City Family's Loathsome, Disingenuous, Idiotic Smear of Jeff Adachi

Categories: Politics


One of the most tiring elements of living in the Internet age is the increasing use of superlatives -- i.e. "Worst. Meal. EVAR."

So, it is with due consideration that we posit Prop. C backers' new ad claiming "THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE!" between union-busting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and public defender Jeff Adachi is the most disingenuous and loathsome political bit we've seen yet.

Your humble narrator penned a cover story on the substantive and political differences between Propositions C and D -- the "city family" pension measure and the one pushed by Adachi. There are numerous practical reasons for well-read, intellectual people to cast a vote for either measure. But if this ad is what it takes to push you out of the Prop. D camp and into the city family's embrace, sorry -- you are a dolt. This is a deeply stupid ad -- but it's even more noxious because it assumes you, too, are deeply stupid.

Here's the premise:

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According to the city family, Walker's overbearing attempt to wrest away collective bargaining rights from state employees and Adachi's goal of upping pension contributions via a measure placed on the ballot by citizens' signatures and voted on by the people of this city are identical. But wait, there's more! They also use the same political cliches:

Per the video, they both used these phrases to describe their actions: "We are broke";"taxpayers"; "kicks the can down the road"; "modest"; and "progressive." Oh, there's also menacing, authoritarian music playing in the background. In retrospect, you really needed the music. Because describing multimillion- or even multibillion-dollar deficits by saying "we're broke"; mentioning "taxpayers"; and using the hackneyed phrase "kicks the can" is laughably unremarkable. Perhaps both Walker and Adachi also shared the words "if," "or," "but," "too," and "tunafish sandwich." Also -- and this is big -- both Walker and Adachi wear pants.

The "Jeff Adachi is Scott Walker" meme is not new. In a deeply misguided and self-serving editorial, a pair of SEIU higher-ups made that claim in the Guardian back in April:

But while Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature eliminated collective bargaining for their public employees to slash their wages, health care, and pensions, Adachi is slashing San Francisco's workers pay and pensions through the ballot, effectively taking those items off the bargaining table. What's the difference?

As we put it back then: "Other than the latter coming about via the will of the people and leaving workers free to use collective bargaining to negotiate higher salaries to make up for increased pension and health care payments? Not much!"

But, apparently, we were wrong. Walker and Adachi both used the term "taxpayer" and "kicks the can down the road." And they did it to the accompaniment of evil music. That was their fatal error.

As we noted before, there are sensible reasons to vote for Prop. C: It cleaves to the conventionally defensible limits of California pension law and, since it was negotiated by every last vestige of the "city family," the likelihood of a crippling lawsuit is reduced. 

Everyone anticipated mudslinging would take the place of even the semblance of real argumentation, especially with an issue as complex as pension reform. But this ad, only one step more articulate than the Incredible Hulk, is jarring in its idiocy.

Incidentally, the German translation of "kicked the can down the road" is trat die Dose auf dem Weg. Just in case the city family wants to take the next logical step in its future ads.

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4 comments
ChillaGorilla
ChillaGorilla

This ad is lame.  Number one, it assumes voters know and still dislike Scott Walker whose shenanigans haven't been in the news since before summer.  Besides, yes the guy is an ass who acts like a jerk but that doesn't change the fact this Wisconsin and San Francisco are going broke and are less able to provide basic services because the cost of government has increased dramatically in recent years, partially driven by labor and pension costs.

Number two, every bit of the audio reinforces the message that SF is broke.  Yeah, yeah, I can hear the gray beards saying "watch it with the audio off to see what voters will see".  Malarkey.  The idea that a non candidate political campaign should use images instead of language has lost its currency in the modern internet/social media age where we're bombarded with language and text more than images.    TV has lost ground to the internet, FB, etc...  Go reminisce about the McGovern campaign media guy.

I will say that it implies that Adachi is a villain and every winning campaign needs a foil but in a mayoral election with so many other personalities competing for the news, is Adachi really going to be the evil doer this time around?  Dennis and Leland want Ed Lee to be the bad guy, Rose wants Leland to be the bad guy, Dennis is already acting like the bad guy, etc...

Still, some will say this will get the base motivated.  Again, malarkey.  The hardcore anti-D folks who vote in the City are going to vote against it anyways and volunteer where directed and the SF cops and firefighters living in Hayward, Daly City and Novato can't vote anyways.  Go ahead, get them good and angry.

I don't know whether C or D will pass but I do know that this ad won't make a difference.

Having attended a couple of debates, also I have to say that Adachi's style really turned me off.  He comes across much less thoughtful in person than he does in the paper or on the news.  More lone cowboy than renegade leader.  On the other hand, Ed Lee seems very thoughtful and genuine in person.  I almost want to vote for Prop. C because Lee brokered it and, when he speaks about it, he really seems to value a consensus approach to governing. 

Then the heavyhanded public safety unions join the discussion and I'm firmly back behind Prop. D. 

JanetteT
JanetteT

Ed Lee has never been seriously exposed in the forums (they are not debates because nothing is actually debated).

RBOrbust
RBOrbust

City Family has been robbing taxpayers blind for years so not surprising they would think we're dolts.

...Please read again judges's Prop B ruling last fall- Prop D will survive legal challenges and there is no assurance Prop C would even survive one.  Because Elsbernd says it preserves vested rights - does that make it so...

JanetteT
JanetteT

Elsebern is my supe (lucky me). He is a Newsom/Brown owned troll who never worked a day in his life.

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