Gov. Corbett trading 5,000 family-sustaining jobs and public safety for campaign cash

Jun 13, 2013, 12:07 ET from UFCW PA Wine & Spirits Council

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvanians finally learned today why Gov. Corbett continues to pursue his reckless scheme to dismantle the PA Wine and Spirits stores and put at least 5,000 of our fellow citizens out of work: it's about campaign cash, according to UFCW PA Wine & Spirits Council.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports today that the Governor's campaign fundraiser sent out an e-mail blast "soliciting cash for the [liquor] fight" asking for donations starting at $10.  The blast laughably cites the 'special interests' that are opposed to schemes to privatize the sale of wine and spirits in the state.

The solicitation preceded a campaign-style rally for invited special interests only hosted by Gov. Corbett behind closed doors and armed guards in the Capitol building.

"On the same day the Governor uses his office and his staff for a political rally, we learn that he's using this issue to raise cash for his reelection bid," said Wendell W. Young, IV, Chair of the United Food and Commercial Workers of PA Wine and Spirits Council.

"The big chain retailers, big liquor, Sheetz and others are the very special interests driving this issue that our allegedly reform-minded governor is complaining about.  It's sad that he has stooped to this level," Young said.

He noted that citizens and state workers were blocked from the rally by armed officers, even though it was held in the Governor's reception room in the state Capitol building.  Young added:

"This is a public building.  It's not appropriate to invite dozens of your special interests friends into your office for a campaign rally and then block taxpayers from gaining the same access.

"Now I know why Gov. Corbett says that he never hears opposition to his privatization plan.   He keeps his opponents outside, blocked by closed doors and armed guards.  This doesn't sound like the open and transparent government that candidate Corbett promised."

A wide array of public health and safety groups and professionals oppose the expansion of the private retail sale of alcohol, including MADD, SADD, PA DUI Association, and Pennsylvanians Concerned about Alcohol Problems, in addition to community organizations such as the NAACP.   Also, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has recommended against the further privatization of retail alcohol sales.

Polls show that a majority of voters oppose schemes to dismantle the PLCB.  The most recent Franklin & Marshall poll found that 57 percent of Pennsylvanians favor modernization or leaving the system intact, while support for privatization has dropped below 50 percent.

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SOURCE UFCW PA Wine & Spirits Council