As House Majority Leader Mike Turzai offers testimony to the House Liquor Control Committee regarding his plan to privatize the Commonwealth’s wine and spirits locales, the United Food & Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) has taken to the airwaves yet again in an effort to build opposition to the plan.
Less than two weeks after launching a critical radio ad in Turzai’s district ,John Micek is reporting over at Capitol Ideas, the UFCW is running a nearly identical spot targeting some of Turzai’s GOP colleagues. Among them is Lehigh County’s Justin Simmons, whose support for privatization is deemed “heartless” in the ad.
“I don’t know about you, but I think it’s ridiculous to talk about getting rid of the stores,” the voice in the ad says. “They bring in over half a billion dollars a year for our state’s budget! More than 5,000 people work at the wine and spirits stores, supporting their families. And they do the best job of keeping alcoholic beverages out of the hands of our kids.” The spot concludes by encouraging Simmons (and the UFCW’s other GOP targets) to create jobs, not attempt to “sell the liquor stores to his corporate cronies.”
The union represents roughly 5,000 employees working on state wine and spirits outlets.
On the eve of Wednesday’s hearing State Representative John Taylor (R-Philadelphia), chair of the House Liquor Control Committee, told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review that Turzai’s measure is a “blockbuster.”
“I support taking a look at all the options,” Taylor said. “The philosophy of us being in the liquor system is not a sound one, but we are.”