Monday, March 31, 2014

Gypsies, tramps, and thieves.

By now, you have heard that the leadership of the PLCB is full of crooks. We already knew that it was full of incompetence: just look at date-rape ads, buying mom vodka for mother's day, the born-to-fail wine kiosks, computer systems 158% over budget, and who knows how much more that hasn't even been exposed yet. Meanwhile, the CEO, Chairman, and Marketing Director were out having a good time when they should have been working (The board only works 22 partial days a year as it is), taking gifts and then conveniently forgetting to report them. Maybe "conveniently" isn't the right word, since we all know the PLCB isn't convenient. How about we say "on purpose" instead....yeah they forgot about $2000 golf trips on purpose, or forgot about a few thousand in free booze on purpose. That sounds more like it.

While the ethics committee has no teeth itself, they apparently thought that these good ol' boys were just  playfully forgetful....after all, what PA legislator hasn't taken a favor or two or two or eight thousand? So they got caught; just fill out the paperwork and pay what you should have paid -- nudge nudge wink wink -- and everything will be fine.

I'm not sure if our AG saw a chance to make a point, or if she really felt these people should pay more than restitution, or if it made her skin crawl that a so-called public servant would disrespect the citizens as they did, but she at least refereed the case to the Dauphin County DA, recusing herself... since her husband has a $12 million contract with the PLCB.  Nepotism isn't new in Harrisburg but this was a bit to high profile to not be noticed.

As reported in the Intelligencer:
Unfortunately, this type of corruption is a symptom of a much larger problem: the government’s complete control of the sale and distribution of wine and spirits in Pennsylvania. If government bureaucrats did not have the sole authority to determine what alcohol is sold in all the state’s liquor stores, businesses would have no incentive to bribe them with golf outings, fancy dinners and free liquor.

Hopefully the DA can give the people what they want: turn left, convicts!


Anonymous said...

Could you at least find a link I can read where I don't need a $9.99 subscription to The Intelligencer.

Albert Brooks said...

I know they allow some number of free views. Once you use them up I don't know what to tell you - they don't give me any free passes to hand out. I run into the same problem myself.

Anonymous said...

Hey Al,

Can you recommend a good lager? Recently have gotten into trying new brews. I've been a yuengling drinker for years but recently tried moosehead and I enjoy that alot. I only buy by the case at a local distributor, and they can order pretty much anything in the state for me. Suggestions? Nothing similar to an IPA please.

Lew Bryson said...

Try the Sly Fox Helles. Good stuff, and Pennsylvania-made.

Albert Brooks said...

I'm glad Lew took care of you as I am more of a brown spirits guy. If you ever have a question about those I should be able to help then.

Anonymous said...


Jeffrey Johnston commented that he had been following the recently issued Ethics Commission reports and provided his opinion that sufficient policies are currently in place to avoid ethics violations. Mr. Johnston stated that the Liquor Code and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s Code of Conduct have sufficient protections. Mr. Johnston noted that under the Liquor Code certain activities are classified as felonies and suggested that the Board should hold employees accountable to the Code in the same way that it holds liquor licensees and the public accountable. Mr. Johnston then asked the Board to state on the record whether the Board would be asking the District Attorney to look at the Ethics Commission report with the Liquor Code in mind.

Chairman Brion noted that the Ethics Commission reports have been forwarded to the Dauphin County District Attorney by the Office of Attorney General, so the matters are being addressed. Chairman Brion further stated that employees have been informed of their obligations under the rules but also advised that the Board is looking at its current policies and procedures as well as improving efforts to educate and train employees regarding the rules.

Mr. Johnston expressed that he did not believe training and seminars regarding the rules were effective and that enforcement was the only way to assure compliance.

Albert Brooks said...