Report: Texas Alcohol Wholesalers Lead the Nation in Political Contributions
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SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(Business Wire)--According to a new report issued today by the Specialty Wine Retailers Association, Texas alcohol wholesalers contributed $6,976,104 to state political campaigns between 2000 and 2006, more than wholesalers in any other state in the country. The report, entitled "Wholesale Protection", found that BG Distribution Partners, a Texas wholesaler-controlled lobbying organization, and the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas were among the top ten alcohol wholesaler contributors nationwide. On a nationwide basis the report shows that in the time period considered American alcohol wholesalers contributed $50 million to state political campaigns, far and away out-contributing other sectors of the American alcohol industry including wineries, beer producers and retailers -- combined. "As in most other states, alcohol wholesalers in Texas enjoy a privileged status that many consider a monopoly," said Tom Wark, Executive Director of the Specialty Wine Retailers Association. "By state-mandate, the vast majority of wine must flow through a wholesaler before it reaches the retailer, thereby helping to create the kind of enormous profits that allow the industry to contribute $7 million to state politicians, more than anywhere else in America." In 2007 Texas alcohol wholesalers were able to push through legislation that stripped Texas consumers of the right to have wine shipped to them from retailers outside their own county. This followed on the heels of legislation being passed in Texas that prohibited all Texans from purchasing and having shipped to them wine from out-of-state retailers, a move that serves to protect Texas wholesalers from competition while severely limiting Texans' access to wine and increases prices. "No one disputes the alcohol wholesalers' right to participate in the political process, but when the results of their participation leads to the detriment of consumers and other members of the industry it is time to consider the circumstances surrounding their involvement," says Wark. The "Wholesale Protection" report is available to the public: http://www.specialtywineretailers.org/documents.html. The report looks at total contributions by alcohol wholesalers from 2000 to 2006 on a state-by-state basis, as well as identifies the largest individual contributors. Specialty Wine Retailers Association is a nationwide organization of wine merchants organized to advocate on behalf of retailers and consumers for fair, constitutional laws concerning alcohol distribution and direct-to-consumer sales. Specialty Wine Retailers Association Tom Wark, 707-935-4424 email@example.com Copyright Business Wire 2008
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