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Bipartisan booze

Published:Sunday | June 17, 2012 | 12:00 AM


Legislators in North Carolina in the United States have ignored partisan divide to agree on a measure intended to keep the alcohol flowing at the Democratic National Convention.

US President Barack Obama and other Democratic Party headliners are set to be in Charlotte for the nominating soirée held every four years, which kicks off with a Labour Day party at a stock car track.

The state's government-run liquor stores are closed Sundays and for the Monday holiday, presenting a potential problem for bars, restaurants and hotels needing to replenish depleted alcohol stocks.

The convention is expected to draw tens of thousands of people who will spend millions on food and libations.

To the rescue is a bipartisan group of lawmakers sponsoring a bill to keep the Alcoholic Beverage Control stores in Mecklenburg County, which includes Charlotte, open for Labour Day 2012.

Co-sponsored by Republicans and Democrats from the Charlotte area, the measure flowed through the state House last week on a voice vote and is awaiting approval in the Senate.

Bill Brawley, a Mecklenburg Republican, said helping Charlotte be fully prepared to quench the thirsts of the arriving politicos and media horde is just good manners.

Primary sponsors

"The political party of the people attending is not material," said Brawley, one of the bill's primary sponsors. "Our state will treat them the way we would want our own people to be treated when they visit other states."

Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue, who has frequently clashed with the Republicans who took control of the General Assembly two years ago, said she would sign the bill into law.

"This legislation helps North Carolina be a good host," said Perdue, who is co-chair of the Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee.