Reports Shed Light on Backers of Wet, Dry Groups in Arkansas

by Lee Hogan  on Thursday, Jun. 19, 2014 4:12 pm  

Jerry Weeks, chairman of the committee, is the owner of 64 E Liquor in Morrilton, according to Conway County Assessor records. Paperwork for the committee was filed June 3. To date, no financial reports have been filed with the Arkansas Ethics Commission.

Also in Faulkner County, a group called They Win, You Lose has formed to oppose Our Community, Our Dollars' efforts there. The committee's treasurer, Camille Boggess, was listed as a lobbyist for the CCLBA in 2012. As of May 31, all contributions to the committee have been in the form of loans from the committee chair, M.F. Dillard of Benton, and the committee is currently in a deficit of more than $400.

In Craighead County, three opposition groups — Local Citizens for Safety and Prosperity, Greene County Beer Association and Craighead Pride — have formed.

The Local Citizens for Safety and Prosperity formed May 8, according to the Arkansas Ethics Commission. Through May 31, the committee has received more than $42,000 in contributions with all money coming from liquor stores in neighboring counties. Local Citizens received $20,000 from PCL Corp., which runs the Poinsett Package Store, a liquor store in Poinsett County. 

The committee also received $20,000 from the Greene County Beer Association and more than $900 from Payless Wine Beer & Spirits, located in Poinsett County. 

D&C Inc., which runs the Country Liquor Store in Poinsett County, contributed more than $1,800 to the committee.

The Greene County Beer Association committee was formed May 15, according to Arkansas Ethics Commission records. As of May 31, no contributions were made to the committee. But the GCBA, a registered nonprofit, contributed $20,000 from its regular operating funds, which went to the Local Citizens for Safety and Prosperity.

The Craighead Pride committee formed, in opposition, June 5. To date, no financial reports are available.

Jacksonville Wet-Dry Battle

In Jacksonville, the battle for wet and dry is winding down. A group called Growing Jacksonville formed in August 2013 in opposition to Jacksonville going wet. The committee is led by Donnie Copeland, an area pastor and candidate for state representative in District 38. 

Copeland told Arkansas Business on Thursday the committee was in the process of dissolving. The decision was made after Attorney General Dustin McDaniel approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow alcohol sales in every county.

Before the decision, Growing Jacksonville received thousands of dollars in support, including more than $20,000 in contributions from Rockport Refreshment Co. The company is led by Nick Pierce, who runs the Ace Liquor Store in Cabot.



Please read our comments policy before commenting.

Latest Arkansas Business Poll

Do you approve of the president taking executive action on immigration?