Friday, November 27, 2015


Here comes the State Store debate.



(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Sit back, hoist a glass and enjoy the coming debate, boss.

BE: Over Libya? The Pres takes to the airways tonight to explain how a Peace Prize winner runs three wars. Should be good.

JB: Nah. Think local. I mean the debate over selling off our State Store system. It's cranking up.

BE: Wait, let me open some wine.

JB: Chairman's Choice, I hope.

BE: None other. Stay thirsty, my friend.

JB: Anywho, the head of the State Store clerks union, Wendell Young IV, speaks at the PA Press Club luncheon in Harrisburg today.

BE: To make his case to keep the cases safely under state control.

JB: I imagine. And he's following testimony last week before the Senate Appropriations Committee by LCB officials who say they're working on ways to bring in more money for the General Fund.

BE: You mean like State Store happy hours with all pints half-price if you drink them in the store?

JB: I'll pass that along. But what they're actually talking about is expanding Sunday sales and allowing 24 Wal-Marts to have wine kiosks so you can buy wine from a vending machine.

BE: I picture half-loaded patrons pounding on machines when their Merlot gets stuck.

JB: I think you have to blow into a breath thing in order to make a purchase.

BE: Well that's why you bring a kid along...Here, Tommy, help daddy buy a bottle.

JB: You might want to bring one to the "Liquor Store Debate" April 11 between House GOP Majority Leader Mike Turzai of Pittsburgh and former House Appropriations Chairman Dwight Evans of Philly.

BE: A State Store smackdown.

JB: Yep. The Harrisburg Patriot is sponsoring it at Harrisburg University and it should be good. Turzai is prime sponsor of a sell-em-off bill and Evans is a pro-union veteran with lots of debate experience after runs for lietenant governor, governor and twice for mayor.

BE: Evans should have the upper hand, no?

JB: When I asked him if Turzai was going down he said, "And if he keeps talking, he's goin' in three. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."

BE: I like stingers.

JB: Well, get there early. And bring your own mixers. Grrrrr.

Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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