Booze initiative raking in the ad dough once again

Booze initiative raking in the ad dough once again »Play Video
SEATTLE -- This is a so-called off-year election, but you'd never know it from the amount of money that will be spent on the scuffle over spirits.

Washington has a monopoly when it comes to booze, which is bought by the state from distributors who want to keep their jobs.

Stores would like to buy it directly from producers.

The bottle battle cost the two sides $30 million last year and it's happening again this year.

Costco is the leader of the end the monopoly campaign. They've got a new initiative that will allow only larger stores to sell booze.

The ad campaign is under way. The "yes" forces bought $3 million worth of ads Wednesday. The "no" folks will counter. Is anything really new?

There is one change in the initiative: Small mom and pops, gas stations, and convenience stores wouldn't be able to sell hard alcohol.

"For a store to apply for a liquor license, they have to have 10,000 square feet of enclosed space," said Kathryn Stenger with Yes on 1183. "Also under 1183, stronger regulations governing the sale of liquor."

Opponents say that's not good enough.

"I think what's at stake here is whether the state wants to see a four-fold increase in the number of stores selling liquor in our state and we have a lot of concern about that," said Alex Fryer with No on 1183.

Last year, people voted to keep the state in the liquor business. This year you'll vote again.

"There's nothing out there that tells me I would vote differently," said Zach Gray.

But no one can be sure of that. So the two sides will spend millions. So far, it's already up to $6 million.