The issue is actually pretty byzantine and difficult to understand, but the upshot is very clear: the director of a government agency is working directly with a lobbyist to change Oregon law. The effect was even more malign than secret collusion; Rep. Jason Atkinson said that Pharo and his employees at the OLCC of lying about the issue.
Documents surfaced this week that show frequent communication between Paul Romain, who represents beer and wine distributors, and Steve Pharo, director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. In them, they discuss how to block a bill that would benefit Grocery Outlet while taking business away from the distributors.
The whole thing is emblematic of what's wrong with the OLCC. It's an unnecessary agency that wields enormous power, often capriciously, and can pick winners and losers in the private sector. Add to that an element of corruption, and you have the trifecta of dysfunctional. I've argued before that we need to kill the OLCC and start over. This makes the case clearer than ever. Get rid of this malignant agency.