According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s stunning Saturday story, the scandalous Sultans of Syrah systematically snubbed the state’s Sunshine Act.
Referring to the backdoor government-branded wine and spirits that have brought on the scandal “Vinogate,” the Dukes of Daiquiri regularly held voting meetings that were fait accompli, “with minutes-long public meetings and agendas so vague the board’s chairman didn’t know he’d approved a controversial in-house brand of wine.”
Although the Sunshine Act is specifically designed to allow the public to see the formation of public policy, it appears the law was violated routinely. This included a Dec. 15, 2010 meeting where the agenda listed zero items of agency business, but a vote took place approving the very first in-house brand to compete against privately-run products, TableLeaf wines.
In a great new development, the state Senate appears to be listening. “It appears that … the staff and the board members have developed a way of doing business that is difficult, if not impossible, for an average citizen to follow,” said Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware County.
“Certainly, these issues of how the board operates will be given a fresh look as we work through the legislation for changing the way citizens are able to buy alcohol,” Pileggi said.
Translation: The mockery of modernization under a monopoly of manipulation, mediocrity, mismanagement and malfeasance might move lawmakers to liberate our libations. Until then, stay thirsty my comrades.