When conservatives love Leno

Photo: Luke Thomas, Fog City Journal

State Sen. Mark Leno is used to facing opposition. His efforts to regulate chemicals, end gender discrimination in insurance, and force cell-phone makers to come clean about radiation levels put him up against some of the most powerful interest groups in the state. He's fought with Republicans over state spending and taxes.

He's not used to getting support from right-wing media.

Yet that's what's happening now: In an odd political reversal, Leno's (eminently reasonable) bill to allow cities to explore extending drinking hours is getting flak from progressive groups like Alcohol Justice -- and support from the Orange County Register and Fox News.

The Register, which hates all forms of regulation, ran an editorial endorsing Leno's bill on the grounds that it makes perfect sense for a world where people no longer always work 9-5. (Oh, and it makes sense because there are two many damn laws anyway and we should let people drink when they want.)

Neil Cavuto of Fox News interviewed Leno recently, and his only complaint about the bill was that the procedure for actually getting a late-hours license would be so complicated that even hearing about it was driving him to drink.

That's the thing: Leno's bill doesn't force anyone to do anything. It just sets up a long, complicated process that might, in the end, after extensive public input on the state and local level, allow a couple of bars in a few limited areas (in cities that want to pursue this) to stay open until 4am, as bars in many civilized states already do.

So while Bruce Livingston, who is a decent guy and usually works on good issues, is running around the state trying to get progressives to oppose the Leno bill, the conservatives who usually vote against everything Leno does might wind up on board.

And wouldn't that be an odd way to get a good bill passed?




power? Hardly the first time, no?

Anyway, who doesn't love Leno's perma-tan? Hot hot hot.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 15, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

I'm pretty libertarian on when bars close. But knowing the forcefulness with which the "nightlife" boosters run roughshod over residential neighbors means that the devil will be in the details. This will just push the contest to the local level and require neighbors to organize to craft rules that anticipate and head off land use conflicts like good zoning should. When I read quotes like this on the petition, it kinda tells the full story:

"2:00 closing is embarrassing for world-class cities like LA and SF. It reduces the amount of night-life fun people can have, and wastes a ton of potential business revenue."

Posted by marcos on Apr. 16, 2013 @ 9:35 am

Oh, and you are "liberal" on bar hours, not libertarian. If you were libertarian on bars then you wouldn't support licenses or set hours at all.

Posted by anon on Apr. 16, 2013 @ 10:07 am

I'm libertarian on this stuff just so long as there are ways to hold people accountable when they begin to incur on the peace of others.

None of that exists and people need to be trained in the responsibility that comes with the authority to be free.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 16, 2013 @ 10:26 am

Being libertarian is trusting people to do the right thing, rather than have politicians meddling.

Posted by anon on Apr. 16, 2013 @ 10:39 am

Libertarianism is predicated upon people being made to take responsibility for their actions via torts.

You carry on all drunk, wake me up and make me late for work, you cover the costs that I've incurred due to your taking of my right to peace in my home.

Otherwise, what's to stop the guy upstream from dumping mercury in the river?

Posted by marcos on Apr. 16, 2013 @ 11:39 am

Frankly, if you choose to live in the western part of SOMA, or at say 16th and Mission, then you knew going in that those are loud, rowdy neighborhoods with a lot of late-night noise.

You cannot reasonably then hope to profit from people behaving exactly as you knew ahead of time that they would.

The idea that you are a libertarian on any topic is risible. You're all about command, control and big government.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 16, 2013 @ 11:52 am

So you support uncompensated takings when the taker is a private party and not the government. You're no libertarian.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 16, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

Nobody is taking away your peace if it was clear when you bought the place that it was a noisey, nocturnal area.

You probably got the place cheaper because it was in a bad area and now you want to change it's character so you can sell for more money.


Posted by Guest on Apr. 16, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

Libertarians value property rights over all such that takings are anathema absent compensation whether the taker is the government or a private party.

If bars are allowed to stay open until 4, then everyone who bought under the assumption that bars would only be open until 2 would see 2 critical hours of the peace they'd bought into shifted from them into the bar owners, as in "ton of potential business revenue."

That shift needs to be compensated for by the bar owners to the residents to make them whole.

You're no libertarian, you're a conservative and a hypocrite.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 16, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

any time. If you buy a place with a lot of bars around, then you KNOW it's going to be loud. You're now expecting to be compensated for your own dumb decision-making.

There isn't a bar within a half mile of my house. I'm not stupid and know the rules could change.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 16, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

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