According to recent reports from the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, the Beer Institute, a trade association of major brewers, has donated another $1 million to oppose initiatives that would let hard liquor compete with beer on grocery-store shelves. Not alone, beer and wine distributors from around the U.S. that have gotten into the game in the last couple of weeks include: $50,000 from California, $25,000 from Michigan, $10,000 apiece from Arizona and Texas, and $5,000 each from Indiana and Tennessee. This is in addition to $4 million donated last month, primarily from the national beer industry, with some help from wine wholesalers. Of that dough, the campaign has spent $3 million on disingenuous ads like this one:
The argument is that "alcohol abuse" is dangerous and that alcohol would be available at "24 hour gas stations and mini-marts." Of course, the hours of gas stations is irrelevant because the initiatives do nothing about the state's 2:00 a.m. alcohol cut-off. And before 2:00 a.m., folks could keep buying alcohol regardless of whether this initiative passes. Despite the message crafting, it's not about "alcohol" or "alcohol abuse." This campaign is first and foremost about protecting the beer industry from competition.