DAILY GRINDER: Liquor Control Board Under Attack For Promoting Own Brands

A graphic from anti-PLCB group the Commonwealth Foundation

Graphic from anti-PLCB group the Commonwealth Foundation

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board spent $474,600 to advertise its new in-house state brands of alcohol. Such moves by the LCB (whose chair, Joe Conti claimed he was “99 percent sure” no LCB money was spent to promote or develop the brands) have come under attack by business groups, government watchdogs, and, well, everyone else, always. Those brands the LCB spent taxpayer cash on include TableLeaf, Dialed In, LA MERIKA, Hayes Valley and Las Parcelas. Oddly, they did not spend money on two brands called Vinestone and Copper Sun Vodka.

City Council was able to restore about $10 million in cuts last week, including $2.5 million for Parks and Recreation and $200,000 to Mural Arts.

Council also gave unanimous support to a plan last week which allowed the government to seize two dozen properties in Point Breeze. It’s apparently been done so developers can’t come in and continue building up the area.

Several fans who went to the Electric Factory to check out the band “Zed’s Dead,” overdosed and had to be taken away from the venue in ambulances on Saturday night. The venue says they will have a “definitive solution” sometime today.

Linda Kerns, co-chair of the Southeastern Pennsylvania chapter of the Republican National Lawyers Association, wrote an op/ed this weekend all about how Republicans fared on Election Day in Philadelphia—and how they had to battle Philadelphia Democrats to allow their poll workers access this year. “Would the placement of Republican poll watchers have made any difference in President Obama’s landslide win in Philadelphia? Obviously not. However, in between presidential years, the city holds three general elections and three primaries. Turnout can be about 20 percent, and some races are decided by razor-thin margins. A couple of stolen votes, in just a few of the more than 1,600 voting precincts, could change an outcome.”

Philly is on track
to post a higher homicide rate than 2011, and this past weekend was one of the bloodiest of the year. There were two fatal shootings on Saturday afternoon and four more that night/Sunday morning.

State Rep. Mike Fleck, a Republican lawmaker from Central Pennsylvania, has told his local newspaper that he’s gay, which makes him Pennsylvania’s and the greater Republican party’s first openly-gay lawmaker. “I wanted to live a normal life and raise a family,” Fleck told the Daily News of Huntingdon County. “I also believed that by marrying, I was fulfilling God’s will and I thought my same-sex attraction would simply go away.” Fleck split with his wife last year and worked as the district executive of the Boy Scouts of America from 1999 to 2004. He also told the paper: “I engaged a secular therapist who told me point-blank that I was gay and that I was too caught up in being the perfect Christian rather than actually being authentic and honest.”

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