We could start fixing San Diego by respecting the law, especially the Constitution, especially the First Amendment. The state Alcoholic Beverage Control, as you know, does not allow public comment during its alcohol licensing hearings. So the public is virtually disenfranchised from their government. The applicant, however, and his attorney can speak!

And that’s just one of the many things that could be fixed. But here’s why it won’t: the alcohol lobby is so powerful in Sacramento that the Assembly and Senate will never touch a regulation by the ABC that would limit the number of licenses, to say nothing of the protests that are filed to limit that number. I frequently hear the term “transparency,” but for me that only means that I can clearly see through the subterfuges the state concocts.

Alfred Strohlein lives in Pacific Beach.

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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