The wine kiosks are dead, they've been taken off life support. As I predicted, the PLCB has used their trumped-up charges against the kiosks' hapless creator, the so-called "Simple Brands," as an exit strategy. They are leaving this debacle bruised, battered, smoking, and humiliated, the kiosks -- their bright, innovative idea to give the consumer what they want (that their own people told them was "deficient") -- rejected by Wegmans and Walmart as well as the state's consumers...and what does Joe Da CEO have to say about the whole thing, this 15-month circus of embarrassing failure?
"It certainly wasn't a failure."
"I still think there is merit to the program."
Can we run a drug screen on this man? Because he is not in touch with reality at all.
So where are we...the program was an abject failure (except at making the PLCB's top management look like the arrogant, clueless bureaucrats they are), the PLCB is going after "Simple Brands" for $1.2 million in charges (that the company's lawyer -- finally making comment -- called "malarkey," noting that the PLCB was overbilling for maintenance and hardware) through the Board of Claims (a system Conti admitted was glacially slow, noting that one case took 18 years to settle), and, oh yeah, "Simple Brands" is suing the PLCB for $81 million in damages.
And the PLCB (and AG Jack Wagner, and Senator Scarnati) want us to "take off the handcuffs" of the Liquor Code to let them realize their full potential as a government-owned-and-run monopoly business? Maybe we ought to get out some actual handcuffs.