Why does the beer industry spend so much money on political campaigns in North Carolina? There aren’t nearly as many breweries as, say, auto dealerships but the beer boys pour in the money way out of proportion to their size in the state’s economy. The NC Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association PAC handed out $204,000 in campaign donations during the 2012 election, about 20% more than the NC Auto Dealers AssociationPAC – and the beer wholesales for the big labels passed out hundreds of thousands more as individual donors. Speaker Thom Tillis received at least $65,000 from donors linked to the wholesale breweries all over the state. Why? Is it because they’re afraid the combination of Bible-belt conservatives and protect-you-from-harm liberals will gang up against Big Beer and tax or stifle the industry in some distasteful fashion? One minor showdown happened this week in the NC House with H-610, a bill to allow rovers to sell beer to sports fans at their seats in the stands, rather than require them to walk to the beer booth. Despite the combined left-right opposition from a sizeable section of the House, the bill advanced to the NC Senate. Maybe it’s smart policy to let the beer flow where Joe Sixpack relaxes, or maybe the flowing money plays a role in how policymakers vote. Who knows?
Category: Political News