PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — So far it’s been mostly Governor Corbett and his allies arguing for privatization of the liquor system.
But another side is about to be heard.
“First, Governor Corbett had a scheme to privatize our lottery which the state attorney general ruled unconstitutional. Now Governor Corbett has another scheme to privatize liquor sales,” says the announcer in a new TV ad.
It’s a six-week one million dollar statewide TV and radio ad campaign, sponsored by the United Food & Commercial Workers who represent state store employees.
“We want to bring attention to the public what’s going on with the wine and spirits shops. I don’t think they’re hearing all the information that’s out there,” said Tony Helfer, president of Local 23 in this region.
Helfer says the ad raises issues not yet discussed.
UFCW ad: “This reckless scheme will put alcohol on every street corner and increase crime.”
“Studies are showing that when you have liquor proliferate into the state that the chances of having crime and problems with alcohol rises significantly,” noted Helfer.
Opponents of the governor’s privatization bill say that what people forget is that this is much more than just taxes.
They say on every bottle sold there’s a profit, and under privatization that profit would go to a business company, not to state taxpayers.”
“That loss of revenue over a long period of time has not been vetted out,” noted Helfer. “How is the state going to replace these millions and millions of dollars, year in and year out, going forward? Are they going to cut government services, or raise taxes in other ways?”
But the ad campaign is also about the jobs of those the UFCW represent.
“Some of these very people who are losing their jobs here could end up on public assistance,” warned Helfer.