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On the United Food and Commercial Workers Chapter 1776 webpage, the Union -- under the leadership of President for Life Wendell Young IV -- says that in 2007, PA had the lowest death rate in the country associated with alcohol consumption. Although their link doesn't work (go ahead, click it, ours does), they are actually correct about this....for 2007. By 2009 Pennsylvania's rate had increased over 25% (Page 87 in the report) and by 2012 had gone up even more (Table 19, Page 78), resulting in a rate 30.8% higher than the 2007 figures the union likes to use. If you imply that the union-run, state liquor stores are responsible for the low rate, then aren't they also responsible for the higher rate?
Just to make things worse for Wendell, of the states with lower rates than PA for the past seven years, two of them are New Jersey and Maryland. (Damn those free privately-run states right on our border...that so many Pennsylvanians use.) You know what all this means? When Wendell or any of his underlings say that PA has the lowest death rate associated with alcohol consumption and they don't add "back in 2007", they are lying.
As president of the PA Wine And Spirits Council, Wendell clearly stands behind the statement when their webpage (which hasn't been updated since 2011; way to stay on top of things, Wendell) says that "State Police investigators have found just two instances in the past six years of wine and spirits shop employees selling alcohol to minors." The only problem (as we pointed out to the state's journalists and legislators back in early 2011) is that the State Police doesn't check the stores for underage sales. NOT AT ALL. So if they "investigated," it was only because somebody else caught them. If you really think that only two underage people bought liquor in a state store from 2004 to 2010, then I have a very nice deal on the Ben Franklin bridge for you: stop by Philly and have a look!
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In fact, let's look at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration report on Underage Binge Alcohol Use. The picture doesn't get much better. Based on the National Survey of Drug Use and Health it divided the country into 468 substate regions. Pennsylvania was divided into 15 of these substate groups. Of those 15 - 13 were higher for binge drinking then the Mean or Median values placing the state firmly in the upper half for worst underage binge drinking and not 7th best as claimed by Fearless Leader.
So there is another one; Wendell lying about safety of children, which he does with some regularity. Have you seen those stupid UFCW commercials that the entire nation laughed at?
When you make a statement that can't be proven, then you aren't spinning, you aren't being misheard, you aren't being taken out of context. You are lying.
I'm sure that the first few months of next year, once the legislature reconvenes, will provide Mr. Young with more time to practice his lies, which is fine. I'll be watching and waiting with the truth.
Remember to write your Representatives and Senators and tell them we want the state out of the alcohol business. Send a note to Governor-elect Wolf too (or Tweet to him @wolfforpa), so he knows this won't go away.