Endorsement interviews: Jeff Adachi

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Jeff Adachi is running for mayor -- and running a campaign to change the city employee pension system. He told us he entered the race late because he was watching some of the debates, and "nobody was talking about the real reform issues."

He talked about his pension plan and argued that it's better for city workers than the plan the mayor (with the support of labor) has proposed. We asked him why he was so focused on one side of the equation -- cutting pensions -- and not on the other side -- raising taxes ont he rich -- and he said he wasn't opposed to new taxes. But he didn't offer any specifics.

He did, however, say he would set aside $40 million for micro loans to small local businesses, fully fund the Youth Works program and summer school and create partnerships with wealthy individuals to build affordable housing.

You can listen to the interview, and watch his opening statement, after the jump.

Adachi by endorsements2011

You can watch a video of Adachi talking to us here:

 

Comments

More than 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years. How does plowing public dollars into an at best 50/50 proposition materially differ from current small business incubator programs?

Where are Lee and Adachi when it comes to capitalizing cooperatives the way that the precursor to the MOEWD capitalized Rainbow Grocery 40 years ago?

Posted by marcos on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 10:19 am

doesn't speak volumes for your idea that an unemployment rate in the teens can be solved by more of the same.

WholeFoods has gone global while Rainbow has done nothing other try a little too hard to look hip and earnest.

And anyway, I didn't say anything about "small business". We also need "big business".

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 10:59 am

Rainbow is sustainable and can be used as a template for sustainable, locally rooted business that economists admit create most jobs in the US.

The problem with Rainbow, for Adachi and Lee's supporters and financiers alike, is that it keeps wages, taxes and profits all local.

Hence, the supply-side policies that support all businesses, any businesses because they create "jobs," of which San Francisco already has too many that don't employ unemployed San Franciscans, extracts wealth from San Francisco and leaves us economically weaker.

Democrats and Republicans alike hate Americans, hate America and are doing everything they can to diminish standards of living for Americans.

Posted by marcos on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

WholeFoods has grown from one store in Austin to an employer of tens of thousands. It now even has more stores in SF than Rainbow, and employs more locals.

Rainbow has grown from one store in San Francisco to, er, oh wait, one store.

The former is a far better model for growth and jobs than the latter. And has created all that wealth for Austen and Texas.

Lee is trying to create that same kind of business climate. And he is actually succeeding having already helped Twitter stay and brought in Fresh and Easy.

No other candidate is even trying. So while I like Adachi on pension reform better, overall Lee is the stronger candidate on the crucial issue of jobs and the economy.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

The ideology of perpetual growth is the ideology of the cancer cell, it is not sustainable and eventually destroys the host.

Why anyone would double down on the failed economics of the past 30 years is beyond me.

Posted by marcos on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

so the fact that you think that free-market capitalism is a vast, right-wing consiracy to keep you down, should not deter the mayoral candidates from focusing on what is concerning voters.

We don't want a mayor who thinks he is going to overthrow world capitalism. We want a mayor who can get the unemployed back to work by encouraging employers.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

Your shit version of "free market capitalism" is well on the way to destroying our country.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

and no foreign policy mandate, I suggest that he focuses on something a little closer to home - trying to bring jobs to SF and creating an environment that will help American workers become competitive again.

The voters have sent the clear message that this election is about jobs. But you wouldn't know it listening to most of the candidates.

Leaving Lee walking away with it, with his pithy message - Ed gets it done"

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

and no foreign policy mandate, I suggest that he focuses on something a little closer to home - trying to bring jobs to SF and creating an environment that will help American workers become competitive again.

The voters have sent the clear message that this election is about jobs. But you wouldn't know it listening to most of the candidates.

Leaving Lee walking away with it, with his pithy message - Ed gets it done"

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

With suggestions for the Puppet Mayor and fact free opinions for the rest of you.

Sorry PaulTea.
Ed Lee takes his marching orders from Willie Brown, Rose Pak.

Ed Lee gets it done alright.
Why, just yesterday he delivered 8 million dollars from the taxpayers of San Francisco to Rose Pak and her Chinatown money machine.

Need to steal money from the taxpayers?
Ed Lee gets it done!

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

as it is compensation for residents in ChinaTown who are being displaced by the exciting Central Subway project.

That pesky thing called the Consitution requires MTA to compensate victims of governmental "takings".

And it goes to ChinaTown because, er, that's where CS is going.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 6:50 pm

S.F. agency to pay Chinatown group in subway deal
Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross, Chronicle Columnist

"As part of the Central Subway deal, San Francisco's cash-strapped Municipal Transportation Agency will give $8 million to the politically connected Chinatown Community Development Corp. to help build an apartment complex."

"Gordon Chin, outgoing head of the Chinatown nonprofit, called it a "win-win deal" benefiting both the subway project and city's affordable housing program."

"it's hard to overlook the Chinatown group's connections to longtime powerbrokers such as Rose Pak and the administrations of Art Agnos, Willie Brown, Gavin Newsom and now Lee."

"It turns out that the Mayor's Office of Housing finalized the $8 million commitment last spring - not long before Chin became co-chairman of the "Run, Ed, Run" committee that helped persuade Lee to seek a full term."

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

Show me exactly where it says 8 million dollars of taxpayer's money "had to be paid" for a development project run by Gordon Chin.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

San Francisco has 500,000 more jobs than residents while the unemployment rate in San Francisco is approaching 20%.

The problem is not the number of jobs but how jobs don't relate to San Francisco's workforce.

Posted by marcos on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 7:15 am

Marcos, few things you've said indicate how out of touch you are than a remark like that. You seem to be saying that the economy of SF should change to match the "skills" that the adult population just happens to currently have.

That's not how the real economy works. If there are 10,000 carpenters in SF, businesses don't sit down and try and plan how to hire 10,000 carpenters.

It's the exact other way around. The market decides what businesses are viable here, and then the population adjusts it's skills to fit. People apply for jobs - jobs don't apply for people.

So if there's only jobs for 5,000 carpenters but we have a shortage of electricians, then either the chippies retrain as sparks, or they leave for another place, to be replaced by an influx of electricians.

The marketplace is dynamic. And it's the people who have to adapt, not vice versa. We're competing with other cities and I guarantee you nowhere else thinks like you do on this.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 7:30 am

Then you've made the case against any government intervention in the economy period, as you argue for supply-side interventions that guarantee economic rent to corporations that buy elected officials.

In the old school model, where citizens are the democratic sovereigns, government represented their interests and adopted public policy interventions that coerced the economy to provide for them.

The market place does not work, the labor market is the opposite of a perfect market, and the economy, in case you've not noticed, does not work as libertarians claim either.

How about reading some economic and political history before you spout off Chicago School dogma that history has since proven more than false?

Posted by marcos on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 7:47 am

The people on the right and left who complain the most about the state, want to state to run things.

It is quite interesting how this all plays out.

Posted by mtlock on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 8:46 am

I'd give up the social welfare state if those with property would give up the corporate welfare state. But so long as the state enforces property rights of the corporate super rich just as it enforces property rights of the individual, then the social safety net is essential.

Posted by marcos on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 9:48 am

how the State can take over the economy. I'm sure you have more stamina than I for debating that anyway.

The voters say the #1 issue is jobs. And they want real jobs, not makework, pity projects or higher borrowing and taxes to pay people to dig and then fill in holes.

So, again, how will Adachi attract voters for whom jobs are key? His pension plan is a good start. But I'm struggling to see the meat of how he's going to help business.

While if you think he shouldn't be pro-business at all then you should state very clearly, on Adachi's behalf, that it isn't important, and instead Adachi should be paving the way for a post-capitalist America.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 9:53 am

Industrial policy like you describe, nothing less than socialism, pure and simple, to create jobs needs to not just create jobs but to create jobs that are needed to employ residents of a jurisdiction that is adopting that industrial policy.

Posted by marcos on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 10:00 am

When losing, obfuscate, I guess.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

Very good to see you back posting here Marcos

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

government loans, especially since they often come with red tape. Business doesn't need anything from government other than for it to get out of the way.

If Adachi wants to spend 40 million encouraging business, then he should simply reduce payroll taxes by 40 million.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 11:02 am

Written like a true tea bagger!

Posted by marcos on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

I was not commenting on the merits of the micro-loan idea just making the point that Adachi is not a one-trick pony. Adachi also supports junking the current payroll tax.

But Prop C versus Prop D is precisely why I would support Adachi over Lee. Here you have a real and present problem (biggest problem facing the City in the future imo) and Adachi has a better solution including capping all future pensions at $140k while Lee leaves $195k pensionable income in place.

#1 Adachi

#2 Lee

#3 ?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

serious about the pension issue, and so both have to be taken seriously in the same way that any candidate who doesn't take it seriously should be disregarded.

I'd further agree that Adachi's is stronger on the pension problem. And I'll certainly vote "Yes on D". In fact, I'd vote for something stronger than that, and eventually we'll need to do that anyway.

I'm still concerned about Adachi's liberal past and the real question to me is whether he's really had a "lightbulb moment" and wants to create a fiscally sound, pro-business community?

He needs to convince me of that, while Lee doesn't because he's already doing that. So, if Adachi wants to be a real contender, then he needs to come across strongly as being pro-jobs, pro-business, pro-spending cuts, anti-tax, anti-union and anti-regulations. Can he convince us of that?

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

He just gave away huge raises to police and firefighters.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

emphasized over the other public sector workers. I'll support sworn officers over jobs that could be easily outsourced and privatized.

Posted by PaulT on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

Right now?
We should spend even more money on already highly paid employees?
Because that's what Ed Lee just did.
He carved out an exception for them where Adachi did not.

I don't think you are "serious about the pension issue".
The only thing you seem serious about is giving Ed Lee an online handjob.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

And what evidence can you supply for this claim? Or any other of your claims in regard to what the voters want?

Posted by Michael W. on Sep. 21, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

Class war is only being fought on one side if labor is the only item on the table for cutting and political corruption is attacked with equal zeal.

It is not class war if the sacrifice is shared equitably.

Obama, for one, promised to share the pain and after practicing class warfare against the majority, what little support has not eroded is now evaporating. Many local candidates are adopting the Obama method even as it proves fatally flawed.

Let this stand as an object lesson for those preaching the kind of one-sided class warfare that Warren Buffet admits is underway, "You Can't Win."

Posted by marcos on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 9:32 am
Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 10:53 am

Even in the blogosphere,

It would appear that Marc Salomon has filled Arthur's shoes.

Go Giants!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 11:04 am

There's nothing progressive about wishful thinking, h. ;-)

Posted by The Ghost of Arthur Evans on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

If I were Arthur Evans, I'd not address this at face value, rather would pick some picayune aspect of it and hammer it home in the least accurately representative, most propagandistic manner.

Arthur ceased seeking the truth long ago and descended from a man of letters and radical activist to a cheap political hack. The truth is that the "filth crisis" and the "sit lie crisis" are no better now than before they attracted Evans' attention.

Yet the economic interests behind the wedge issues that Evans rode like a hobby horse for the last years of his life are stronger than than before Evans joined the fray.

I'm a policy wonk, Evans was a political hack.

Posted by marcos on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

Really,

We've just got 53 days til we vote. I'm looking forward to the conversation here between now and then very much.

h.

Posted by h. brown on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

My favorite question during this interview was, "Whatever happened to a progressive vision for city government?" And I have to say, Jeff disappointed me with his answers, which not only fall short on vision, but on specific ideas for solving the problems facing this city.

Still, I listened carefully to the entire interview, and I have to say, the more I heard, the more alarmed I got. Now, there are definitely some good things about Jeff's proposals, like his support for a gross receipts tax and his ideas about giving micro-loans to small businesses (actually not his idea, but a good move, nonetheless). Other than that, he is very short on specifics.

But that's not even what troubles me the most. Tucked away in Jeff's ostensively "progressive" rhetoric are some neo-liberal catch phrases that raise a red flag for me. For instance, he talks about "public-private partnerships" as a way of solving the city's housing problems. And he spoke about taking "a merit-based approach" to running city government. This is the code emanating from right-wing think tanks. It's a way of talking about the need for neo-liberal "reforms" that amount to unionbusting and privatization of public services.

Look, Joe Nation who co-authored the measure with Adachi, is all about privatization. And it appears that that's really what this measure is about. Nation worked for ENVIRON, where he advised Coca-Cola on how to "greenwash" its environmental record, which is dismal. Coca-Cola advertizes it "water stewardship", which is also code for the privatization of public resources (like drinking water).

So thenTim asks, "Why can't SF be a leader? We never had a tax pass and the mayor supporting it." Adachi is vague on this point. He even pushes the false notion that businesses will leave the city if we impose taxes on them. More disingenuous, neo-liberal speak. Still, I have to hand it to Tim and the other interviewers. They really hammered Jeff on this point, but he wouldn't commit to anything other than to say, he supports some reforms in the area of taxes.

So, my question for Jeff is, Do you understand that the people who are backing your measure want to privatize the public sector (i.e. city services) and are rabidly anti-union? Take George Hume, one of the main funders of your iniative. George and his brother William "Jerry" Hume gave a $20,000 contribution to George W. Bush's campaign. They were major funders of Californias Prop 226, which would have required labor unions to get permission from each member before contributing their dues to political campaigns.

The Hume Foundation and David H. Koch are among the biggest backers of right-wing think tanks, like the Pacific Research Institue. (William "Jerry" Hume is on the board of the Heritage Foundation.) The agenda of these right-wing think tanks is clear~ they intend to downsize and privatize municipal government. And they're using the pension reform issue as a unionbusting tactic. Are you aware of this, Jeff? Why are you colluding with these folks? And are any of the backers of your pension measure funding your campaign for mayor? How do you plan to keep their influence at bay once you are elected mayor? (assuming you are.)

Look, I have nothing against Mr. Adachi. I think he's a great public defender. However, I'd like to close with this quote by Robert Scheer, as a word to the wise~

"And the guys who did it to us, they weren’t those vicious right-wingers. And, you know, it wasn’t all the people that we liberals like to attack. It was our friends. Let’s get that straight, you know? It was our friends. It was people, you know...who claim to be liberal Democrats." ~Robert Scheer, "The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street"

Posted by Lisa on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

You wrote this as if you were genuinely interested in voting for Adachi when in reality, you were mining for something to support another one in a series of your anti- Adachi rants. That's fine- nothing wrong with that - but don't insult our intelligence that you were actually thinking about voting for the guy...

My favorite comment is that you were offended by the suggestion of a "merit- based approach" to running City government- that's classic. Gawd forbid we filled a pothole.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 9:05 pm

I never said that. But I'm willing to hear to what he has to say. And I did just that for one mind-numbing hour. In fact, I listened very carefully to the entire interview. I even took notes. Do you have a problem with an SF voter questioning the candidates on their policies/ vision? I'm being honest about my reaction, that's all. I'm sorry if that bothers you, but that's my right as a voter and an engaged citizen.

Posted by Lisa on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

My bad- should not have popped off if you actually listened to the whole thing and took notes...Gee, I think I'm engaged in this stuff..

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

no worries. hopefully the next mayor will fill a pothole or two...& tax the hell out of the rich ;-)

Posted by Lisa on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

to cops and firefighters shows us that Lee is "serious about the pension issue "

Lee is not "serious about the pension issue".
He just gave away huge raises to police and firefighters.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 6:36 pm

...rammed through by Ed Lee - it was a disgrace.

Earlier in the year at a BOS meeting it was reported that SF fire is paid 35% more than their Bay Area counterparts and they were given more. Cops are highest paid in the country and are now double-dipping- they were given more. Of course, all this would be fine if the City has the money but it doesn't. But of course Ed Lee needed that critical endorsement.

The usual corrupt bunch sold this deal as, if you give cops a 3% raise and increase their pension contribution 3% (of course, just for two years) well, it won't cost taxpayers anything - wrong. It costs $125 million (pension outlays) over first ten years $200 million plus after 20 years.

There are of course, other bad omens for the City's fiscal future in yesterday's deal- at least it will be fun to cite them when the City is bankrupt.

Ed Lee may be a lot of things but for someone to comment that he is "serious about pension reform" is laughable. Too bad the timid SFBG doesn't even bother to write about these MOU deals- too much math I guess...

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

S.F. agency to pay Chinatown group in subway deal
Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross, Chronicle Columnist

"As part of the Central Subway deal, San Francisco's cash-strapped Municipal Transportation Agency will give $8 million to the politically connected Chinatown Community Development Corp. to help build an apartment complex."

"Gordon Chin, outgoing head of the Chinatown nonprofit, called it a "win-win deal" benefiting both the subway project and city's affordable housing program."

"it's hard to overlook the Chinatown group's connections to longtime powerbrokers such as Rose Pak and the administrations of Art Agnos, Willie Brown, Gavin Newsom and now Lee."

"It turns out that the Mayor's Office of Housing finalized the $8 million commitment last spring - not long before Chin became co-chairman of the "Run, Ed, Run" committee that helped persuade Lee to seek a full term."

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

Really,

Thus far anything Jeff's said has gotten a nasty response from Tony Winnaker. That's not 'civil' in any sense and if Lee really wants a 'civil' discussion he needs to back off his attack dogs. And, debate Adachi. Trust me, once Herrera has emptied just a couple of more of his, 'Ed Lee/Willie Brown/Rose Pak files into Matier and Ross' lap Ace Brown will be begging Adachi to give them some face time.

See BOS Public Comment yesterday? Ed Lee backer, Charley Walker (did time for being a front for white truckers) and his people threatening library reformer, James Chaffee as a "white m...ther ... f...uck..r!". These are Willie Brown's people (Walker gives a birthday party for Willie every year in the Bay View) ... now they're Ed Lee's too.

And, your boy Leland Yee? He again voted against Mother Earth in a lopsided Senate vote yesterday.

Adachi for Mayor!

Giants win 4th in a row and close in on second consecutive title!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

Hold on H,

I was there in the hearing room when the incident you mentioned happened.

James Chaffee threw threatening and racist epithets at blacks in the room (for their standing at their seats in the hearing room) before they got back in Chaffee's face and threatened him back.

Chaffee was led out of City Hall by deputy sheriffs...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 14, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

Eric,

I only heard the audio on my computer and did not hear Chaffee. That's a real surprise coming from him. Public comment has taken a dive into the surreal (even more than usual) over the last couple of meetings. Perhaps because they're temporarily out of the Board Chambers. You seen the construction in there? The Al-Can highway went in at over 20 miles a day. The silly ramp is around 20 feet long and with planning it's been an ongoing project for 3 or 4 years. Who'll be the first to run a skateboard down the thing?

h.

Posted by h. brown on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 5:07 am

Yes. The confrontation was definitely driven by the fact that during public comment, everybody is now right up in everyone else's face as they stand and wait; a situation very likely to generate flaring tempers and conflict.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Sep. 15, 2011 @ 5:22 am

Eric,

A couple of months ago the State Senate voted 37-3 to refuse to permit a garbage dump in a San Diego suburb. Leland Yee was one of the 3 votes in favor of the dump. Leland Yee also took over $8,000 from the operators of said garbage company within a year of his vote.

Please justify Yee's vote.

And, keep it short. Unless you're getting paid by the word.

Giants won 5th in a row and closing in.

Adachi for Mayor!!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Sep. 16, 2011 @ 10:56 am

The SFBG can promote greater financial literacy about SF's budget problems. In the absence doing that it becomes easy to assign the worst motives to political actors or worse default to conspiracy theories that center on campaign financials. Yes running citywide races is expensive. How much does that buy San Francisco in 2011? Snark won't solve the core problems.

For public citizens who care about how their City works this is the Controller's latest revenue letter. Please check out pages 4-5:

http://www.sfcontroller.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=2124

According to this report San Francisco faces a $350 million deficit next year. It describes how this gap may be partially bridged: $45 million in additional deferred capital projects (translation: neglected infrastructure); $45 million "limiting non-personnel inflationary increases" (this would take a reporter to translate); $15 million by postponing 25% of Education Enrichment Fund (translation: SFUSD cuts); and $10 million "non-General fund hotel tax allocations" (again this requires a reporter).

Additionally, the City Hall consensus pension plan if approved is anticipated to save $35 million; $60 million could be raised by continuance of the 1/2 cent sales tax and that narrows the gap to $140 million with a plus minus. The document has a cautionary conclusion stating, "rising health benefit and retirement contribution costs are likely to place stresses on future year budgets."

It's impossible to make change in San Francisco without citizens demanding that change from their leaders. Without public knowledge of what ails San Francisco finances it's hard to see how this problem is ever resolved. Conservatives will blame the municipal unions and there are facts like the Controller hints at in the conclusion cited below to support that premise. The left will fall back to default talkingpoints that Reagan and trickle down caused this problem, and that if we only tax the corporations the issue is solved. Can they or the billionaires be successfully taxed so San Francisco can close an estimated $642 million deficit by 2013? Doubtful. Such taxation is needed, and could partly help but additional cost sharing steps are inevitable or the alternative is even deeper service cuts.

The Teabagger solution for San Francisco would be to do nothing about these budget deficits or their cost drivers and let the problem explode. Doing nothing will result in a radical dismantling of local government, aka "drown it in a bathtub." That worldview is radically different than any proposed changes to existing defined benefit retirement plans or replacement of part of the payroll tax with a gross receipts tax.

Politicians follow public opinion, but if it's badly split or intentionally misinformed they'll sit on the sidelines confused. Public education can start when the SFBG Editor can ask all the candidates, "What are you going to do to solve San Francisco's anticipated $642 million deficit in 2013?" (Source: page 2, Three Year Budget Projection, http://www.sfcontroller.org/index.aspx?page=390). Without substantive change, San Francisco will face public sector cuts for years to come.

Independent of who wins the Mayoral contest, our City's financial facts are daunting. Solving them will require greater intellectual honesty from journalists and politicians alike so the people know exactly what is at stake.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 19, 2011 @ 4:37 pm