Stapleton wants more stores open on Sundays, for longer. He wants more wine kiosks in stores. He says he is in favor of home delivery of wine (watch carefully, though: that one promises more than he can deliver). He wants the PLCB freed from civil service requirements so he can hire wonderful people who love wine! It's this program that I think I'm going to call the FDI: the PLCB's False Dawn Initiative. After Stapleton laid it all out, they brought me on to lay it all waste.
You can listen to the show here. I came in about 15 minutes into it, a replacement for Senator Turzai, who's spearheading privatization in the Legislature, but couldn't make it today. Like I said, I thought I did well, but there were so many things I just didn't have time for! Like all this:
- Lack of choice. Not just what’s on the shelf: there is no other option. I actually did get to this one, but Stapleton either just didn't get it, or was evading it. All he wanted to talk about was the selection on the shelf and the "wonderful" SLO system.
- Not enough stores. There are more stores in Delaware, more stores in Chicago alone.
- Lackadaisical service. Your training contract is an admission of this.
- No beer. In most other states, you can buy beer, wine, and liquor in the same place.
- Unfair business practices. The wine kiosks — sad as they are — are only in stores anointed by the PLCB; Jose Garces is the only restaurateur to have a mini-State Store right in his BYOB.
- Unfair business practices II. The PLCB is in charge of regulating a business that is, in effect, its competition: beer retail. However, the State Stores are not subject to enforcement actions by the BLCE because they are not “licensed establishments.”
And that's just the stuff I had in my notes. My main point? Why should we give you all this stuff to act like a private business...when we could just do away with you and have a private business?
We did do a little happy talk at the end: Stapleton and I agreed that the PA Liquor Code needs overhauled. We just see different needs. He thinks it needs to put more lipstick on his pig. Me? I'm thinking about pork chops and bacon for dinner.
Anyone know where I can debate Wendell?