Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Let the battle begin...

Let the battle begin...



In politics, it's not a real war until it hits the airwaves.

And so it did this week with the push to privatize the state Liquor Control Board, which runs Pennsylvania's roughly 620 wine and spirits stores, as well as those much-talked about wine kiosks in supermarkets.

The radio ad, by the union representing state store clerks, is running in Western Pennsylvania and basically accuses House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny), who is leading the clarion call for privatization, of putting thousands of state employees out of work in these tough economic times. Just last week, Turzai unveiled his bill to privatize both the retail and wholesale operations of the Liquor Control Board.

"What is Turzai thinking? People are hurting out here," a woman's voice states.

"How heartless is that?" she later asks.

Turzai is thinking dollar signs for state coffers - he has estimated that auctioning off the stores could bring in as much as $2 billion (although that number is hotly disputed by privatization opponents). The top House Republican has also said he's of thinking about the majority of Pennsylvania consumers, who have said in poll after poll that they want government out of the business of selling alcohol.

The union doesn't see it that way. In the ad, they accuse Turzai of throwing people out of work so "he can sell all the liquor stores to his corporate cronies."

Needless to say, Turzai, whose bill is expected to be debated in the fall, has said that is simply not true.

But it is ouchy. And it's only July. 

To hear the ad, go to:

Click herefor's politics page.

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About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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