The Guardian takes a look at the ongoing battle to open dry counties in Arkansas to retail alcohol sales, with a focus on Cleburne County, where another petition drive is planned for 2020.
The article details how Walmart/Walton money drove “wet” initiatives in 10 counties in past elections, led by big Benton County, home to the retail giant. But Walmart pulled out of 2018 battles, apparently as part of a legislative deal to allow expansion of wine sales in Walmart stores in wet counties. These included Pulaski, the state’s most populous.
But still the fight continues, though the signature requirement to qualify a “wet” initiative is high.
The article notes that scarcely any of Arkansas is truly “dry,” thanks to an expansion of the private club law that has brought restaurants and bars to many previously dry places under the guise of economic development.
But the article also notes it was easier to mount a drive for legal changes with Walmart money. Any legislator could tell you that.