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.