Why I Only Tepidly Support PA Republicans

Booze privatization is an measure an overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians support, and Republicans are supposed to be all about free markets and free enterprise, if you believe that kind of thing. So you think there’d be no way in hell, with the House, Senate and Governor’s mansion in GOP hands, the GOP could possibly foul up the privatization of the state liquor system, but you’d be wrong.

12 thoughts on “Why I Only Tepidly Support PA Republicans”

  1. ALL politicians love money and the booze business is HUGE in political contributions and in-kind donations. It is not only a Republican issue!

  2. What’s the story with PA liquor laws? Does it involve organized crime? The laws in PA drove me nuts the 18 months I was there. Had to go to a pizza joint once just to get a six-pack.

    1. Does it involve organized crime?

      Worse, it involves Government. I’m pretty sure organized crime would do a better job. Basically the state holds a monopoly on wine and liquor sales. Beer is kind of a state sanctioned cartel system, where you have to buy by the case from a distributor. Bars, or other places with liquor licenses for on-premesis consumption, are allowed to sell up to two six packs. That’s it.

      1. Touche.

        I want to know, though, how PA became so outlandish. It boggled my mind. It was like trying to buy alcohol in Toronto. A liquor distribution center racket screams mafia and it was always on my mind when I lived there. Then again New Jersey and New York and Illinois would likely operate the same if it was mafia influenced.

        I recall a PA legislator trying to break the state stranglehold before I left in ’10. I guess his hard work failed if it’s still going strong.

        1. Funny you mention that. Ontario is the only place I’ve ever visited that I thought was worse for liquor than PA. At least in PA, I can find places to buy beer at 1AM. In Toronto, when The Beer Store closed, that seemed to be it, except for a bar, which didn’t seem to have carry out.

          And oddly enough, New Jersey is liquor, beer and wine nirvana compared to Pennsylvania. For alcohol, New Jersey is a bastion of Freedom!

  3. “I want to know, though, how PA became so outlandish.”

    Not that the situation should have been all that unique in the nation, but when Prohibition ended there remained a lot of strong Prohibitionist sentiment, especially on the part of the PA governor, who promised to continue to make alcohol expensive and difficult to get. It was also in the depths of the Depression, when a “make work” (via government jobs) mentality prevailed. My father told me that initially, you had to be a college graduate to get a job as a state liquor store clerk. (I’ve never verified that but it sounds plausible.)

    To digress only a bit, a good deal of strangeness in PA is traceable to the make-work mentality of the Depression. For example, auto safety inspection, which for many years was required twice a year, was initiated during the Depression both to make work for service stations, and to force people to buy new cars. But it still survives today as a vestige of those days nearly 80 years ago.

  4. I want to add that the PA governor was Gifford Pinchot, who was both a Republican and a Progressive (party member).

    According to Wikipedia,

    “When Prohibition was nationally repealed in 1933, and four days before the sale of alcohol became legal in Pennsylvania again, Pinchot called the Pennsylvania General Assembly into special session to debate regulations regarding the manufacture and sale of alcohol; this session led to the establishment of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and its system of state-run liquor stores, reflecting Pinchot’s desire to ‘discourage the purchase of alcoholic beverages by making it as inconvenient and expensive as possible.’ “

  5. i don’t know about the college for store agent,but it sure did not apply for secretarys/clerks.
    the control board was my mom and aunts first real job
    she moved to harrisburg from pitcairn where she met my dad.
    so for all my frustrations with the plcb, if it did not exist i would not be here.


  6. “if it did not exist i would not be here.”

    Sure you would. You’d just be someone else. :-)

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