LCB Chief Blasts Privatization, But Co-Sponsored it as Senator

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Liquor BottlesLCB chief Joe Conti thinks that liquor store privatization means you’ll be driving farther to buy crappier wine, but he didn’t always think so.

Virtually all price sectors will see a significant increase,” Conti said of House Majority Leader Mike Turzai’s plan to dismantle the Liquor Control Board…

“Can a deregulation proposal that raises a box of wine from $12.49 to $25.38 really be taken seriously?” Conti asked, referring to an LCB study showing that a 5-liter box of Franzia Blush wine would increase by that amount.

First of all, I don’t think anyone is going to be paying $25.38 for a box of Franzia Blush. Setting that aside, it’s worth noting that as a State Senator, Conti co-sponsored at least one measure to privatize the state liquor system. Is that a pair of flip-flops I hear?

About Greg

I founded Keystone Politics in 2004. Now I make stuff on the Internet for a living.
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3 Responses to LCB Chief Blasts Privatization, But Co-Sponsored it as Senator

  1. Mark Wheeler says:

    I dont know where he gets $25.38. That study is bogus. Total Wine and More in Claymont, DE charges $11.99 for a box of Franzi Blush.
    http://www.wineaccess.com/store/totalwine-claymon

    They can keep the state liquor tax, create tons of jobs, give local governments extra revenue through property and business tax, and save consumers money through competitive pricing. The LCB needs to privatize sales!!

  2. JohnRz says:

    Politics works in strange ways Greg. Remember Tom Ridge started his campaign to sell of the stores about a month before this competing bill was introduced. Was it an attempt to privatize, or muddy the waters, before Ridge could introduce his bill? We'll never know for sure, but if you want to talk about a flip flop flip, on Mr. Conti's office wall in a nice frame is an editoriol he wrote opposing privatization back in 1993!

  3. JohnRz says:

    @ Mark. Joe Conti's price may be a bit high. Franzia blush sells for 50 cents more in Pa. than in Delaware right now. His calculator model used the national average mark up for retail and wholesale. Remember there are two levels of mark up in the Turzai bill. Taking a more conservative approach and assuming a total mark up of 30%, same as now, I get a price of only $23.52. That probably won't happen though. Wegman's representitives at the hearing in Hershey testified they get a 25% mark up when they can, and that would only leave 5% for the wholesaler. No, Conti's study isn't bogus, and typical privateer arguements of the "just cause everybody says so" type don't work in math. Get out your copy of the bill and a calculator. The current Johnstown flood tax is $2.25, the Turzai gallonage tax is $10.90. Simple arithmatic.