Contact: Gina Diorio, 862-703-6670, [email protected]
PLCB Once Again Drunk on Scandal
Ethics Charges Latest in String of Corruption
Today, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s (PLCB) former marketing director, James Short, faced federal charges that for years, he illegally accepted gifts and bribes from one wine and spirit producer and another broker while playing a key role in selecting what liquors would make it to the shelves of government-owned liquor stores across Pennsylvania.
“The PLCB’s rampant scandals show just why it’s time to get government out of the booze business,” stated Nathan Benefield, vice president of policy analysis for the Commonwealth Foundation. “For years, the government liquor monopoly’s headlines of ethics scandals have sounded more like a broken record than breaking news. The biggest scandal of all is that taxpayers continue to fund the state-run system that invites this corruption.”
The charges against Short include accepting bribes such as meals, golf outings, expense-paid trips, and more from liquor suppliers. Pennsylvania is one of only two states with a complete government monopoly over wholesale and retail sales of wine and spirits, with the PLCB making all decisions regarding options available for consumers.
Benefield added, “This long string of scandals underscores why the state’s liquor monopoly, in which a few bureaucrats control what products Pennsylvanians can purchase, has no place in our state.”
Benefield and other Commonwealth Foundation experts are available for comment today. Please contact Gina Diorio at 862-703-6670 or [email protected] to schedule an interview.
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The Commonwealth Foundation transforms free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish.