I'm double-posting this from my PLCB Abolishment blog, just because it's short notice. Apologies to non-Pennsylvanian readers.
Got questions about the PLCB? Want to know why your favorite wine (or bourbon, Sam) has disappeared? Curious about SLO? Jealous of the towns that have beer sales at their Wegmans or Sheetz? Want to know why the PLCB is training their clerks to be polite? Can't figure out why we have the case law, or why beer is sold in private stores but not wine and liquor? Want to ask Joe 'CEO' Conti just what it is he does? Would you like to hear them defend their very existence?
Itch for knowledge no longer. Both 'CEO' Conti and PLCB Chairman PJ Stapleton will be on PCN-TV tonight on the Call-In show for an hour, at 7 PM. I'd urge you to watch this. If you do call in a question, please be civil. I'd hate to have Chuck Ardo think you were criticizing them for curing cancer.
This should be fun.
Will you be calling in? If so, what question(s) will you bombard them with?
I'd like to ask Conti to justify his position, but I don't want to waste my one shot. I don't want to ask a question that they can simply dismiss with "That's not true" or "We have to obey the laws of the Commonwealth." And I know, from nauseating experience, that there will be State Store employees calling up to kiss their bums: "Just wanted to say that you're doing a great job, and the Wine and Spirits Shops always have what I want! Yay!"
So...if I get to ask one question, probably something along the lines of, if the PLCB's doing such a great job, how come there are big booze superstores right across the borders, and there is no significant difference Pennsylvania and surrounding states on various measures of alcohol abuse? Or maybe just go for the throat: do you have any idea how much Pennsylvania loses in booze sales and taxes to cross-border traffic, and why do you really think people go across the border?
Because I have to tell you, I don't really think it's for the prices. Used to be, but I think that's a straw man these days, the argument they'd rather defend against. It's the selection and the service, and PA just doesn't have it.
"And I know, from nauseating experience, that there will be State Store employees calling up to kiss their bums"
If that's true and they're under orders to do so, that would be downright unconscionable.
Even though only a fraction of callers will likely get through, I hope you all flood the switchboards and the PLCB is informed just how many angry Pennsylvanians called up demanding answers and accountability.
Oh, I don't think they're under orders to do that. They just don't want the idea that 9 out of 10 Pennsylvanians want the PLCB to go away (probably an exaggeration, more like 7 out of 10) to take hold. So they're protecting their jobs.
Ask Joe Conti what value the "CEO" position adds to the PLCB and how it is different than the Chairman's position
Ah, that would be a good one. But I'd rather ask Ed Rendell!
If someone wants statistics to lob at them: I have liquor stores in Maryland that will openly admit OVER HALF of their annual business is from the "Pennsylvania Navy": boaters stopping to load up southbound to the Chesapeake Bay, and reloading northbound. And they're not even the border-side stores--they're stores deep on Rt. 40 or 301 or 1.
When I'm doing some serious cross-border buying, I always stop on the way in, buy up, and drive farther in-state. I have lunch, then come home a different route. The PA SP supposedly isn't enforcing any more, but it amuses me to do so.
Speaking of which... has anyone heard of anyone getting busted for 'smuggling' booze into PA in the past five years? I haven't.
FYI...if I call in, I'm going to hit them up on the case law question, and ask in this day and time, why do they think it is important to have a case law other than to protect the current 3 tier business model in place in PA. I won't be able to watch, but I'm going to try to call anyway.
Your "smuggling" comment is interesting. I always hit the Weaver's on Rt 40 and now State Line is a stop I have to make whenever I'm going to the shore points in MD or DE. I'm more of a beer shopper though. Isn't there a certain amount that you are allowed to cross the border with for "personal use".
If that was you Lew, he seemed to really dance around your question using specifics and citing unspecified "scientific studies." Frankly Delaware is a pisspoor example, considering the size of our border. I'd be interested in the turnover on the Maryland, NY and Ohio borders.
"I always stop on the way in, buy up, and drive farther in-state. I have lunch, then come home a different route."
Man, that sounds so prohibition. Penn really needs to get into the 21st century.
I always do the cross-the-border shuffle, too, and drive farther downstate to have lunch at Harry Savoy's.
It helps to talk out of the side of your mouth in a tough-guy accent, and pretend to hold a tommygun in the crook of your elbow.
But Felicia, do you think Steven's right: this is a bad thing? Living as close to the border as we do, crossing the border to buy booze and have lunch ain't ALL bad...
Oh, hell, yes it is. It would be better to have a great liquor store right beside a nice cafe right here. I can't believe how I've brainwashed myself. There are times when I find myself thinking good things about the case law. Damned PLCB.
"It helps to talk out of the side of your mouth in a tough-guy accent, and pretend to hold a tommygun in the crook of your elbow."
We do not approve of your methods.
Oh yeah, well you're not from Chicago.
Lew, living close enough to some good spots to eat is great, feeling you can only do it when making a run for good booze is wrong!
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