State of the States: Money, Wine & Politics

Continuing FERMENTATION’s look at money, wine and politics, we turn in this post to the money spent on political campaigns at the state level. It is here, in the individual states, where nearly all legislation and regulations concerning alcohol, its production, its sales and its distribution is undertaken.

Between 2004 and 2006, contributions to state level political campaigns from beer, wine and spirit concerns totaled $21,362,727.

The overwhelming majority of this money comes from distributors and wholesalers of alcohol.

This fact makes sense. Wholesalers and distributors have more to protect in terms of wealth related to alcohol than any other industry, including producers. They are also concerned with protecting their privileged place within the 3 tier system, that model of sales that exist in most states that mandates nearly all alcohol sales, including wine, go through the hands of a wholesaler.

In addition to cash contributions to political campaigns in the states, many of the wholesaler organizations retain lobbyists and lawyers to represent them in the legislatures. In nearly every state, less California, wholesaler influence from campaign contribution outnumbers contributions by wine producers by many fold.

Below is a chart of the amount of campaign donations from the Beer, Wine and Liquor industries given to state political campaign between 2004 and 2006.

STATES: They are listed in alphabetical order
CONTRIBUTION: The total amount given by the beer, wine & liquor industries, 2004-006
PER CAP CONS: The per capita consumption in the state
POPULATION: The population of the state in 2003
$ PER PERSON: Amount of contributions per capita for that state.


The above figures were culled from The Institute on Money and State Politics

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