Chris Grygiel over at SeattlePI.com's Strange Bedfellows has a big update on our scoop about Costco last week. (We had reported that the Costco was getting behind one of the two competing liquor sale privatization initiatives in Washington with a $350,000 check. Costco wrote the check to Initiative 1100, which would virtually wipe the state out of the liquor sale and distribution business.)

Grygiel reports today that two beverage and spirits distributors have now financially backed the competing initiative, I-1105, which allows the state to gather more revenue from the privatized system by making the cost of liquor licenses purchased from the state a percentage of the value of the volume of liquor sold  by a distributor or vendor.

Young's Market Company, a Los Angeles-based spirits and wines distributor, contributed $300,000, while Odom Corp., a beverage distributor with offices in Bellevue, gave $100,000.



A somewhat crude line has been drawn between the two initiatives by their respective camps, with I-1100's proponents arguing that the nearly-free market their initiative would create would benefit small and large companies alike, and opponents claiming it would allow large wholesalers like Costco to essentially become the new state in the market and shoulder smaller guys out.

I-1105, on the other hand, still grants the state some price control in the market, which, for smaller retailers (that can't get same huge volume discounts as Costco), might be beneficial, supporters say.

This idea has been complicated somewhat recently because Washington Family Wineries, a collection of small wineries, is backing I-1100. They say this affirms 1100's free-market claims, and it could make 1105's little guy claims look ill-founded.

Supporters of I-1100 has filed a complaint with the Attorney General's office about the title and summary of I-1105, news that we broke last week. Charla Neuman, spokeswoman for I-1105 called the complaints "baloney objections," and Grygiel reports that the conflict should be over sometime this week and I-1105 will have the green light to collect signatures.