In another sign of the politics of the moment, a prominent New Hampshire politician has called for a ban on Russian vodka.
State Senator, Jeff Woodburn, D-Whitefield, has suggested that in response to the alleged interference with the American presidential election by Russian President Valdimir Putin, the state remove all Russian vodka from its liquor stores.
The call comes after declassified documents from the U.S. intelligence community revealed evidence that Putin, preferring that Donald Trump win the recent election, demanded that his country’s intelligence officers work towards a Trump victory. This may have included hacks into the party of Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton, and the subsequent sharing of that sensitive info.
“Given this confirmed interference in our elections, New Hampshire shouldn’t just continue a ‘business as usual’ relationship with Russia,” Woodburn says in a statement introducing his bill.
Woodburn is leader of state Democrats in New Hampshire, where the liquor industry is controlled by the state government. One version of Woodburn’s bill mandates that all 79 of New Hampshire’s government-controlled liquor stores halt orders for Russian vodka. Liquor cannot be bought in New Hampshire outside of these stores.
“The uncontested conclusion by the U.S. intelligence community of Russian interference in our elections requires a response at the local, state, and federal levels,” Woodburn adds in his statement.
New Hampshire liquor stores only carry a handful of Russian vodka brands, little beyond major labels like Svedka, Smirnoff, Svedka and Grey Goose.