Adachi video attacks public financing


This is odd: An eight-minute video narrated by Matt Gonzalez in support of Jeff Adachi devotes a considerable amount of time to attacking public campaign financing -- something Gonzalez always supported as a supervisor.

The video claims that the $4 million that "politicians" are taking to pay for their mayoral campaigns could have helped the city avoid cancelling summer school and cutting school bus routes.

Actually, the city doesn't pay for summer school or for school buses; the school district does. But I suppose the city could have scrapped public financing and given the money to SFUSD. Unlikely, but possible. (The city actually does share some money with SFUDS, under a measure that Gonzalez opposed.)

The thing about public financing, of course, is that it allows candidates like John Avalos, who won't get big business support, to run a competitive campaign. If it prevents special interests from buying elections, it saves the city far more than it costs. Public financing has always been a central part of the progressive agenda, nationally and locally.

The rest of the message is about what you'd expect -- pension reform, Recology's franchise fee, giveaways to the police and fire unions. All stuff that Adachi has made part of his campaign. It's nicely (if inexpensively) produced, and, as always, Gonzalez is a great presenter.

But what's up with the attack on public finance?

(UPDATE: Gonzalez emailed me to say that Adachi doesn't oppose public financing but thinks this is a bad year to accept it. He also said when he chaired the Budget Commitee the city sent a lot of money to the schools. But he did oppose the measure that guarantees some city funding to SFUSD.)

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