The LCB: Shhhhhh! Secret!
Among the Liquor Control Board's worst disservices to Pennsylvanians is its lack of transparency in running the state's archaic wine-and-spirits monopoly.
The LCB's twice-monthly meetings often last only 15 to 20 minutes. A Trib analysis of LCB meeting records covering nearly three years and attendance at meetings also reveals little, if any, public discussion before nearly always unanimous votes.
Those are signs of real decision-making done outside public view and merely ratified at public meetings. Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware County, says it is “difficult, if not impossible, for the average citizen to follow” LCB business.
The LCB's Sunshine Act shortcomings are evident in its latest venture into in-house, private-label brands that compete with private-sector brands. Those in-house products were approved at public LCB meetings — but agendas and minutes show LCB members didn't know specifically that they were voting on private-label brands.
Chairman Joseph “Skip” Brion admits to routine, nonpublic meetings involving LCB members and staff. And records also show regular “notational votes” taken outside public LCB meetings — Sunshine Act violations if done to avoid public votes.
The LCB's lack of transparency is a symptom of its arrogant, government-knows-best approach — which desperately needed privatization would cure.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pennsylvania trooper killed in ambush to be laid to rest
- Allegheny police seek non-custodial dad, missing 4-year-old son
- Video posted online captures Wilkinsburg child’s injuries
- Pirates hit 3 HRs in rout of Red Sox
- Steelers defense a long way from ‘greatest of all time’
- Donegal Township families fight driller to get clean water
- Chevron gets first OK from Pa. sustainable drilling group
- Pirates notebook: Castillo’s debut underscores challenges in Cuban market
- Strong rip currents kill 2 men in Ocean City
- Number of jobs in high-tech industry outpace workers in Pittsburgh, nation
- Starkey: Two amazing Pirates fans