States coping with the budget woes often raise taxes to help cover shortfalls. Frequently, "sin taxes" are among the first to face a potential increase. Businesses in the alcohol trade have responded with familiar tactics, contributing millions of dollars to state political campaigns all over the country.
During the 2001-2007 period, California political parties and campaigns received $13 million from the alcohol industry, more than any other state. Illinois was second with $6.6 million.
Many states are considering raising taxes on alcohol to help address budget issues. Over the last several years, the alcohol industry gave more than $34 million to winning candidates and to officials not up for election: the very people who decide the fate of legislation affecting alcohol tax levels.
During the 2001-2007 time period, the alcohol industry gave $62.5 million to state political parties and campaigns. Anheuser-Busch and its affiliates led the pack, giving nearly $10 million.
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