Gavin Newsom (suddenly) cares about economic justice


I was eating my (late) breakfast as I was listening to Gavin Newsom on KQED's Forum this morning, and at first it was just the usual lofty rhetoric about education ... and then Michael Krasny asked the lieutenant governor about the Occupy movement, and I almost threw up my whole wheat bagel and peanut butter.

Cuz Gav -- the mayor who would never even consider asking the city's wealthiest to pay more taxes, who ran for governor and then lite gov on a platform that he'd balanced the city budget without raising taxes, the guy who was a great friend of the city's 1 percent, had the nerve to sing the praises of Occupy and complain about economic injustice.

Seriously: Gav ranted on for about five minutes about how low the taxes are on rich people. He announced that his company just set up a new winery and hired a bunch of people -- and taxes were never an issue. He acted like someone who reads my shit.

One of the messages of Occupy -- and one of the reasons that the movement exists not just in Washington and Manhattan but in cities all over the country -- is that economic injustice needs to be addressed everywhere. It's not just about the Bush tax cuts or even Jerry Brown's tax-hike initiative; it's also about local government trying to address the wealth and income gap and the impacts of 1 percent domination -- at home.

Gavin had seven years to do that. He didn't even try. Worse, when the progressives on the board tried, he'd veto anything that remotely smacked of a tax hike on the rich or a way to force the 1 percent to share the wealth with the 99 percent. (Does anyone think he would have allowed Occupy to stay at Justin Herman Plaza as long as Ed Lee did? Not a chance.) Now he wants to take advantage of the popularity of the movement for his own advancement.

Fucking sick.


and of course that includes you and the SFBG.

But, as you well know, Gavin has always been fairly liberal. It's only by the ludicrous left-wing standards of the SFBG that Gavin in any way appears reactionary.

The fact that he won two city-wide elections with a clear majority shows you that most of the city agree with him.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

Democrabs talk that way until it comes time for rubber to hit the road. When Newsom ran for office, he talked one talk, just like Obama. Both Newsom and Obama had legislatures friendly to economic justice but couldn't or wouldn't pull the trigger when they had the opportunity.

Once they had no friendly legislature to cover for, then the progressive and liberal economic arguments come out in full force, as soon as they're just powerless to do anything about it.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 01, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

What's really shocking is when a former poster boy for SF progressive politics attempts to enrich himself from the city coffers in a clear conflict of interest.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

The case Matt is working on, which we investigated as well (, involves high-level city corruption that implicates former Mayor Willie Brown and current Mayor Ed Lee. It isn't just about the money, it's about justice and having a court determine whether top city officials (and those who continue to influence them) are corrupt, something we all have an interest in knowing. Besides, public defenders often play an adverserial role with other city department (SFPD, the DA's Office, Sheriffs' Department, and City Attorney's Office), so I really don't think Matt's role is to defend corruption and bad behavior by those who also get city paychecks. It's closer to the opposite.

Posted by steven on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 11:04 am

That would be more believable if Gonzalez hadn't stepped up to defend Ed Lee, on Willie Brown's show, no less.

Here's Matt talking out of one side of his mouth:

...and out the other:

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

public defender.

So Matt should be defending any city employee accused of corruption. He shouldn't be representing a plaintiff suing the city or a city employee.

That's a huge conflict of interest.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 2:42 pm


Whatever the merits of the case, I think you need to set that aside for a moment, and look at the hypocrisy on display here. You need to ask yourself why SF taxpayers are so pissed about this (judging from the tenor of the comments at the Chron, SFist, etc). I hope you can see the irony of the situation.

If you recall...

During his campaign for mayor, Adachi said that he would not accept public financing because the city was facing a budget shortfall (according to him). And during his campaigns for Props B & D, Adachi made a huge fuss about the fact that summer school had been cut two years in a row because the city didn't have a million dollars needed to fund this and other programs.

So tell me, if Gonzalez wins this case, who will suffer more? Is that $16 million dollars going to come out of the pockets of Ed Lee, Willie Brown, Ed Harrington or Dennis Herrera? No, it is going to hurt school children, indigent folks (like Matt and Jeff's clients), social services, and the taxpayers who are forced to pick up the tab. So, Jeff's hypocrisy, in turning a blind eye to this, is nothing short of astounding.

Look, Matt's friend Peter Keane, who is the dean emeritus of a law school, has called Matt out for his lack of loyalty and for what is clearly a conflict of interest. It's time for Adachi to do the same. Jeff should put aside his friendship with Matt, and lay down the law to his employee.

As for the merits of the case, I won't argue that. If it exposes corruption, it could be a good thing (why does Matt have to be the one to argue it?). But somehow I doubt that Mayor Lee and his cronies will ever feel the pain. However, SF taxpayers, who have been looking for ways to rein in the budget and save precious services, will certainly feel it. $16 million is no small change.

Posted by Lisa on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

Ha. Disagreed with everything you wrote during the pension debates (btw did you know all of Prop C pension reform savings has been wiped out already?).

You are certainly correct here although no need to go further than a guy working on a lawsuit against his own employer. See Gonzales letter in Chron today- not even remotely convincing.



Posted by Guest on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

Gonzalez' job is to manage the lawyers who vigorously defend the indigent against prosecution by the DA, another city department. That's not a conflict.

Conflict of interest has a crisp legal definition and Gonzalez defense in this case is not that. Gonzalez is taking a variance from Adachi's ethics rules for PD employees, whether he asked for it or took it, who knows?

Apparently Adachi has seen the light and Gonzalez' participation in this slated to end in the immediate term before the trial ends.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 8:12 pm

Tim's manufactured outrage is what is sick.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

Just can't wait for all the anonymous guests to don their white hoods and start defending this schmuck and his manufactured 'mandate'. Newscum was never a 'progressive', a 'liberal', a 'moderate' or anything of any substance. He was, and is, a slick, fatuous political opportunist; a Mitt Romney 'wannabe'; another misbegotten spawn of 'Slick Willie' and the Pac Heights Mafia.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Feb. 01, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

As usual my old pal Patrick Monk RN is right on target. His prose flows like a bottle of Wild Turkey in my Tenderloin SRO on any night of the week. Newscum is a schmuck - and as a bonafide member of the Progressive Intelligentsia I know that for a fact.

Keep up the good fight Patrick! I must return to my hotly-awaited memoirs now. Word is several Hollywood producers are looking to produce this into what will no doubt be the most highly-awarded movie of 2013.

Posted by h. Brownnose on Feb. 01, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

Did he set up Healthy San Francisco?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

and many others. Newscum opposed until it became obvious that it was 'popular'.
Gavin the Greaser is infamous for plagiarising and taking credit for the the work of others.
He is obviously conniving and scheming to run for Governor.
Just curious but...
Are you are 'not happy' with Jerry Brown.(The Moonbeam)
You thought Schwarzenegger(The Gropenator) was preferable to Davis 'The Grey' Pete Wilson, George Deukmajian, even Ronnie the ...... (OK I won't say it)....
... but any of these would be infinitely preferable to this shallow, self serving, sack of slime.
Just my 2c.
Apologies for 'shouting' at you but this creature is a poster punk for all that is rotten in the State of 'Democratic' Politics.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Feb. 01, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

The he saw his veto was going to be overturned. So he hemmed and hawed for the crowd, and then let it go, now he claims off and on some credit. It's what politicians do.

Posted by matlock on Feb. 01, 2012 @ 11:37 pm
I've got a little down time and would enjoy ramming your ignorance into your congenitally impaired cerebrums.
Bring it on bozos.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Feb. 01, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

Everyone knows what money in politics means.

Who are you claiming to be smarter than? Newborns? Shut ins?

Posted by matlock on Feb. 01, 2012 @ 11:52 pm

Re-read postings, must have missed something but couldn't find anyone 'claiming victory'?.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 12:33 am

You tell 'em Patrick!

Posted by h. Brownnose on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 11:05 pm

Not really a whole lot the BOS can do to raise revenue on a certain economic strata. You know with state and federal law getting in the way. One wonders at what this host of vetoes was all about?

He vetoed that clown Avalos's liquor tax, drinking is hardly the province of the elites. I believe the Guardian stand on that was to raise taxes on the 99%, yet again.

It's also interesting that the barometer is that he wouldn't have let the occupy SF types stay as long as Ed Lee did, an interesting in the daily hysterics Redmond went through at the time. Every day is a new day.


Monks moronic rant about white hoods is also a hoot.

Posted by matlock on Feb. 01, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

Perfectly reasonable, viable, and progressive (as in, affects the rich more than the poor). Newsom fought it all the way. Just one example. But you know this. You're just here to make snarky comments. Har.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 01, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

The only Transfer Tax I remember was the one that was going to be put on the ballot a few years ago. I did a search and thats the only one I found.

The BOS can put things on the ballot without the mayor, so Newsom had no veto over that. He may have fought it but he didn't "veto" it.

I follow these things fairly close, state and federal law keeps the city from targeting certain economic strata in the way Redmond infers.

I find Newsom to be as sleazy as Daly, Mirkarimi, Avalos and Campos, etc... So I'm not defending Newsom around this, although he did save the city from the most retarded of progressive schemes.

Newsom ran and was elected as a more moderate candidate, Redmond's bitterness is a bit comical here in his obsession with Newsom. Newsom like every other sleazy politician is just trying to get over, like Redmond himself.

I find it all very entertaining.

Posted by matlock on Feb. 01, 2012 @ 11:49 pm

Another example. BOS puts it on the ballot, Newsom puts a competing, toothless measure on the ballot, with a poision pill in it. As often happens when confusing competing measures are on the ballot, they both fail.

There are many such examples. I don't want to get caught up in the sepcific mechanics of just how Newsom fought each and every viable tax measure. I didn't write the article. Mechanics aside, suffice it to say that he did fight every effort to raise revenue.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 12:33 am

Also the progressives did same with city pension last election cycle, the ballot measure game has been going strong with both sides for three or so years now.

You just seem to be mad that he was playing the game, the game that progressives are happy to take part in. This isn't quite a single party city yet.

Again, the city is limited by various laws that can target certain economic strata, the only veto that I can think of or find is that idiots Avalos and his alcayhols tax. A tax that was aimed directly at the non rich, much like the rest of these schemes.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 8:21 am

Let me repeat this slowly. I'm not upset with Newsom because he plays political games. Politics is politics. I'm upset at what policies he's supporting with those games. Because in the end, this isn't a game. What you do has real effect on real people. If you play hardball politics in the service of the 99%, GOOD! If you play hardball politics in the service of the 1%, then that's a problem -again, NOT because you're playing hardball politics, but because you're supporting policies that hurt people. I don't care so much HOW he's killing revenue enhancing measures, my problem is that he's DOING it.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 8:40 am

For instance, a hotal tax means higher hotel room prices for tourists, most of whom are of moderate income. they just don't get to vote here and so are easy prey.

Anyway, SF's hotel tax is already super high.

RE transfer taxes can be avoided by having a coproration own the property and then sell the corporation. Protected by Prop 13 which the Mayor can't change.

And so on. Trust is that the city really can't tax the super rich - only the state and the feds can do that. And there's no electoral mandate for that - neither Brown nor Obama stood on that platform.

While if Gavin is a conservative, why did he allow gay marriage on his watch? Seems he can't win either way.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 11:25 am

progressive come up with are geared to be paid for by the middle and lower classes, or are also punitive and coercive in nature.

Raise hotel taxes to make tourists pay to visit this progressive eden, and pay for city salaries.

Create an alcyhol tax paid for by the lumpen drunks, to finance all the hobo's that the progressives invite to live here.

Parking meter up the whole city to coerce the peasants out of their cars and hand over some money to the black hole that is the MTA.

Posted by Matlock on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

Your definition of what benefits the 99% as a premise is suspect. I would love to see you and a right wing populist discuss what the 99% need, it would be very entertaining.

Newsom won election twice, so obviously he represents a greater percentage of the population than any amount of buzz words.

And I'm still missing all the vetoes.

Posted by Matlock on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

the sun rises in the west,
that dog bites man, and
that a politician scurries to present a good face in front of popular movement.

Posted by guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 8:14 am

I'd be really fucking surprised if the sun rose in the west

Posted by DanO on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 9:21 am

whenever i think of gavin i imagine the sun setting on his career so apparently my wishful thinking western sunsets got in the way ...

Posted by guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

When Gavin Newsom supports a movement that fights against everything he stood for when he was mayor of SF, that tells me Occupy is gaining political steam despite the public bad-mouthing of local media and Jean Quan.

Posted by Peter on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 10:11 am

He also claimed a couple of years ago that he helped get over 1,000 homeless people off the streets. How did he do it? He gave them one-way bus tickets to anywhere but SF. A real compasionate man there.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 11:58 am

where they will be valued and appreciated more than here?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

SF was doing it long before Gavin came to office.

I knew a guy in the 80's early 90's who used the programs to move from Portland to SF to Austin to SF, to Portland etc...

The money saving angle aside, if people go back to where they came from they may be able to use their family support group to get back on their feet.

Posted by matlock on Feb. 02, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

The great pendulum is swinging, the one between the Public Purpose (d.1980) and the Private Interest (d.2008 we hope).

And Gavin sees this coming as 40% of the youth cannot find career track and career income work.

That is HIS future. Will they buy it?

Posted by Guest Charley_sf on Feb. 03, 2012 @ 11:40 am

Other than that high-end real estate transfer tax can't think of anything the City does that isn't a tax on the poor.

Under the guise of "smartmeters" raising meter rates, raising parking tickets, adding meters, raising garage rates, raising tow charges etc - everything the City does is a tax on the poor. All are regressive taxes and fee hikes.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 04, 2012 @ 6:26 pm