Sixty-Six Million and the Big Wine Story Never Told
Various wine-related Year-End and Decade-End stories have been published and posted at blogs, in magazines and in newspapers. Yet none of these wrap-up stories have addressed the one development over the past decade that probably had the most impact on the wine industry and wine drinkers. That development is this:
MONEY CONTRIBUTED TO STATE-BASED POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS
BY SECTORS OF THE ALCOHOL INDUSTRY (2000-2009)
Alcohol Retailers: $3,219,398
Beer Producers: $20,300,278
Wine & Spirit Producers $18,019,867
Beer & Wine Wholesalers $66,533,450
Some thoughts on the impact of this enormous amount contributed by American beer and wine wholesalers to politicians and political campaigns:
1. It has taken the funding of numerous lawsuits and the multi-million dollar cost of a Supreme Court challenge to overcome a small part of the impact of these contributions
2. Why do wholesalers need to contribute $66 million+, but alcohol retailers, of whom there are many more, only contributed $3 million?
3. Who would have thought it would only have cost $60 million dollars to a system of alcohol distribution that has failed on every level to address even the simplest needs of Americans and the industry in 2000-2009?
4. It goes to show: If you win an argument, buy it.
5. I've often wondered if the lawmakers who have taken wholesaler money and done their bidding are satisfied with the million and millions of dollars they've taken out of the hands of their constituents.
6. Anyone who has ever scratched their head over or complained about the extraordinary inconvenience that surrounds buying the wine they want, can look to these campaign contributions as the reason why.
7. The amount of money retailers and artisan producers have lost or never made because of the corrupt impact of these campaign contributions is far more than the amount of the contributions themselves.
8 This enormous number doesn't take into account the millions of dollars wholesalers have spent on lobbying, not to mention campaign contributions to federal candidates.
9. The story of how the entire alcohol industry is controlled by a very small number of wholesalers who control access to a market through corruption brought on by their own campaign contributions is the biggest story ever told by the wine or mainstream media…OR BY BLOGGERS.
10. Consider that Beer Producers and Liquor producers tend to support the same state-mandated three tier system. Now look at how much beer producers have delivered to State political campaigns where regulations governing how wine is sold and distributed are made.