Jump to content

Has NY State Senator Jeff Klein Been Bought Off by Empire Merchants for $33,000?

Recommended Posts


1) Empire Merchants (a wine distributor) donated $33,000 to Sen. Jeff Klein's re-election campaign.

2) Empire Merchants is pushing a bill, which was authored by Jeff Klein, that would benefit almost exclusively them.


1) The bill requires that all wine sold in New York is warehoused in New York for at least one day

2) Empire Merchants has their warehouses in New York

3) Almost all other competitors have their warehouses in New Jersey with its lower costs

4) These competitors will now have to make arrangements to store their wines in New York for one day

5) The estimated consumer effect is that wine prices will be raised up to $7 a bottle

Here is the New York Post article.

For $33,000, Empire Merchants gets to try and drive their competitors out of business.

Courtesy of Senator Jeff Klein, author of the "At Rest" bill.

Is this a de facto bribe?

Is it a payback?

Or ... is this just good, honest lawmaking?

Decide for yourselves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is politics-as-usual in Albany. Honest lawmaking is pretty much unknown there; see this from yesterday's NYT. But it probably won't go anywhere; too many folks with influence who like wine will speak up, which was likely the point of the NYPost article in the first place.

Back in the day, when I was a grad student in NYC, I frequently crossed the Hudson to buy wine in NJ. Merchants over there were allowed to extend credit, which in those days (the early '70's) was not lawful for alcoholic beverage sellers in NY State. I spent all my meager cash on wine in the city, then crossed the GW Bridge to get more on the tab. I bought a lot of wine in those days -- I still have some of it. And I even paid for it all, eventually.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do think other states have laws like this, though: that beer/wine/spirits must physically "come to rest" in a licensed wholesaler's warehouse in that state before distribution to a retailer in that state.

I'm guessing rather than get extorted by Empire most Jersey-based wholesalers will merely get licensed and rent their own warehouses in NY. Which fattens the coffers of the New York treasury, and also helps warehouse owners lease space. I mean no question it's a boondoggle, no question it will help Empire in the short run, but long-term the primary beneficiary will be the State's revenue stream and warehouse owners. But there are numerous wholesalers on this board, maybe one will chime in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...