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Lt. Gov. schmoozes before booze privatization vote - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Lt. Gov. schmoozes before booze privatization vote

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley eyed IPAs, started at stouts, and ogled amber ales at a local Harrisburg grocery store to push Governor Corbett's private liquor plan.

A six-pack of Widmer Brothers beer caught the eye of the lieutenant governor as he toured Giant's Beer Garden & Eatery Tuesday morning. Cawley stopped by the mega grocery market off Linglestown Road to make a final PR push before lawmakers talk about the bill next week.

Even for people who lived their whole life in Pennsylvania making 'booze runs' to the corner state store, the idea of privatizing liquor is an idea shoppers like Pat Frese favors.

"I grew up in Pennsylvania," said Frese. "I'm still surprised when I go to another state...whoa! They sell alcohol here."

It's a reaction Governor Corbett is hoping for. He and other top PA Republicans have made rounds to win over state store traditionalists when it comes to buying liquor in Pennsylvania.

"We're feeling very good about our progress," said Cawley.

But on Tuesday he ran into a yellow brick wall. A group of state store employees dressed in canary polo shirts showed up to bend the ear of Cawley. They traveled from all over the state to hammer home how vital their service is to consumers.

"You will not be able to find the same products anywhere in the world as you would have available here in Pennsylvania," state store employee Wayne Manley said.

Many don't agree with Corbett's proposal to shut down 600 Wine & Spirit stores. State workers contend if passed, that will force 4,000 employees to be financially sober.

Frese understand these are hard times but said state workers do not feel the hurt alone.

"Lots of people losing their jobs....yeah. It's hard all over," she said.

Cawely argued the plan would auction off 1,200 liquor licenses, a move he said would double job opportunities.

"Not only these folks employed but, folks who currently aren't employed will have an opportunity to earn a family sustaining wage as well," said Cawley.

What would a photo-op be without a fake purchase of a six-pack of beer? Cawley went through the process of ringing up a Yuengling Light sixer.

"Yuengling Light was a choice by my communications director, he thinks I'm putting on a couple of pounds."

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