The LCB, Date Rape and assaults on democracy

    With Philadelphia quietly plodding toward a far-reaching reform of its zoning code, we turn to the folks in Harrisburg for some excitement and controversy.

    Start with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, which didn’t need any mis-steps, since it’s under a privatization assault and recovering from its wine kiosk debacle.

    But a public information campaign on the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption went a little too far in imagining a date-rape scenario.

    There was controversy, and our Mary Wilson reported that the LCB took down the date-rape part of its Control Tonight website late yesterday.

    Read Mary’s account here.

    And our friends at Capitolwire.com report that Gov. Corbett’s Advisory Council on Privatization and Innovation had a meeting earlier this week which the public wasn’t notified of and the media weren’t invited to, but which lobbyists somehow knew about and attended.

    “They’re carrying privatization too far when they meet in private to talk about public assets,” said Tim Potts, president of Democracy Rising PA, according to the Capitolwire report.

    The one development from the meeting: the council, which had been directed not to deal with the privatization of liquor sales, will now examine that issue.

    And we’re still waiting for the closed-door negotiations to gerrymander, er, re-draw Congressional boundaries in Pennsylvania. I bring up the G-word because when the legislature did this ten years ago, a case charging Republican gerrymandering succeeded in getting a federal appeals court to rule the new map was unconstitutional.

    The U.S. Supreme Court reversed that decision in a 5-4 ruling which has affected re-districting cases ever since.

    Butler Co. Republican State Rep. Darryl Metcalfe, who chairs the House State Government Committee and is at the center of this process returned my call yesterday. He said he’s working on a plan.

    When I asked several times if improving the prospects for his party would be a goal of redistricting, he simply said, “My end product will be constitutional, legal, and fair.”

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.