Randy Shaw: A Flip-Flopping Hypocrite?

Written by Harold Brown. Posted in Opinion, Politics

Published on July 19, 2011 with 11 Comments

BeyondChron.org Publisher Randy Shaw. Photo by Luke Thomas.

(Uses City-funded BeyondChron.org to attack Public Defender Jeff Adachi)

By h. Brown

July 19, 2011

It’s always nice to see deadly enemies finding a common ground for cooperation in advancing toward a mutual goal. Unless that objective is to spread lies and half-truths. Which is what Shaw’s BeyondChron online publication and Tim Redmond’s Bay Guardian have been doing in their anti-Pension Reform attacks on Jeff Adachi for the last year. Let me summarize this as best I can.

The Guardian was founded in 1966. In 1976, publisher Bruce Brugmann crushed a union organizing effort by the International Typesetters Union and the Newspaper Guild. It took an 8-month strike that sometimes turned violent but the Guardian was able to divest themselves of the added, but fair, expense of dealing with a union.

Then, of course, they became rabidly pro-union. But, only on paper. Bay Guardian City Editor Steven T. Jones told me that he was very much in favor of there being a union at the Guardian but that only around 4 people would be eligible to join.

Naturally, that’s total bullshit. When I asked him about the 150 names under their weekly masthead and the drivers who deliver the rag, he fell silent. The Guardian is all about you having a union, not them having one.

A view from libcom.org:

“After six months of table-pounding negotiations, the Union reduced its demand to 25 cents per hour across-the-board. Employees also wanted one week notice of termination, an agreed grievance procedure, limited sick pay, and pay for overtime. But the BG refused these demands, and in June of ’76, 21 employees, both full-time and part time walked out. The bitter strike–marked by vandalism and sabotage–dragged on for eight months. Recently, Bruce Brugmann has described this struggle as an attempt by ‘the unions from the local newspaper monopoly…to impose their standard contract on a struggling, competitive, independent small business ‘* (Bill Mandel’s column, SF Examiner, Oct. 29, 1986). The concerns of the workers thus disappear, they become non-entities. Funny how he was no less opposed, in 1982 to District 65, which has no contracts at the “monopoly” dailies.”

Shaw and his BeyondChron are even worse. Here’s a YouTube video (2 ½ minutes) of a demonstration at his City-funded Tenderloin Housing Clinic (outgoing Mayor Gavin Newsom blessed Randy with an $82 million, 4-year contract on his way out – THC’s contracts had been for 1 year only to that point).

Here’s a nice shot of an SEIU 1021 demonstration inside Shaw’s offices at THC. Note the front and center appearance of D6 supe candidate, Debra Walker. Following this demonstration, Shaw recruited and campaigned heavily (often illegally – sponsoring forums that shut out other candidates for instance) … Shaw put THC’s resources behind Walker opponent, Jane Kim (hooked her up with Willie Brown and Rose Pak) …

And, you want to see flip-flop? Read this comparison between what Shaw wrote last year about Adachi and what he wrote yesterday:

What Shaw said on July 18, 2011:

“It is hard to understand why Jeff Adachi has gone out of his way to alienate virtually every major city constituency over an issue that has nothing to do with his life work in the criminal justice system.”

“But since 2010, Adachi has focused on a new quest: eroding benefits for the city’s public employees.”

“It takes courage to fight for the rights of those arrested for drug dealing, rape or murder. But fighting for unpopular causes takes no particular strength when you are serving big moneyed or right wing interests.”

Here’s what Shaw wrote on July 7, 2010:

“Having spoken with Adachi, I know he is driven by his deep concern that, absent immediate action, San Francisco’s fiscal crisis will soon get much worse. He has no desire to encourage a nationwide stampede of extreme anti-public employee measures, with proponents arguing that “if they went for it in San Francisco, it’s obviously needed here.”’

“Many progressives, particularly those employed by city-funded nonprofits, are troubled by the steadily widening gap between city employee compensation – particularly in the police and fire departments – and that available to non-city employees. For example, city contracts with nonprofits offer no pension contributions for employees, so nonprofit employees would be thrilled if the city began paying 90-91%of their pension costs.”

“But some progressives will support a measure that promises more funding for social programs and nonprofits, even though the initiative includes no specific earmarks.”

“Labor’s campaign will correctly argue that Adachi should have exempted lower-wage city employees, that his measure does nothing to address often ridiculously high salaries for city manager, and that blaming city employees for budget priorities their unions opposed is unfair.” (This is now exactly what Adachi’s measure does, while the mayor’s measure treats workers who earn $100K the same as those who earn $50K!)

Bottom line here is that the Guardian and Beyond Chron gave us faux-Progressives David Chiu and Jane Kim who in turn gave us Ed Lee as Mayor. Now Shaw is busy kissing Lee’s butt as he has kissed every mayoral butt for the last couple of decades. It’s good for his business.

And, the Guardian stumbles merrily on their way praising anti-tenant candidate Leland Yee and running a handsome cover of David Chiu begging him to come home.

Adachi for Mayor!

Unless Buster Posey runs.

Editor’s Note: Views expressed by columnists published on FogCityJournal.com are not necessarily the views or beliefs of Fog City Journal. FCJ supports free speech in all its varied forms and provides a forum for a complete spectrum of viewpoints.

Harold Brown

h. brown is a 62 year-old keeper of sfbulldog.com, an eclectic site featuring a half dozen City Hall denizens. h is a former sailor, firefighter, teacher, nightclub owner, and a hard-living satirical muckraker. His other FCJ articles can be found here. here.

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Comments for Randy Shaw: A Flip-Flopping Hypocrite? are now closed.

  1. H,
    I guess you can’t handle thetruth!

    Ha ha

  2. ‘the truth’,

    You’re just another lying scumbag troll and I won’t engage you unless you use your name. You couldn’t carry my jock strap. I spent 47 years in the workforce and over 35 of them in unions.

    Give your name or shut up.

    Giants 7:15pm tonite with Madison Bumgarner of turned 22 last week and is already wearing a World Series ring … Bumgarner against arguably the best pitcher in baseball for the last 4 years. That would be Clifford Lee of the Phillies.


  3. Adachi is the hypocrite lying to voters to get enough signatures for his measure;


    Also, H Brown is totally anti-union in most of his posts but then plays the union card when criticizing Shaw. Isn’t that also called hypocrisy?

  4. Marc,

    The only potential candidates for mayor who have the intelligence, independence and strength to stand up to Downtown and its minions for 8 years are Adachi and Gonzalez. If you want reform, they’re the only way to go and we’ll know their decision in 17 days if my math is correct (barring Lee not running – then, it’s 22 days).

    Lee will take a bow for the unbalanced (cause it’s factually rigged) … Lee will take a bow for the budget and then fly out of town on a week’s vacation which get’s him away from serious press. That will leave him with only 10 days to dodge the, “Will you run?” question (he will) and just 87 days after that to play the ‘non-politician above the fray’ role.

    Unless Adachi or Gonzo enter within the next 17 days, Lee walks in for 8 years.

    Giants back 4pm today against high flying Phillies!


  5. Whenever I’ve outlined how the nonprofits are a drag on progressive politics rather than our strength, I’ve been cast out as negative, classist and racist.

    A decade on, it is clear that power in San Francisco has thoroughly coopted the nonprofits to the extent that they serve as a cap on rather than a base for progressive power.

    Just you watch, as Ed Lee’s campaign touts his peaceful budget with nonprofit executive directors singing his praises, all so that Rose and Willie will continue to have dibs on the percentages of corruption on the remaining $6,000,000,000 in the SF budget that has nothing to do with CBOs.

    The nonprofits and unions are coopted to the point where they cannot be central components of any citywide progressive coalition. How do most progressives who are not involved in the nonprofits or unions feel about our movement being hijacked in order to keep the juice flowing to spent political forces?


  6. Nail on the head you cranky SOB.
    Ah, they don’t write songs like they used to !!
    Let’s stamp our brand on ’em all.
    Haul away me hearties.

  7. Thumbs up.

  8. Thanks folks,

    Y’all see Matt Smith’s cover piece decimation of Leland Yee this morning in the SF Weekly? This is such a lousy field of candidates that it’s driving me nuts. Only Avalos even listens to any Progressives and he’s in the pocket of Gabriel Haaland.

    I just hope attacks like those from Shaw and the Guardian have the opposite affect and drive Jeff into the race. If not, I’m for pulling the USS Gonzalez out of dry dock, dusting it off and making a late entry into the fray as Matt did in ’03.

    Was I right about Brandon Belt?

    A morning eye-opener for you political junkies:



  9. Unions– i.e. their management– are players in the bad game too. Unions feed off the City employees, but do they represent them? Don’t believe what you read: lots of City employees would support Adachi. But for the dealmakers, that stream of dues money is powerful junk.

  10. Good piece. This City and its players are very corrupt.

  11. Great piece. It’s also alarming.