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Posts tagged: Costco

Big bucks for booze: Costco donation breaks record

OLYMPIA – In an effort to get voters to end the state's liquor monopoly, Costco this week made the largest contribution in history – nearly $9 million – to a state ballot campaign.

The discount retail giant based in Issaquah, Wash., nearly doubled down on its contributions this year to the Yes on Initiative 1183 campaign, on which it had already spent more than $12 million through cash contributions and in-kind services such as employee time for gathering signatures in less than a month to get the proposal on the Nov. 8 ballot…

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It’s no longer just Costco money on I-1183

OLYMPIA — We may have to stop calling Initiative 1183, the ballot measure that would get the state out of the wholesale land retail liquor business, “The Costco Initiative.”

The proposal now has another source of funding: Trader Joe's.

Costco is by far and away the biggest source of cash for I-1183, and this will be the discount giant's second attempt to change state liquor laws in a way that would allow it to sell and possibly distribute liquor in its stores.

Costco has put roughly $1,082637.40 in cash into the campaign. And that doesn't count more than $1.2 million it chalked up through in-kind contributions for things like employees who were paid for their time manning the signature gathering tables in the stores or the national petition gathering firm it hired on the way to setting a record for the fastest qualifying signature campaign in state historyo.

Late last month, Trader Joe's tossed $50,000 into the pot. So as of July 26, it became the 98 percent Costco initiative. The date May 26 on the PDC form, is wrong, but of course we all figured that because no one would let a check for 50K sit around for two months before taking it to the bank. 

So what does this mean? Maybe if I-1183 passes, Washington residents won't have to pay a fee and join Costco to get a really good deal on booze.

Liquor initiative: Costco orders another round

OLYMPIA — As expected, a new proposal to privatize the liquor system in Washington was filed late Friday.

Supporters include Costco, Northwest Grocery Association and the Washington Restaurant Association for a proposal that would let retailers with at least 10,000 square feet obtain liquor licenses and pay 17 percent of their gross revenues to the state. Businesses that get distribution licenses would pay 10 percent of gross the first two years and 5 percent every year after that.

The state would auction off its distribution warehouse and stores. Supporters say they want to inject competition into the liquor biz. They think it's a better plan than the two that voters turned down last year.

They expect to be seeking signatures as soon as wording is checked and petitions are printed, in about a month. The deadline is early July and ordinarily that wouldn't be enough to get all the signatures needed, but last year Costco set up tables at its warehouse stores and grabbed a boatload of signatures fairly quickly.

The state might also order a study on whether it makes economic sense to sell or lease its wholesale liquor distribution system — if a bill on that topic can make it through the Legislature.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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