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Beer, wine wholesalers shower legislators with money

Anita Kumar

Virginia's beer and wine wholesalers have been showering legislators with money since Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) began lobbying them about privatizing the state's liquor system.

Since July 1, the Virginia Beer Wholesalers Association political action committee has donated $39,649 and the Virginia Wine Wholesalers Association has donated $31,500, according to new figures released Monday by the Virginia Public Access Project, a non-partisan tracker of money in politics.

Top recipients: House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford) and Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax) received $15,000 each from both groups. Most other legislators received small donations of $500, $750 and $1,000 donations.

McDonnell wants to privatize sales of distilled spirits from wholesale to distribution to retail as a way to to provide a one-time windfall of at least $458 million for roads. But he's run into hurdles in both the House and Senate.

Last month, the beer and wine wholesalers came out against McDonnell's original proposal because small businesses would not be able to afford the licenses.

The beer association represents 32 distributors while the wine wholesalers represents 14. Most members are Virginia-based family businesses.

By Anita Kumar  | October 18, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, House of Delegates, Liquor privatization, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate  
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Wouldn't this be called a bribe?

Posted by: mcdonalsherry | October 19, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

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