What’s going on here? Read this post to find out. All charts below are clickable to enlarge.
Campaign finance, from 1989 through Q2 2014: $3,374,820
- All time: $13,770,000
- 2013-2014: $3,390,000
- 2013-2014 spending was 24.6 percent of all time amount
Political Action Committee contributions (specific organizations nor provided):
Political Action Committee contributions:
Over last five years, the only party committee donation has been to:
- Virginia Republican Party: $5,000
Election Cycle Contributions:
- Since 1990: $367,974
- 2014: $4,000
- Since 1998: $15,090,000
- 2014: $2,110,000
Contributions and lobbying figures above include contributions and spending by affiliates.
In 2013 and 2014, the Beer Institute spent more than $2.1 million lobbying on legislation that included past incarnations of the Small BREW Act as well as issues like keg theft. In 2012, it spent just $1.3 million on lobbying (the most the group had spent up to that date, and the second time it spent more than $1 million).
Legislation of Interest
Like others, the Beer Institute is no stranger to the battling BEER vs. BREW acts. On it’s website, the Institute shres support for the BEER Act because it “creates a graduated federal excise tax structure while maintaining a level playing field.” You can read their position on the issue on their website.
It’s worth noting that the Beer Institute represents both large and small brewers, although some consumers and industry members consider the group more representative of “Big Beer.”
The Institute also includes statements on beer policy, including creation of jobs and beer’s impact on the economy.
I reached out to Megan Kirkpatrick, director of communications for the Beer Institute, to ask for a comment on their political efforts. She offered this from Jim McGreevy, president and CEO:
“Lobbying is essential to the success of any industry or interest. We remind members of Congress and executive branch officials of the positive impacts of a responsible industry that supports 2 million jobs and provides nearly $79 billion in wages and benefits.
“We always have our eye on the federal excise tax on beer because it is a regressive, invisible tax that contributes to a significant tax burden on America’s favorite beverage. Right now we are working to pass the Fair BEER Act, which would reform the tax structure for all brewers, completely eliminating the federal tax for the 90 percent who brew fewer than 7,143 barrels annually. We are also actively talking to regulators about the industry’s point of view on issues like menu labeling, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, aluminum market manipulation and provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act.”
Beer Money series:
- Brewers Association
- Beer Institute
- National Beer Wholesalers Association
- New Belgium and Boston Beer
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac