state lawmakers take a stand for keg stands against crony licensing proposal

Green Bay Packers fans tailgating before a game
Chris Burdine shows off his color as fans tailgate outside Lambeau Field before an NFL football game, last year. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Go home, Tavern League of Wisconsin lobbyists. You’re (probably) drunk and definitely no fun.

The special interest lobbied to include an amendment to legislation extending winery hours, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. If passed, that attached proposal would require private property owners who rent space for parties to obtain a liquor license. A hidden buzzkill that would effectively make tailgating impossible.

The policy wonks at Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty were the first to spot the problem. “What major policy problem the bill is designed to solve is a mystery to us,” said that organization’s executive vice president C.J. Szafir.

“What is clear — whether intended or unintended — is that the amendment would negatively impact people’s ability to enjoy a beer at their tailgate before a Packers, Badgers, or Brewers game,” Szafir concluded.

While state legislators are dismissing the amendment as an accident, there is unmistakable cronyism at play. Licensing that harshes the mellow of party goers on private property would incentivize fans to pregame publicly at restaurants and bars, benefiting the bottom line of the patrons of the Wisconsin Tavern League.

Unconscionable everywhere, this is particularly cruel in the tundra of Wisconsin, where the winter is bleak, bitter, and long. Drinking and unthinking devotion to sports are some of the regions' few qualities. Making it more difficult to get a beer threatens to make the state an even lesser version of Minnesota.

Luckily, it seems that Wisconsin lawmakers legislate tipsy and vote sober. They are on track to crush the amendment to ensure the right to crush brewskis, taking a stand for liberty to protect keg stands. It is expected to be stripped from the final bill.