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Supporters, Detractors Spending Huge Amounts Of Cash On I-1183

Published On: Nov 07 2011 06:43:54 AM CST   Updated On: Nov 07 2011 08:41:28 AM CST
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Groups on both sides of the table have thrown millions of dollars at Initiative 1183 making it the most expensive campaign in Washington State history.

If passed, I-1183 would close state liquor stores, sell their assets, license parties to sell and distribute hard alcohol and set license fees and change the regulation of wine distribution.

Costco has spent upwards of $22 Million to get voters to say Yes to I-1183 on election night.

On the opposing side there is Protect Our Communities, which is also spending heavily to get out the no vote. In their ads they tell voters not to let corporate America buy the election.

Out of the $20,981,526.30 of cash donations raised by the Yes on 1183 coalition, Costco donated all but $100,000. That difference was split by Safeway Inc. from Bellevue, Washington and Trader Joe's out of Monrovia California.

In all, the Yes on 1183 coalition raised $22,742,406.59. To date they've spent just over $18 Million of that.

But while the Protect our Communities coalition points the finger directly at Costco, behind their own funding lies a very influential industry as well.

According to the Public Disclosure Commission, Protect Our Communities raised just over $12 Million. Cash donations totaled, $9,399,000, and came from the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Inc.

Another big donor for Protect Our Communities is the UFCW Local 21, the largest private sector union in Washington, made up of grocery store, retail and health care workers.

Alcohol wholesalers from across the country also populate the donation list on the no vote side. Included are the Wholesaler Beer & Wine Association of Ohio, Georgia Beer Wholesalers Association and the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association.

So far Protect Our Communities has spent all but $372,000 of their total contributions.