Florida beer and liquor wholesalers provided as much as $1.2 million state office candidates since 2008, as well as $1.8 million more to Florida political parties, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics.”
“The preponderance of their contributions went to candidates for state house seats ($728,787),” the group published on “The Money Tale” government watchdog blog. “But they also gave a considerable amount ($323,883) to candidates for state senate, of which $288,158 went to those who were ultimately elected to the senate.”
Tampa Tribune reporter James Rosica noted the timing of the blog post coincides with the recent death of SB 1714 a Senate bill that limits brewers making more than 2,000 kegs a year from selling more than 20 percent of their products in-house. Everything else would have to be sold through distributors.
The top beer-related donor to successful Senate candidates from 2008-13 was the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association, an organization representing Anheuser-Busch distributors, which gave $39,500.
The blog post also commented that the only donation from the Florida Brewers Guild, the craft brewers’ association, to a sitting Senator was $500 to Republican Jack Latvala, who voted against the bill.