Privatizing liquor: Smelling rats
State Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati says there's little Senate support for a House bill giving beer distributors first crack at wine- and liquor-sales licenses and little time to consider it before lawmakers' June 30 recess. The Jefferson County Republican should be saying Pennsylvanians deserve full, flat-out privatization — not half-measures watered down at pernicious special interests' behest.
The Senate deferred to the House on privatization. And numerous groups want to have their say. But United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, which represents about 3,000 state-store workers, remains a major stumbling block — and apparently has surprising legislative allies.
The union hired lobbying firm Long Nyquist and Associates, founded by a longtime aide to Republican Robert Jubelirer, the former Senate president pro tem. And last year, its consulting arm did $1 million-plus in campaign work for, among others, at least seven Senate Republicans and three House Republicans.
Perhaps that's why full, flat-out privatization — which should be a no-brainer for Republicans — still faces such an uphill fight despite GOP control of both chambers and a GOP governor.
If so, special interests defending the Liquor Control Board's statist status quo are taking priority over the public's interests. And no Republican should be complicit in blocking full, flat-out privatization at the behest of a union that for too long has dictated alcohol policies for all Pennsylvanians to protect its privileged few.
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.
- Sunday pops
- Expanding Medicaid: Gov.-elect Wolf embraces a false premise
- The Box
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Pension reform should not be linked to a natural gas extraction tax
- Holiday Gift Club: The spirit of the season
- The Kathleen Kane chronicles: New and serious questions are being raised about the Pa. attorney general
- Obama’s Cuba deal: More appeasement