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Mass. Treasurer Gets Money From Liquor Industry

State Treasurer Steve Grossman has accepted $45,000 in political contributions from an industry his office regulates.

Grossman accepted the money at a fundraiser this month from package store owners, bar owners and liquor distributors.

The donations represent nearly one quarter of the entire $187,000 Grossman has raised since he took office in January.

His office oversees the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, which has broad powers to regulate and control the sale, distribution and consumption of alcohol in Massachusetts. It is often the final appeal on license suspensions imposed by local authorities and enforces liquor franchise agreements.

To WBUR, Grossman maintained that he's independent.

"My office and I [are] accessible, but at the end of the day when I make a decision, it's going to be focused on the most important priorities of the commonwealth."

A spokesman for the Treasurer's office tells The Boston Globe the contributions are allowed under state campaign finance and ethics laws, and no one will get special treatment in exchange for donations.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

This program aired on September 30, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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