It turns out Washington isn't the only state with a government-run booze monopoly looking at shutting down its state store system, and as voters here consider two industry-backed initiatives that would ultimately put hard liquor on the shelf wherever beer and wine is currently sold, we might want to take a gander at what's being proposed elsewhere. For example, Virginia:

Under McDonnell's plan, the state would auction 1,000 liquor licenses to four categories of retailers and sell an unlimited number of wholesale licenses. The license revenue and proceeds from the sale of the state's central warehouse and state-run stores would produce a windfall of at least $458 million, according to administration estimates.

Now, regardless of whatever The Stranger ends up endorsing, I'm opposed to both these initiatives for a number of reasons relating to both state finances and public health and safety, but doesn't it strike anybody else as absolutely absurd for Washington to simply give away the state store for nada, zilch, bupkis, at the same time other states are looking to privatization for a one-time financial windfall? Can we really afford to leave a half a billion dollars or so on the table, in the midst of our state's worst budget crisis since, well, forever?

I mean, come on... are we nuts?

I guess we'll find out on November 2.