Another LCB fumble: The status-quo stupor
With its latest misstep undermining privatization opponents' arguments, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board helps make the case for its own demise.
Before a public meeting and expecting net income to drop from $120.7 million to $96.2 million for 2014-15, the LCB held a closed-door session about raising its markup from 30 to 35 percent as of Feb. 1. That violated Pennsylvania's Open Meeting law, according to Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel for the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.
Yet the LCB maintains no violation occurred because “there was no deliberation” — despite its agendas indicating such sessions are limited to personnel matters and actions approved at prior public meetings. Privatization opponents contend the LCB is good for the public, but it denies the public's right to know.
The markup increase would address rising expenses. But the power of the LCB's unionized employees means reducing labor costs, as a private liquor merchant would, isn't an option — and plundering the wallets of the customers it “serves” is.
And how is it that the LCB, which privatization opponents portray as a mighty “profit center” for the state, has such bottom-line concerns at all?
Disregard for transparency, susceptibility to union self-interest and impending financial woes all bolster the case for ending the LCB's archaic government monopoly on wine and spirits sales.
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.
- The Thursday wrap
- Obama’s Cuba deal: More appeasement
- Pension reform should not be linked to a natural gas extraction tax
- Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
- Union ‘fairness’: The dues racket
- An NLRB ambush
- Alle-Kiski Tuesday takes
- Sunday pops
- Picking winners & losers: Stop the idiocy