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Opinion » Letters to the Editor

OLCC Still Doesn't Get It

The Jason Evers story was interesting, and with all the side drama about identity theft, etc., the spotlight was on Jason and less so on OLCC (Oregon Liquor Control Commission).


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The "Jason Evers" story was interesting, and with all the side drama about identity theft, etc., the spotlight was on "Jason" and less so on OLCC (Oregon Liquor Control Commission). I think that, although understandable, the emphasis was misplaced. Here's why: I was in a local wine shop here in Bend where a wine distributor from Portland was pouring his wines. He related a story that while in Portland he was doing the same thing, pouring tastes of wine, when a customer loudly and obnoxiously began to complain that the wine he was pouring was corked.

The distributor pointed out that the wine came from a bottle with a screw-top closure, so it couldn't be corked. The customer continued to complain, loudly, that the wine was corked. The distributor poured a small amount into a glass and tried it to see what was wrong. At that point, he related, two OLCC agents came forward and ticketed him for drinking while pouring, a violation of OLCC rules. It turns out that the guy complaining about the wine was asked to do the complaining by the OLCC agents to provoke the distributor, so that OLCC could judge his response.

This is a new low, or perhaps not. I asked why he didn't escalate this obvious entrapment and he told me that his company directed him to do whatever he was told because they were concerned about OLCC retaliation. Given their entrapping actions, this seems to me to be a reasonable concern.

I guess I would have thought that the whole "Jason Evers" affair would have been a sufficient stimulus to completely revamp and revise the OLCC rules, but I was wrong. Maybe this continuing behavior on top of "Jason Evers" makes the case for change. I hope so.

If this abhorent OLCC behavior promoted some social good, maybe we could put up with it, but this kind of entrapment only serves to show us what a joke these rules and their Gestapo enforcers are.

- John Carney

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