Albany pols pocket wine cash

An investigation by Wine Spectator's Ben O'Donnell into the legislative fight over whether to allow wine in supermarkets reveals that lobbyists and politicians are making out like bandits:

In an in-depth investigation, Wine Spectator has discovered that the biggest winners may be the legislators themselves, who have collected campaign contributions from the various parties, and the lobbyists paid to woo those legislators. While contribution figures are not yet available for 2010, a look at the donations during last year's debate is revealing. Campaign finance records show that in 2009, the leading opponents of the Paterson proposal, liquor stores and their trade interest groups, donated almost $415,000 to state politicians, political action committees (PACs) and party committees. Large spirits conglomerates and wine companies also made generous contributions.

A commenter on the story thinks that the trade publication's findings overlook the supermarkets themselves, however:

You're right Ben, the awful, soul crushing independent store owners used lies and greed to their advantage this year. The grocery stores on the other hand only went to albany with a smile and a kitten.