FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
November 29, 1986
The sordid little story of the J & G Tavern in South Philadelphia carries with it a larger lesson concerning the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. It is this: The argument that the LCB is needed to control bars that become outrageously disruptive influences in their neighborhoods is a false one. The J & G case shows that the LCB can't control them - even when it does everything it can. We'll spare readers a reiteration of the tawdry details, recounted by neighbors, of the conduct connected with this bar, and merely give a partial list of the actions that have been taken by the LCB. The board has cited the bar at least 14 times since 1983 for violations of state laws.
NEWS
June 26, 1987 | By Frederick Cusick, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
With a legal deadline looming, officials of the state Liquor Control Board yesterday released a letter sent to all businesses regulated by the agency informing them that they would be "dry" in July if the LCB goes out of existence Wednesday. LCB spokesman Robert Ford said officials hoped the legislature would enact a pending bill extending the life of the agency and the State Store system before the deadline. Even with that hope, LCB officials felt compelled to notify about 21,500 businesses of their legal status if the agency expires, Ford said.
NEWS
March 31, 1989 | By Russell E. Eshleman Jr., Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Six months after a gloomy financial forecast forced a series of cost- cutting moves, the state Liquor Control Board has shown a turnaround in profits, according to figures released this week. The LCB, which controls the wholesale and retail sale of all wine and liquor in Pennsylvania, reported that net income for a recent accounting period was nearly $900,000 ahead of a similar period a year ago. For the four-week period that ended March 7, the LCB showed net income of $837,370.
NEWS
January 7, 2013 | PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
GIVING IN-HOUSE brands it never should have created prime selling locations in stores - an unfair edge over competing private brands - is another way that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board abuses its monopoly on wine and liquor sales. Documents obtained by the Trib via a state Right to Know Law request show the LCB's flagship in-house wine brand, TableLeaf, almost always gets the best sales positions on state-store floors and shelves. In 13 of TableLeaf's first 20 months on the market, it enjoyed one of the top five store spots for sales 17 times - more than any other brand.
NEWS
December 10, 1991 | By Russell E. Eshleman Jr., Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
From the Let's-Pat-Ourselves-on-the-Back Department, comes this: a report card on the state Liquor Control Board by, you guessed it, none other than the state Liquor Control Board. How did the student fare? You won't be surprised. "The results," says the report card's cover, "are impressive. " In what spokeswoman Donna Pinkham called a move to "clarify the misinformation that is out," the state-run liquor agency has drawn up a three-page brochure casting the LCB in rosy hues.
NEWS
November 20, 1986 | By Walter F. Roche Jr., Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau (Inquirer staff writer Russell E. Eshleman Jr. contributed to this article.)
The state General Assembly remained deadlocked yesterday over the fate of the state Liquor Control Board, and Democratic Gov.-elect Robert P. Casey said he was not about to get in the middle. A bill that would extend the life of the LCB was passed, 158-40, by the Democrat-controlled House on Tuesday. But no action has been taken by the Senate, whose GOP leadership opposes an extension of the current system without changes. Leaders in the House and Senate reported late yesterday that there were no immediate prospects for a compromise on the future of the LCB, which could be forced to begin phasing out its operations in less than six weeks if no agreement is reached.
NEWS
January 27, 1987 | By Walter F. Roche Jr., Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Gov. Casey said yesterday that he hoped a bipartisan compromise could end the dispute over the future of the state Liquor Control Board, which could be forced out of existence by June 30. Speaking at an impromptu news conference in the Capitol, Casey also said he would begin detailed work on a new state budget proposal this week. The governor, who took office last week, is scheduled to present a new budget package to the General Assembly on March 3. Casey said he was scheduled to begin a series of meetings today with Budget Secretary Michael M. Hershock.
NEWS
November 28, 1986 | By BOB GROTEVANT, Daily News Staff Writer
Now that the Legislature has left town without resolving the fate of the Liquor Control Board, Gov. Thornburgh is going full speed ahead with his plan to divest. Opponents of Thornburgh's divestiture plan, including the union that represents state store clerks, predict the matter will end up in the courts with a legal battle over the constitutionality of the Sunset Review Act, the state law that allows the Legislature to terminate ineffective state agencies, boards and commissions.
NEWS
July 15, 1992 | by Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
It wasn't just the money or the E&D brandy Joe Brown wanted from the state liquor stores he robbed; he wanted revenge. Brown, 39, a construction worker, was denied a workman's compensation claim last year and was angry at the state. So, the prosecution said, Brown formed a robbery gang and targeted state stores. Yesterday, Brown, of Victoria Street near Elder, pleaded guilty to six of the 20 armed robberies he was accused of in exchange for an agreement with the district attorney to drop the other cases.
NEWS
April 2, 1987 | By Frederick Cusick, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Without fanfare, Gov. Casey yesterday formally announced his plan to restructure the state Liquor Control Board. The key element in Casey's proposal is what it does not do: It leaves the much-criticized State Store system virtually unchanged. The changes Casey has proposed are relatively minor. His plan would replace the three-member, part-time LCB with a three-member, full-time Alcoholic Beverage Commission. And the enforcement of state liquor laws would be transferred from the LCB to the state police.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
March 29, 2014
Sticking to principle Coverage of the Exxon Valdez debacle of 25 years ago reminded me why I have not bought any Exxon gasoline or products (that I know of) since that fateful day of the Alaska oil spill ("Exxon Valdez remembered," March 25). Meanwhile, Exxon has been playing the litigation game by paying its lawyers to contest the penalties levied against the company by the courts. That in itself is a crime and another failure for our environment. Bob Maier, Philadelphia, ttrmaier@hotmail.com Cheap ride Former Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board chairman Patrick J. Stapleton 3d was a neighbor for years, and I castigated him for driving a beat-up car to Harrisburg ("Liquor officials drank for free," March 23)
NEWS
March 25, 2014
WITH APOLOGIES to the NCAA, here in Pennsylvania we got our own "March Madness. " It's the political kind. It's mostly defined as doing the same things over and over expecting different results. For example, we have five Democratic Philly lawmakers allegedly guilty of wrongdoing so common it's part of our Legislature's brand. We should start reading lawmakers their rights along with their oaths of office. Sen. LeAnna Washington faces charges she misused her authority, staff and tax dollars for political gain.
NEWS
March 19, 2014 | By Chris Palmer and Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writers
Three former high-ranking Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board officials violated ethics rules between 2008 and 2012 by accepting gifts, donations, and hospitality from vendors who had business dealings with the agency, the state Ethics Commission has found. The gifts included entry into golf tournaments, meals at upscale restaurants, and, in one case, an engraved bottle of high-end scotch. Together, the items were worth more than $23,000, the commission said in reports released Monday.
NEWS
March 6, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG A high-level official at the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is leaving his $113,937 post days before the release of a long-awaited report into alleged ethics violations at the agency. Marketing director Jim Short notified the agency of his retirement this week, the agency confirmed. Short was one of three LCB officials named in a 2012 confidential report by the state Inspector General's Office that contended they had improperly accepted gifts and favors from vendors.
NEWS
February 28, 2014
"I CAN'T remember the exact name. Mart something. It's a red wine . . . " "What part of the world is it from?" "I think it's from us?" That's all the info Rob Peters needs. After a lickety-split visual scan and a series of quick steps through the Ardmore Plaza Wine & Spirits store, he's got his hands on the exact bottle - a Cabernet Sauvignon from Louis M. Martini out of Sonoma County, Calif. - that his customer is seeking. Peters has been presented with such cryptic oenophilic conundrums for 20 years, and it's his job to field them.
NEWS
February 21, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The state law passed late last year allowing taverns and restaurants to host small games of chance was supposed to be a win for everyone: merchants, bettors, and Gov. Corbett, who is counting on tens of millions of dollars in new gambling taxes. But the numbers disclosed in a budget hearing Wednesday didn't sound like a winning bet. Since the law's passage, only five establishments statewide have even applied for the license. None has been approved. All of which left several senators on the Appropriations Committee in a cold sweat, because the Corbett administration's proposed $29.4 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 banks on collecting $102 million in revenue from small games of chance.
NEWS
June 4, 2013 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The clock is quickly running down for state ethics investigators to complete an inquiry into allegations that top officials at the Liquor Control Board accepted gifts and favors from vendors and other businesses with an interest in liquor regulation. The Ethics Commission launched its probe last summer on the heels of a confidential report by the state Inspector General's Office that described LCB Chief Executive Officer Joseph Conti, former board member Patrick J. Stapleton III, and marketing director James Short as having accepted gifts and favors in 2011, including wine and tickets to sporting events.
NEWS
March 26, 2013
'Why would you ever vote for something that ludicrous?" State Rep. Mike Sturla's question last week was an excellent one if turned on its asker, who was engaged in a vigorous defense of Pennsylvania's deeply ludicrous wine and liquor monopoly. Government liquor control has been repudiated by more than 60 percent of Pennsylvanians, more than 70 percent of regular State Store customers, and exactly 96 percent of these United States. And yet, somehow, 100 percent of Sturla's fellow Democratic state representatives voted to perpetuate the state booze ministry.
NEWS
March 20, 2013 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Call it liquor privatization, makeover edition - and likely the first of many. Members of the state House Liquor Control committee made big changes Monday to Gov. Corbett's plan to privatize sales of wine and hard liquor, toning down the original proposal and making the path toward privatization more gradual. Although it is a scaled-back version of what the Republican governor envisioned, the House panel's approval of the measure - by a 14-10 vote, strictly on party lines - marked a win for proponents, who have pushed for decades to turn the state's 600-plus wine and spirits stores over to the private sector.
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