Matt Gonzalez, Tony Hall, and Ron Paul

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Photo by Luke Thomas from Fog City Journal

If Luke Thomas didn't have the pictures to prove it, I might never have believed this story, but there they are -- the former supervisor and progressive candidate for SF mayor, Matt Gonzalez, hanging out with his old (odd) BFF Tony Hall -- and libertarian Republican Ron Paul and John Dennis, a Republican running against Nancy Pelosi, at an "anti war and anti-incumbent" rally Sept. 4.

I guess they're all against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. So am I. Dennis is also one of those "federal reserve is the devil" types who wants all of our currency once again backed by gold. I'm not defending the federal reserve here. I'm just saying -- this is an odd crew.

 

Comments

You missed the whole point of the event, Tim. It was about finding common ground with people we don't necessarily agree with in order to focus on the big picture (the war, the economy, among other issues). You're so stuck on the us vs. them paradigm (more specifically, Democrats vs. Republicans) that you hold everyone else back. Did you even bother yourself to read the article (or attend the event, for that matter) or were you just distracted by the pretty pictures?

Posted by Matt Stewart on Sep. 07, 2010 @ 3:15 pm

This was no unity event, it was a Libertarian Republican event to which Matt Gonzalez was invited and spoke.

There is a difference between an individual jonseing for a microphone time and movements coming together as peers.

The US Dollar has run its course as a fiat global reserve currency since Nixon cut it loose from gold. There is just too much wealth to be backed with too little gold, we can't go back. But we can go forward, and part of that is going to involve reclaiming the role of the Federal Reserve and bond investment banks in the form of public credit.

The Guardian supports public credit at the local level. It would look somewhat different at the national level. Paul's flawed inclination on this is healthier than the status quo.

Paul is also right on when he points out that we've got to get a handle on what US conduct might have led to 9/11 instead of framing it as a clash of cultures, they hate us for our freedoms. Petraeus seems to get this at some level, in spirit anyway, when he points out that burning Korans might enrage Muslims in areas where the US is active militarily.

Are Bruzzone and Dennis really against the war?

-marc

Posted by marcos on Sep. 07, 2010 @ 7:23 pm

marc,

You know nothing of the event. You're commenting from your world view alone, with no other evidence. Watch the speeches.

And yes, Dennis is really against the war(s). If his speech isn't enough for you. read his site. He won his primary as an antiwar candidate.

Posted by Tom Paine on Sep. 08, 2010 @ 10:00 am

Matt Gonzalez is one of the few politicians or journalists in San Francisco who is willing to think outside of the knee-jerk leftwing-rightwing box.

He doesn't see the world as eiither (A) the people pining for social justice and equality VS. the big-business robber barons and environmental rapists, or (B) businesses and their employees paying all of the taxes VS. slothful lefties and poor people.

Another creative thinker is Matt Smith of the SF Weekly, who supported Gonzalez's mayoral campaign, and supports the Baview/Hunters Point redevelopment plan. Ditto Jeff Adachi, a fighter for the poor and for public-sector pension reform.

Some people just can't be pigeon-hole by ideology. All power to them.

Posted by Barton on Sep. 08, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

Yes- good point. We need more original political thinkers like Adachi and Gonzales. Enough of the knee-jerk drivel from the left and from the right.

Posted by CJFLowers on Sep. 08, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

There is a difference between political ecumenicism and taking sides in a virulent class war that is eradicating the American middle class.

This does not mean that every article of dogma from the left or right is sacrosanct, but on the merits, boosting the cost of health insurance for dependents of city employees appears to have been pulled out of the ether and is being passed off under the umbrella of a Civil Grand Jury finding when the CGJ was silent on health care costs in its pensions report.

Gonzalez' record has some gems in it, inflation indexed living wage, for one.

But when he's not policy making, Gonzalez has an annoying habit of attaching to extremist manipulative operators, Petroni, Camejo, Chretien, who use Gonzalez' imprimatur to engage in highly destructive conduct.

I mean, Gonzalez allegedly endorsed Krissy Keefer against Pelosi in 2006. But not only did Gonzalez refuse to lift a finger to help her, he scheduled fund raisers for Chretien on the same night and even had his Dorenkott try to rustle up a "run, matt, run" for CD8 at the same time.

Gonzalez has managed to alienate what was his progressive base to the extent that he's extinguished his political viability in San Francisco. You can't start out at the center and reach in both directions, lest you end up like an armadillo on the center stripe. But there are still live microphones on stages before audiences, so we'll continue to hear more about Matt.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Sep. 09, 2010 @ 7:54 am

Republicans savor Dennis and Paul to help takeover Congress in November. Come January, Republicans will not solicit Dennis or Paul for guidance. The party's rightwingers will assure lameduck Obama gets nowhere in his final two years.

Posted by animal on Sep. 08, 2010 @ 6:39 pm

To help give you a better understanding of how things are, you might want to read an article I read on the 8th of September 2010. The title of the article is >>>Court shuts down CIA torture flights lawsuit<<< You can put that title in your search engine. Part of the article says, "On cases involving state secrets the Obama administration has often taken legal positions consistent with those of its Republican predecessor."

Who currently controls congress? The Democratic Religion. Yet we still have the Bush-era policies (many have been expanded upon by Obama) and some Bush-era personnel remain under Obama. So I really don't see how it will make any difference if the Republican Religion replaces the Democratic Religion in November.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Sep. 10, 2010 @ 1:58 am

"...when the CGJ was silent on health care costs in its pensions report."

Just for the record, this is not correct. The June Civil Grand Jury report cited the independent Mercer study that the City has a $4 billion unfunded health care liability. (This liability is growing at $300 million a year according to the Controller's office.) Not sure why many seem to think the City's health care system is in such good shape- it's actually in disastrous shape.

Posted by CJFLowers on Sep. 09, 2010 @ 9:26 am

Perhaps I was too vague. The CGJ did not claim that dependent care costs of current employees was a fiscal problem.

Why anyone to the left of Newt Gingrich would suggest raising the cost of health care to families of city workers is beyond me.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Sep. 11, 2010 @ 1:29 pm

Public-sector workers are being asked to pay $9 (instead of $0) for their own coverage and $259 for their families.

Yes, that is a big increase. But teachers are paying $410 now. Those of us paying for our own insurance independently are paying around $1,000.

Healthcare costs have increased around 15% a year over the past decade. And now it is time for public-sector workers to share some of the pain.

Posted by Barton on Sep. 13, 2010 @ 10:09 am

Yes.

Should Prop B pass, any employee or persons volunteering into the City's health care system (like SFUSD employees) can still buy health care for their entire family for $450 a month under Kaiser- still a helluva a deal.

We have the same pattern with this City. Gigantic unfunded health care liabilities and apply a band-aid- Prop B passed in 2008 asking only new employees to pay more. Gigantic pension liabilites ($750 million in 2014, up from $200 million in 2009) and apply another band-aid- Prop D passed in June 2010 asking only new employees to contribute more for pension benefits. (Prop D doesn't generate $10 million in annual pension savings until the year 2022 per the Controller's office.)

The notion that employee pension and health benefits can be made sustainable with increased contributions from NEW HIRES only and not from CURRENT employees is pure fiction sold by most of the City's elected officials.

Posted by CJ Flowers on Sep. 13, 2010 @ 1:31 pm

Many of us do feel the pain and have been furloughed i day per month for the next two years, gave up raises and do pay into our retirement depending on classification beginning this January as a result of the collective bargaining process that gave back 250 million in real wages to balance our last budget. Pain is what Proposition B is all about and about increasing it for the city's workers. The good news is the worst part of the badly crafted bill that would have frozen worker pay for 5 years if those workers decided to take legal action against the measure has been stripped out. Funny. He didn't use the word progressive but draconian in describing this part of this badly crafted bill.

It is interesting that supporters of the measure minimize the damage they will do to individual workers and their families and at the same time seem focused on making sure we feel the pain, as if we don't already feel it. Minimizing the pain from paying more for health insurance benefits and paying more for our pensions while hoping it hurts city workers and their families if the measure passes. That's a little sick in my book.

Posted by Guest lucretiamott on Sep. 13, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

Lucretia, you now pay NOTHING for healthcare. We are merely asking you to pay a monthly premium. Yes, this will now cost you just over $200 a month to cover yourself and your family.

But count your blessings. You will still be payiing much less than most people. You have job security. You have a job. We are living through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Time for you to buckle-up and make some sacrifices like the rest of us.

We, the citizens of San Francisco, are tired of cuts in services, cuts at Park & Rec, cuts at hospitals, cuts in in street cleaning, etc etc., just because your pension/healthcare costs are rising.

The public does not want you to suffer. We are not sadists. We are merely tired of forking over funds to cover your pension perks at the expense city services.

Posted by Barton on Sep. 14, 2010 @ 7:00 am

...At some point, you have to blame City officials. EIther City employees are just choosing to ignore how massively underfunded their health and pension programs are or City officials are telling them that Adachi is making up the problem. I mean, the health care system is $4 billion underfunded and the liability is growing at $300 million a year. Why would anyone conclude that no additional fundng is necessary...??

Posted by CJ Flowers on Sep. 14, 2010 @ 9:37 am

We are already paying $60 per 2 week pay period for Blue Shield health insurance.

That has risen from less than $10 five years ago.

Our copayments have risen from $5 to $20 in six years. New medications cost $35 per month.

Estimated costs for Blue Shield under Prop B would be about $500 per month per dependent.

Are you saying that this is a more conservative approach than even Obama care, that I will have to go broke in order to keep my current doctor who I like and the specialists who I've seen for years know the state of my health? Will I need to forgo a provider which is proximate to home and transit in order to go to the centralized denier of health care like Kaiser?

Ehrlichman : "We have now narrowed down the vice president's problems on this thing to one issue, and that is whether we should include these Health Maintenance Organizations like Edgar Kaiser's Permenente thing." President Nixon : "Let me ask you, you know I'm not too keen on any of these damn medical programs." Ehrlichman : " This is a private enterprise one." Nixon : "Well, that appeals to me." Ehrlichman : " Edgar Kaiser is running this permanente thing for profit. And the reason he can do it... I had Edgar Kaiser come in, and talk to me about this... And I went into some depth... All the incentives are toward less medical care, because the less care they give them, the more money they make." Nixon : "Fine." Ehrlichman : " And the incentives run the right way." Nixon : "Not bad."

Jeff Adachi, Matt Gonzalez and Richard Nixon, together at last!

Ripping up continuity of care is an attack on quality health care.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Sep. 14, 2010 @ 8:27 am

..."Estimated costs for Blue Shield under Prop B would be about $500 per month per dependent...."

Uh, speaking of "Nope"- this is wrong. Why do you folks insist on posting misinformation when this stuff is posted by the City online??

Under Blue Shield under Prop B and whether you have two dependents or six, the Prop B premium increase is from $545.85 to $765.75 per month- an increase of $220 a month regardless of family size...

Posted by CJ Flowers on Sep. 14, 2010 @ 9:28 am

Adachi and Moritz are lying about the CGJ basis for shifting share of cost onto employee families for dependents, and I don't believe your numbers on this either.

Politicians lie during the heat of a campaign? Billionaires screwing working people? Say it ain't so!

-marc

Posted by marcos on Sep. 15, 2010 @ 11:43 am

Premium increases under Prop B have been posted online by HHS- so not sure what's up with "I don't believe your numbers." You think City employees are lying? That's the classic City employee response to everything - "your numbers are wrong" even when they come from the City. You folks are allergic to math just like none of you will acknowledge the City's $800 million structural deficit. Let me guess - that number is wrong too..

You should take what I posted as good news (assuming you believed what you posted). I believe you posted that under Blue Cross and Prop B's passage, your premiums would go up $500 per dependent per month. Your premium will go up $220 a month in total- certainly not insignificant but a helluva lot less than you stated.

Adachi is not" lying" about a damn thing nor is Mr. Mortiz. Read CGJ findings page 28, E1- CGJ recommended employee "cost-sharing" to tackle the $4 billion (another wrong number?) unfunded health liability You folks just luv to make stuff up and take SF taxpayers for fools...

Posted by CJ Flowers on Sep. 15, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

correction: posted by HSS...

Posted by CJ Flowers on Sep. 15, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

"We are already paying $60 per 2 week pay period for Blue Shield health insurance.

That has risen from less than $10 five years ago.

Our copayments have risen from $5 to $20 in six years. New medications cost $35 per month."

That's a very sweet deal!

I would love to have rates like that. Our pension/healthcare costs to you have been rising by $300 million a year, forcing us to take the knife to Park & Rec, SF General, street cleaning.

Sorry, but we are now asking you to pay (almost, but still cheap) normal rates. I know it will be tough on you, but you have the ability to pay. Ya can do it, boy!

Posted by Barton on Sep. 14, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

Actually we don't have a spare $500 in our monthly budget to cover all of this.

Count me in for Healthy San Francisco, which will cost the City nothing.

Actually, I think that most San Franciscans are not as mean and vindictive as those egging us all on to a race to the bottom.

If you've got to choose between dirty parks and sick kids, you've gotta wonder who's going to screw the kids to death so that some kids might have clean playgrounds.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Sep. 15, 2010 @ 11:41 am

You sound as if city workers are living in poverty and cannot afford $200 a month to cover their your family pension/healthcare obligations.

Look at it this way: That $200 is only about half of what you pay in toll fees driving in from Marin every day.

Stop playing the poverty card. This isn't 19th century Dickensonian London. You are middle-class people. Pay for your own pension obligations so that we don't have to keep paying them for you and cutting city services.

Posted by Barton on Sep. 15, 2010 @ 2:27 pm

marc

Someone brought this to my attention so I am responding now. First of all, why would anybody go back and dredge up this nonsense. This is provocateur behavior. You posted:

"I mean, Gonzalez allegedly endorsed Krissy Keefer against Pelosi in 2006. But not only did Gonzalez refuse to lift a finger to help her, he scheduled fund raisers for Chretien on the same night and even had his Dorenkott try to rustle up a "run, matt, run" for CD8 at the same time."

Gonzalez had nothing to do with the fact that people circulated an online petition urging him to run nor did I. I did sign the "petition" -big deal! Why not? Matt would have been a better candidate against Pelosi. He almost became Mayor; he is an experienced campaigner and would have run a stronger campaign.

Are you suggesting that I have to have permission or orders from Matt Gonzalez to sign a petition?

As it turned out Matt supported Krissy everytime he was on the radio or asked about the campaign. As for Matt doing fundraisers with Chretien; I don't know about any scheduling conflicts, but I do know that he traveled to southern California for Chretien at his own expense, doing fundraisers with Peter Camejo.

By the way, do you remember how much support he gave Keefer on the Green 960 Willie Brown show? Matt was interviewed about the website. He repeated his endorsement of Keefer and said he wasn't running. Somehow this public statement wasn't enough as some die-hard Keefer supporters actually demanded he take down the website as if he had put it up. I guess people making that demand had forgotten how in his mayor's race hundreds maybe thousands of people did their own thing, and didn't do it because he told them to.

This is what you marc can't seem to understand. That people do things on their own and they are not necessarily following orders. Too bad. With that lack of imagination no wonder we can't build a decentralized united front.

Posted by Jim Dorenkott on Sep. 16, 2010 @ 10:30 pm

Now is there anybody who ISN'T 't glad this freak didn't get elected mayor of SF?

"The right is containing the outrage on Obama's left." Wha?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2010 @ 8:11 am

Is Mr. Hall related to Yogi Berra? " politicians who use politics" ranks with "it's so populat no one goes there anymore."

Posted by Raul Mendoza on Oct. 08, 2010 @ 11:28 am