Thursday, July 30, 2009

Didja Ever Doubt It?

Remember this?
Next call: is there any patronage on the wine kiosk contract, anything that might benefit anyone related to someone at the PLCB, or the Governor's Office? (Does this guy know something?) Conti ducks it by saying it followed the same track as the courtesy contract, a track that he already questioned the effectiveness of, but said it was legal. you heard it here: Conti is implying that there is no questionable connection between the PLCB or the Governor's office and Simple Brands LP, James Lesser president, of Bala Cynwyd, the only bidder on the contract, according to news stories on this project.

Now read this. Pittsburgh's ABC affiliate, WTAE, breaks the story: there is a Rendell-Simple Brands connection. "Two of the main investors with Simple Brands have given Rendell nearly a half-million dollars in campaign contributions." And Joe "CEO" Conti is right in there pitching it.
[WTAE reporter Paul] Van Osdol: "Any concerns about the perception that might be created from something like this?"
Conti: "As I said, of course, we're concerned about the perception. We understand the nature of your question and we understand why you're here today, but we think we -- in an abundance of caution -- went through a very fair and open bidding process."
Van Osdol: "Was it really fair if there was only one company that responded, and that company was the one that made the original proposal?"
Conti: "It was a very fair and open bidding process."

Sound familiar? Sound just like the "courtesy contract" the PLCB awarded to the company owned by the husband of a PLCB regional manager?

What does it take? How long are we going to continue to put up with this crap? We're told one of the reasons that privatization is a bad idea is because private businesses often defraud the government. Hello? Obviously that argument's a wash.

The kiosk idea is a dopey one -- stick your whole arm into a machine to buy a $15 bottle of wine? -- and the kiosk contract stinks like roadkill in August. It's time --past time to write your legislator and demand that privatization of liquor and wine sales in Pennsylvania be put on the legislative calendar immediately -- or at least, as soon as they've managed to pass a damned budget. The system is antiquated, the system is stupid, the system is corrupt...but worst of all, the system does not serve the citizens of the Commonwealth. The PLCB Should Be Abolished.

"Unless and until there is a general hue and cry, it is very unlikely there will be a privatization initiative that succeeds." -- John E. Jones III, former PLCB chairman.


Anonymous said...

I really don't know what to say, except it doesn't sound like PA has any plans to ever shed itself of its shady past.

Did you read the citypaper article about the soccer stadium in Chester?

Anonymous said...

To that liquor store employee who wants to sell them and buy a store, what do you think now with all the corruption it would be the people that give the most money to the candidates that get the stores! you have NO CHANCE TO GET ONE! It would be big money people and friends of the polititians.

1WineDude said...

All of this, and they can't pass a budget, either! :-)

Anonymous said...

Time for a revolt- you the people have the stronger voice, you must contact your district sen. or rep and tell them how you feel, I have done that already time and time again, and I will keep doing it until the state gets out of the wine and liquor business. Their are more people than their are sen. or reps, so start e-mailing or writing letters and continue to attack the system, until the system gives in. from state store employee

sam k said...

I should have known you'd be on this post haste! Another great (and once more, depressing) example of how politics plays out in the Commonwealth, so let's get the politics out of the booze business!!

Anonymous said...

This state employee must really be popular in his/ her store, to be willing to throw the job away not only for him/her but for the people he /she works with. To help ruin the peoples lifes so that some rich corporation or govennors friend can make millions,and you can get booze 24/7 it just wrong! I for one would question the values of such a person to intentionaly try to ruin the lives of he/shes fellow employees.I wouldn't want that person working with me in my line of work, while this person is intitled to their opinion on the state of their employer to hurt the people you work with because of your hatred for you job is wrong!

Lew Bryson said...

Really? I'd say it was pretty courageous to put the betterment of the Commonwealth ahead of your own job security. Then again, maybe this person realizes that with privatization they might be able to get their own store. You need to take a bigger picture on this; I've said all along that the State Store Systems employees are the most difficult part of this. How do we watch out for their interests?

Anonymous said...

But really lew this person, thinks they really could get a store, are you kidding !Didn't you just write about who got the kiosk contract all the govenors friends have them! Imagine who of the govs friends are waiting in line for those stores and the walmarts ect this person is dreaming! Im just saying would you work with this person he/she is willing to stab his fellow employees in the back outta spite, or a dream of greed! Who really believes he is doing this for the good of the state of pa, nobody with a family would ! nobody with a regard for other co-workers would ! Frankly nobody would ever do away with their job so the state can waste the money and then tax us for the money when they come up short! Hey it might be better in theory but with harrisburg handling that money i have my doubts!

Lew Bryson said...

You're taking a pretty twisted and dim view of things. You don't know why the other person is supporting privatization -- yet you assume the worst -- and you don't know what will happen under privatization -- yet you assume the worst. I prefer to think that things will get better. You may think that's naive, but I can't live with thinking the way you do. I'm going to keep yelling -- and there are louder voices in the press that will too.

Have a good one.