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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Liquor stores power opposition to Faulkner County wet campaign

Posted By on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 2:00 PM

click to enlarge FAVORS STATUS QUO: Owners of this liquor store at the Maumelle exit from I-40 are contributing to the campaign to prevent alcohol sales in neighboring Faulkner County.
  • FAVORS STATUS QUO: Owners of this liquor store at the Maumelle exit from I-40 are contributing to the campaign to prevent alcohol sales in neighboring Faulkner County.

No surprise in new filings at the Arkansas Ethics Commission on campaign expenditures by those fighting the wet-dry petition campaign in Faulkner County.

The They Win You Lose Committee, which has been trying to discourage signatures on Faulkner County alcohol vote petitions, reported $200,000 in contributions from alcohol retailers in nearby counties. Of that, $125,000 came from the Conway County Legal Beverage Association and $75,000 came from the Bevans Trust. The Bevans family owns the big liquor store at the Morgan exit to Maumelle, another alcohol location close by currently dry Faulkner county.

The group reported spending almost $20,000 on "petition monitors." They went to places where petitions were being circulated for the wet-dry election to encourage people not to sign.

Our Community, Our Dollars
, which is financed by Walmart and Kum & Go and is pushing petitions in Craighead, Faulkner and Saline counties, hasn't filed an additional report since the report of $625,000 in contributions from those sources June 11.

Let Arkansas Decide, which is backed by retailers and recently submitted petitions for a statewide wet/dry vote, has not yet filed a financial disclosure on its spending. It used paid canvassers to gather signatures, which are currently being checked by the secretary of state.

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