PACs for wine in grocery stores debate contribute to legislators

PACs on both sides of wine in grocery stores debate contribute to legislators

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By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Political action committees both in support and against the wine in grocery stores bill in Tennessee contributed tens of thousands of dollars to legislators and other PACs in 2012.

The bill was voted down in the House Local Government Committee Tuesday in a vote of 8-7 and records show 12 of the 16 members of the committee were given more than $12,000 in total last year by PACs on both sides.

But the groups against wine in grocery stores gave five times more to those legislators than supporters of the bill.

Some legislators, including Rep. Jeremy Faison, Rep. Joe Carr and Rep. Jeremy Durham, received contributions from both sides of the issue.

Rep. Sherry Jones, who left during Tuesday's vote that decided the fate of the bill this session, received $500 in 2012 from a liquor PAC.

For total statewide contributions in 2012, two major PACs against the bill contributed more than twice the money that two major PACs in support of the bill and three grocery store chains contributed to legislators and other PACs.

The Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association gave almost $19,000 in total contributions to legislators and other PACs in 2012.

The Red, White and Food PAC gave more than $15,000 in contributions.

Publix, Kroger and Food City combined contributed around $41,000.

In total, that comes out to around $75,000 in contributions made by groups in support of the bill.

The numbers for PACs against the bill are more than double that.

The Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Good Government Fund gave more than $67,000 in contributions.

The Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Tennessee gave more than $108,000, making the total for the two groups against the bill more than $175,000. This number doesn't include individual liquor stores or beer PACs.

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