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Likely LG Hopeful Morganelli Takes Aim at Liquor Privatization

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John Morganelli

Potential Democratic lieutenant governor candidate and current Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli held a press conference this morning at the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg to discuss Gov. Tom Corbett’s liquor privatization plan.

Morganelli opened his remarks with an anecdote about a 19-year-old who lost control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, killing himself and two 18-year-old passengers. The anecdote referenced his experiences as district attorney to prosecute a woman for allowing teenagers to consume alcohol in her home.

Through this anecdote, Morganelli explained his opposition to Corbett’s liquor privatization plan, which he said will lead to an unsafe access to alcohol by young people.

“I come here today to speak out against Governor Tom Corbett’s proposed privatized liquor sales plan which, in my opinion, puts private business interests and their profits above the safety of our young people in Pennsylvania,” Morganelli said. “At a time when we continue to struggle with a weak economy, it is mind boggling that one of Governor Corbett’s top priorities is to allow alcohol, including hard liquor to be more accessible and available to our young people which will clearly put them in harms way.”

The Commonwealth Foundation, a free-market think tank, rebutted Morganelli’s claims and said that the “social harms” that he references were contradicted by evidence.

Nathan Benefield, director of policy analysis for the Commonwealth Foundation said that Morganelli was employing a scare tactic used commonly by opponents of privatization.

“The idea that private liquor sales will increase social harms is a worn-out scare tactic of privatization opponents,” Benefield said in a release. “The truth is Pennsylvania currently ranks higher than the national average in accidents related to DUIs according to MADD—despite 80 years of the state government’s total control over alcohol sales.”

Although unannounced, Morganelli has been considering a run for lieutenant governor for several months and has been conducting himself as a candidate. He ran for Pa. Attorney General twice since 2000.

Joining Morganelli in the considering but unannounced category for lieutenant governor are State Sen. Larry Farnese (D-Phila) and State Rep. John Galloway (D-Bucks).

If he announces, he will face Harrisburg city official Brenda Alton, former Rep. Mark Critz, Harrisburg city Councilman Brad Koplinski and Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith.

6 Responses

  1. I disagree with Morganelli on his opinion re privatizing liquor sales. Gov’t has no right to be involved in business (or education or healthcare, etc.!) and have proven this to be true time and again.

    I do, however, think Morganelli would be a good choice as Lt. Governor. Galloway?! Is that a joke?

  2. Drunk driving isn’t about where you buy your booze . Pa state stores isn’t about whether state should or shouldn’t be in liquor business. It’s about financial sense. If we were starting a new state today I suppose we may just go private, but we aren’t starting a new state we are in an aging state where income don’t come easy. Pa State stores are a revenue source and a one time sell off is a long term mistake.

  3. This seems like one of the most ludicrous and out there press conferences in recent memory. He was the only one there? What the KSJW said is true, his anecdotal evidence pins the blame on the LCB.

  4. So the PLCB’s distribution of alcohol was responsible for the DUI deaths of three minors? How is that supposed to support the need for state liquor control?

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