With Sunday liquor vote today, ‘Driving to Superior’

(Listen to “Driving to Superior” from Aaron Brown’s Great Northern Radio Show)

Jason Scorich performs as “Neil Diamond” during the Nov. 12, 2016 Great Northern Radio Show in Duluth, Minnesota. (Grant Frashier)

“Sunday sales,” one of the perennial issues before the Minnesota legislature, might actually be resolved this year.

In Minnesota, it’s illegal to sell off sale liquor or full strength beer on Sundays. You have to go to a bar or stock up one of the other days of the week.

This is an old “blue law,” a remnant of the days before Prohibition when the temperance movement sought to protect families from alcoholic parents and reduce public drunkenness. Full scale prohibition proved to be a “noble experiment,” which create streams of illegal activity stemming from the bootlegging and distribution of contraband hooch.

Nevertheless, the Sunday liquor ban stubbornly held on in Minnesota. Efforts to repeal the ban in recent years failed, sometimes spectacularly so.

But this year, the bill passed the GOP-dominated House of Representatives on a bipartisan vote. This morning the State Senate takes up the bill and many believe it will pass there, too, eventually going to Gov. Dayton’s desk.

Last Nov. 8, I brought my Great Northern Radio Show to Duluth. One of the songs in the show was “Driving to Superior,” a Neil Diamond parody written and performed by Jason Scorich. I can’t think of a better song to serve as an anthem for today’s legislative proceedings.

You can listen here. Or listen to the whole show or other past shows at the Great Northern Radio Show website.

I’ll be hosting a new episode of the Great Northern Radio Show this Saturday, March 4, at the Chief Theater in downtown Bemidji, Minnesota. Find out how to listen live or get tickets to join us as a member of the studio audience.

Comments

  1. I think that traditionally the “blue” laws were more about protecting wage workers so that they would be free to attend worship on Sunday without being required to work. Some of us still think it is good to protect those workers. But an unfettered capitalist approach would probably not agree.

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