Tenneseeans remain sharply divided on a state bill which would allow local voters to decide through referendums whether grocery stores can sell wine in their area. The bill failed (8-7) in the state house Local Government Committee earlier this week. Many have suggested campaign contributions from the liquor industry have heavily influenced the issue….many also maintain that the bill is not dead, and is likely to resurface, so the Focus took some time today to look at the math.

In 2012, the beer, wine, and liquor industry gave over $273,719 to Tennessee state house candidates. $205,719 of that was given to Republican candidates while $57,850 was given to Democrats and the remainder to non-partisan candidates. The number indicates a nearly 25% increase in contributions to Republican candidates over 2011.