GOP Assembly hopeful Russ Finley is hoping Liquor Law violations from over a decade ago will sink his principle opponent.
Mr. Finley called the HOTLINE and also emailed us copies of the citations and pleadings in several SLA actions against the Brass Rail Tavern in Oneonta, owned about 12 years ago by GOP frontrunner John Byrne.
The citations include after hours sales, underage sales, unlimited drink deals and improperly certified security guards...
All par for the course in the industry and long enough ago not to dissuade party leaders and the press from supporting Mr. Byrne two years ago when he nearly beat Assemblywoman Addie Russell.
However some of the SLA allegations involve pouring cheap liquor in bottles indicating more expensive brands. Also there are allegations of pouring draft under false labeling.
Now I know enough about SLA actions and how they originate...It's not always as it seems or is portrayed...But the bottle swapping is not something that plays well in a political context.
This story simmered beneath the surface last time, but the media was pretty intent on seeing Ms. Russell go... This time, it's not that way, but I still don't think old bar allegations from so long ago will get traction.
Sometimes SLA action is an indication of character and practices, but it can also be fueled by petty complaints from rivals and strident action by local governments.
All said, I'd hate to be running for office defending against these issues, and if I'd been cited for pouring Old Crow into a Jim Beam bottle, I'd surely have calls for a probe to be launched.