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Resource ID: #21645
Subject: State Government
Source: Detroit Free Press
Affiliation: 
Date: February 10-12, 2005

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Description

Dixon discovers that Michigan's beer and wine distributors are protected by state law from competition, with none of their customers getting any price breaks. Dixon and the Free Press conducted a survey that indicated beer and wine prices had a tendency to be higher in Michigan than in neighboring states. The prices are so high that Northwest Airlines had to truck beer from Minnesota to Lansing's Metro Airport instead of buying the beer locally. Wholesalers retain this control because the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to make campaign contributions to legislators, paying for legislators' lavish vacations, and picking up their bar and restaurant tabs. Dixon found that out of the 148 people elected to the Michigan House and Senate in 2002, all but 9 received contributions from the beer and wine wholesalers' political action committee.

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