Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Buying Protection in Wine

Distributors are an intermediary between manufacturers and retailers (sometimes the users) of a product. Distributors exist in the building-products industry, and in Wisconsin, by law, they exist in the alcoholic beverages industry.

Note well the phrase "by law." While other sorts of distributors exist because they are competitive and offer value, Wisconsin's alcohol distributors exist because the Legislature SAYS they must exist.

Sorta creates an opportunity, no?

Employees of a beverage wholesaler made campaign donations to members of the Democratic-controlled Senate before that chamber approved a budget amendment that will help its business in Wisconsin.

Two employees of Madison-based General Beverage Sales Co. gave at least $12,495 to the campaigns of eight Senate Democrats and the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, campaign finance records show.

That includes $350 to Sen. Russ Decker, D-Weston, who backed the amendment to stop wineries from selling products directly to retailers and require them to hire distributors such as General Beverage instead.

The company officials -- Frances Weinstein and Joel Minkoff -- also donated to Senate Majority Leader Judy Robson and four freshmen whose victories flipped Senate control back to Democrats last year, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which tracks campaign donations.

The "value added" was to the Democrat-hack campaign coffers.

HT: Badger Blog Alliance

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