Beer and wine wholesalers made at least $1.3 million in campaign contributions to more than 30 House members — Republicans and Democrats — who signed on to co-sponsor a bill that would advance the wholesalers’ interests. “And the timing of some of those contributions has ethics watchdogs crying foul,” Politico reports
The bill, which included a provision making it more difficult to challenge state alcohol laws, never made it to the floor. But “in all, at least 32 House members were given wholesaler contributions within a month of signing on to the legislation, including at least 10 lawmakers who were given contributions within a day of co-sponsoring the bill,” according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics and public records, Politico reports.
Although there is no evidence of wrongdoing among the National Beer Wholesalers Association, the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, or the lawmakers, government watchdog groups say the system is vulnerable to abuse.
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