Friday, February 8, 2013

Conti's Gone, But Still Lyi -- Getting His Numbers Wrong

I'm 95% opposed to privatization!
We've seen how Joe Da Ex-CEO Conti has consistently misrepresented the facts. He said that privatization would end tax revenues; we all know they wouldn't. He said that border bleed was minimal, less than 2% of total sales; the PLCB's own report on border bleed showed it was greater. He said that the PLCB's own review committee approved the wine kiosk program; the PLCB's press secretary had to admit (the same day) that they had, in fact, advised rejecting the program. He fulminated against privatization as PLCB CEO, exclaiming what a bad idea it was; yet as a Pennsylvania legislator he co-sponsored a bill to privatize the state liquor stores...and now denies it.

So when I saw this 2012 interview quoted today in the Shanken News Daily e-letter, I suspected something might be...Contified about it. Here's what Conti said last January about privatization:
In polls, 50%-60% of Pennsylvanians favor deregulation. Back in the ’80s and ’90s, there was much more public support—around 95%—for deregulation. So there’s not the enthusiasm we saw 20 or 30 years ago. That’s thanks to the PLCB’s various initiatives over the years.
As someone just emailed me, I should have been suspicious when I saw "95%". Politicians didn't get numbers like that in Soviet Russia. Sure enough...Joe's lying again. Oh, hell, okay, he's misremembering, whatever you want to call it. Because here's one poll result (an exit poll of 3,223 primary voters) I found from 1986, in an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and it doesn't even come close to 95%:
By slim margins, voters who answered exit polls in Tuesday's primary election said they favored replacing the state-run system of liquor stores with privately operated stores, but they were opposed to legalizing casino gambling in Pennsylvania.
The Teichner poll showed that 54 percent of voters shared Scranton's viewpoint and 46 percent wanted to preserve State Stores. That split was reflected along party lines, with most Democrats favoring the status quo and most Republicans supporting change.
Just to cover both's another one that's quite a bit shy of "95%", from a 1995 Inquirer article:
According to surveys of more than 1,700 people by Mansfield University, two out of three Pennsylvanians - and even more Philadelphians - would rather switch to a free-market liquor system.
Damn, Joe! You did it again! Nice to know the guy's consistent, but holy crap, lying that boldly in a nationally-published interview? I mean, 95% in favor, and the Legislature voted it down? Were we supposed to believe that? So really, support for privatization has been pretty damned consistent for the last 30 years -- and the Legislature has done nothing about it.
By the way..."thanks to the PLCB's various initiatives over the years" takes on a whole new meaning in this light, right? Because the numbers in favor of privatization are higher now, hey, Joe? Rockin' that wine kiosk thing, baby! I'm keeping it real, because you know Joe won't...even as the Ex-CEO. Man, he's gonna kick it when he's back to handle the PLCB emergency!

Why do I bother posting this? Because the anti-privatization groups have no compunction about telling whoppers like this...and no one ever questions them. Don't buy the bullshit!