PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Chris Stigall criticized Republican State Senators in Pennsylvania for attempting to coerce the PA Liquor Control Board to close outdoor beer gardens that have sprung up around Philadelphia for the summer.
The fact that beer gardens don’t need the same type of license to serve alcohol that bars or restaurants do has generated objections from a number of state senators, including some local Republicans.
Stigall rejected their position, which he says is out of step with how Republican lawmakers should be acting.
“You have some legislators in Harrisburg that think this needs to stop, that it’s an abuse of the system. Really, what you can take it to mean is they’re not getting the revenue. They think these pop-up beer gardens aren’t paying their fare share. They’re operating continuously for a window of time, much like a bar would, but they don’t have to pay as much. So the good Republican, Chuck McIlhinney, and the good Republican, John Taylor of Philadelphia — they’re out to stop this,” he said.
But he feels it’s wrong for Harrisburg to interfere with these entrepreneurs in Philadelphia.
“These little beer gardens, minding their own business, they figured out a way to open, sell beer for a few months while it’s nice, nice foot traffic outdoors, and these little pipsqueak Republican Senators like McIlhinney and state legislators like John Taylor, they want their piece of the pie. They want to rough up these little guys who are just trying to make a buck and sell some beer to passers-by. It’s really sick,” he said.
He thinks this dispute over beer gardens is illustrative of a larger problem within the party.
“The problem for the Pennsylvania GOP is people like Chuck McIlhinney and John Taylor…It’s extraordinary, one party rule right now. Republicans runs the House, Republicans run the Senate, a Republican in the Governor’s office. They’re all fighting with each other about who controls the dough. There are Republicans acting Democrat. The McIlhinneys, the Taylors of this world are acting like Democrats — nanny-state, money-grubbing Democrats,” Stigall stated.