Three former officials from the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission violated state ethics laws, according to orders released today from the State Ethics Commission that said the men improperly accepted gifts from drillers doing business with the MSAC.
The men accepted gifts such as an all-expenses paid golf outing from a gas drilling company with a state contract, as well as dinners and drinks.
Ok that’s not what happened, but imagine we had a state company that was tasked with selling natural gas, as well as regulating the environmental harms of natural gas drilling.
Democrats would be flipping out over a story like this if it were about gas drilling, but because there’s a union interest in preserving public retailing of alcohol – built-in conflict of missions and all – it’s for some reason not considered a big deal.
The reality is that, in states with private sales this type of thing happens all the time. Liquor store owners get wined and dined by liquor brand execs, and they decide whether to carry their products in their stores. It’s no problem because there’s also an independent government regulator to enforce the liquor laws concerning public health and safety. The independent regulators aren’t getting wined and dined by the liquor brands.