Gonzalez Agrees to Debate Salomon
over Pension Reform Measure

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in News, Politics

Published on July 01, 2010 with 16 Comments

Image courtesy greatdebate.net.

By Luke Thomas

July 1, 2010

Former Board of Supervisor President Matt Gonzalez has agreed in principle to debate political analyst Marc Salomon over a controversial pension reform measure proposed for the November ballot.

Dubbed SF Smart Reform, the measure aims to rein in City pension and healthcare costs, projected to exceed $1 billion by 2016.

Gonzalez had previously thrown down the gauntlet in challenging SF Labor Council Executive Director Tim Paulson to debate the merits of the measure upon learning Paulson blasted measure sponsor Public Defender Jeff Adachi on Paulson’s Facebook page, calling Adachi an “embarrassment to San Francisco.”

At issue is whether the measure is progressive or regressive.  Salomon, Paulson and other labor groups, including SEIU, believe the measure is regressive, saying it is inequitable, that it will hurt low-income working families.  Gonzalez and Adachi maintain the measure is progressive.

Salomon announced Tuesday on FCJ he is willing to debate Gonzalez, “If  Paulson won’t debate Gonzalez.”

Gonzalez told FCJ he will debate Salomon on the condition Paulson agrees to nominate Salomon as his debate proxy.

Responding, Paulson told FCJ today, “Nobody speaks for me,” but did not indicate if he, himself, will debate Gonzalez.

Salomon said he is ready to debate Gonzalez on Pirate Cat Radio as early as Friday, Pirate Cat Radio schedule permitting.

Update, 2:51 pm: Pirate Cat Radio indicated they will make time to host the debate tomorrow (Friday) between 6 and 8 pm.

Update, 3:07 pm: We’ve put in a call to Jeff Adachi to ask if he’s willing to debate Salomon.  Stay tuned for his response and further updates.

Update, 3:26 pm: Because of a scheduling conflict, the debate has been rescheduled for Friday, July 9.  The debate will be between Marc Salomon and Jeff Adachi and broadcast live on Pirate Cat Radio.  A podcast of the debate will also be made available.

Update, 6:44 pm: Adachi told FCJ he is willing to debate the issue with Paulson or Salomon when/if the measure qualifies for the November ballot. For now, the debate is on hold.

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the SanFranciscoSentinel.com, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched FogCityJournal.com. The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Comments for Gonzalez Agrees to Debate Salomon
over Pension Reform Measure
are now closed.

  1. green v. green. will dems buy tickets….

  2. Disappointed that neither Jeff Adachi nor Mr. Gonzalez talked directly to City workers like nurses, medical assistants, social workers or other front line providers on the way this measure is being promoted and formulated. The radio adds are particularly disgusting.

    I, like many other people received a pink slip and saw raises for the next two years disappear, furloughs and no holiday pay to keep services afloat. In the last budget round with the Mayor. Our services are being reduced in the Public Health sector as we now see more patients with less staff.

    In my mind, this is a conservative approach to dealing with our lack of funds and like another badly crafted ballot initiative by another politician seeking the Mayor’s office will not solve our city’s financial problems. Like “Care not Cash” which slashed GA to our homeless population and was touted as a way of “funding” homeless medical and social services to “CARE” for homeless people and help solve the homeless problem, it did neither but did pave the way for 8 long years of the Newsom administration.

    Unless this measure guarantees this money actually goes to funding public services directly, it is just another cheap parlor trick by politicians who use our pensions and healthcare coverage to play the blame game for their own self serving careers. It will not, like “Care not Cash,” solve any problems but open the door to severe cuts in our pensions and help the insurance corporations keep their revenue stream going by increasing our out of pocket expenses.

    Neither Mr. Adachi nor Mr. Gonzalez approached members of our city’s work force, currently gathering signatures on a revenue generating measure also for November’s ballot to put a tax on hotels to raise needed revenue rather that just cut our wages, hours and benefits. No one argues that sacrifices on our part aren’t needed including looking at pensions and benefits. But listening to the radio ads, well financed one would think that front-line providers are singularly responsible for causing the great city and state depression that we find ourselves in.

    Throwing city workers including nurses, social workers and our support staff under the bus is so emblematic of politicians who demonize public workers and their unions struggling to keep our jobs intact. California is going broke because we cannot raise revenue at the state level while demand for public services including health care increase.

  3. Basically I’m just too godamned exhausted with patient care and stretched thinner than a geriactic viagra invigorated foreskin to keep up with much of the crap flowing downhill right now, on this, and other important issues.
    However I like and respect all the above troika, Matt, Marc and ‘h’. Why don’t the three of you get together somewhere, maybe at Brava, invite a few other progressive prognosticators, provocateurs and pooh-bahs to join you on-stage and lets have a no holds barred round table shoot out on ALL the crap that is plugging up our collective nasal orifices. Now that would be something I’d pay money to see !!.
    A moderator would probably be advisable, maybe our possible new Lt Gropenator (ugh – guess shit does rise when it’s floating on a sea of ‘green;’) would preside. It could be a good test of his suitability for the next sinecure he is seeking. If he cant corral a convocation of feral cats like you’se guys, what the fuck is he gonna be able to do when he is thrown into the Sacramento Lions den.
    I only have two suggestions of restrictions that should be enforced at this meeting of the mind-fuckers.
    1) No Corporate Lennar Arse-lickers Like Paulson.
    Pat Monk.RN. Noe Valley

  4. Ha! He throws down the gauntlet and then equivocates when a superior debater challenges him. Is Gonzalez is scared that Marc Salomon would wipe the floor with him? I mean, really. Why should his decision to debate the issue hinge on Tim Paulson’s participation (or lack of)? Isn’t the point to educate the people about this issue? Oh, and I find this interesting, too (follow the money):

    “Jonathan Moritz, an investment banker with Sequoia Capital, and Harriet Heyman, retired, apparently carefree about it all, have each donated $75,000 to the signature gathering campaign.”

  5. h, global capitalism is doubling down on stupid after running the economy into the ditch. Either we accept that framing and embrace our newfound lives as serfs or we try to challenge it.

    Read narrowly, the measure is a great idea. But taken in broader context, it does more damage than it cures.

    Politics is all about trade offs, and this one under this context does not make that cut for me.

    Progressives need to be held accountable for their actions by their base. Gonzalez has long resisted this. Now is the first time that Jeff has given any of us a cause for concern.

    You saw the film “Coma” from back in the 1970s, right? What we’re seeing now is a full court press by finance capital to hook us all up to Wall Street so that they might suck out every last drop of our vital fluids:

    Part of that project includes eliminating any sort of retirement security so that those dedicated, paid for funding streams can be used to finance war and bank bail outs.

    That is one reason why Moody’s, the “honest brokers” that brought us “investment grade” mortgage backed securities laden with ARM and Alt-A toxic swill has downgraded SF’s bond rating in the absence of any hint of delinquencies, to squeeze out even more interest payments from working folks. Bond vigilantes turning their attention from trading blocs to municipalities.

    Against this backdrop, progressives should not be able to show their faces in public when they allow those ill winds to push their sails, given the number of times we’ve been sold out by progressive electeds and the massive amounts of money that these interests have to reward those who carry water for them.


  6. You rock, marc,

    You’re absolutely right that the pension contributions affected should move on a sliding scale with workers making 50k or less not touched and those making more paying more. That’s in a nutshell what I thought I heard you say at that party the other evening. Why don’t you give Luke an inclusive opinion piece on it.

    It pains me to see you strolling through the political landscape holding hands with Gabriel Haaland and Tim Paulson.


  7. Gonzalez and Adachi know who I am, and that is what is important in this instance.


  8. marc,

    If only you and Arthur Evans could speak English. You drone on so in classic Yuppie snark that people lose interest. So now, let me get this straight. You want to argue on behalf of Paulson and the Devil? You really should debate me tomorrow night on Pirate Cat if they’ll clear the space. I can be your interpreter. Although you tell me every single time I meet you that you’re better than me (I always agree) it strikes me that lots of people understand what I’m saying more than they do what you’re saying.

    You know what I’m saying?


  9. Mr. Marc,

    Mr. Sam would like to know: what dog do you have in this race? It is clear what dog Mr. Gonzalez has in the race (relevancy). But perhaps you could spell out the details of your own SEIU-linked dog a little better.

    Mr. Sam is not saying that your dog is not deserving. Mr. Sam just wants to know the details a little better.

    Much obliged.

    Mr. Sam

  10. I don’t think that I’m capable of representing the Labor Council, so it’s a non starter for Matt to make that linkage.

    My partner is a 20 year SEIU 1021 (nee 535) member, and in addition to that direct interest, my concerns about this measure involve promoting progressive economic policies in the face of global corporate onslaught.

    I share a position with the SF Labor Council on this measure, but my position is also that we are only here because Labor has not played our cards well, one that I’d not expect Paulson to articulate.

    If this measure gets on the ballot it wins, as does Elsbernd’s swift kick of the lame dog that is the TWU.

    If this measure gets on the ballot, it will suck labor campaign resources from key supervisorial races and progressive initiatives and expose progressive candidates to a resentment stoked backlash.

    The time to have had this conversation was last year, before moving forward.

    The conversation really needs to transpire before the filing deadline, not after.


  11. thanks David,

    Starting August 6th you can see any number of D-6 candidates (I’m one, just for fun) every Friday in Alioto Plaza across from City Hall from 5-6:30pm.

    Sign Jeff’s petition folks. The people have a right to decide and you’ll get to see lots of Adachi forums right on through to November.


  12. Of course I would rather see you, as your not boring and have a sharp wit to boot.

  13. Hey David,

    I chickened out. The City doesn’t want to see two ‘blog commenters’. Gonzalez encouraged Jeff to face off with Marc on Pirate Cat and it will happen. Seriously, you’d rather see me? You must really have a boring life. But, if you really do want to listen to me just get a bottle of bourbon and come on over.


  14. tim paulson is apparently too afraid to back up his words in person to Jeff Adachi. So he sends a blog commenter. Wow, once again organized labor shows what chickens they are.

  15. H, What happened to the debate with Marc? WHO CHICKENED OUT?

  16. No debate,

    That’s Matt’s way of being chickenpoop in the face of a Salomon challenge. He won’t debate Marc unless unacceptable preconditions (Paulson annointing him) are met. Man up and debate the boy, Matt. Unless you’re just a big ole fraidy cat.

    h. (aren’t y’all loving this?)