Billy Carter, following precdent set by his equally famous brother, has lost Virginia, with the defeat this time coming at the hands of the hands of the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.
The ABC commission, in an action fraugth with political insignificance, has refused to allow the sale of "Billy's Beer," in Virginia.
"Billy's Beer," a new brand marketed by Falls City Brewing Co. of Louisville, caries Billy Carter's signature under the statement: "I had this ber brewed up just for me I think it's the best I ever tasted And I've tasted a lot. I think you'll like it, too."
ABregulations state that the commission "may withhold approval of any label ... by any prominent living person.'
A spokesman for the ABC said that the three commissioners were "all in agreement that Billy Carter is a prominent person" when they denied approval for the ber in a Nov. 2 leter.
Commission Chairman Archer Yeatts jr., a republican appointee, said. "It has always been and continues to be the feeling of the commission that endorsements for alcoholic beverages by any prominent person is contrary to good public policy in the control of alcoholic beverages."
We feel it highly improper for Mr. Carter to endorse a label selling beer in Virginia," Yeatts told the Associated Press. "Do you think it proper for the brother of the President of the United States to endorse any alcoholic beverage? I don't care what it is, I think it is downgrading to the office of the President of the United States."
The commission's regulations also rule out "obscene, lewd or indecent" labels and labels that make "hunorous or frivolous reference" to intoxicating beverages.
A White House spodesman acknowledged that she had heard of the action by Virginea - the only Southern state President Carter lost last year - but said, "We don't have anything to do with that."
Billy Carter could not be reached. He said in September, "I know a good beer better than anybody. Who knows? Maybe I'll become the Col. Sanders of beer." His agent, Tandy Rice, said. "I don't think we know enough to say anything amusing or intelligent about it."
Falls City Brewing Co. president James F. Tate said that he has asked the commission to reconsider its decision. He said the Richmond headquartered Reynolds Metals Co. was his largest supplier of cars and that he hoped they would help influence the board.
Tate, who described the new brand as a "full-flavored, mellow beer," said "Billy's is now being sold in six states and has been approved in three others. He said Virginia posed the only problem they had run into over the endorsement. ABC officials in the District and Maryland said they have no regulations that would cause a problem in selling the beer."
"I think to say that it is a degrading thing for the President is a poor excuse," Tate said. "I think these are two individuals who are extremely different.
"I don't see the difference in the endorsement of a person on a can and in getting famous people to endorse on television."