Adachi Candidacy Tosses Life Preserver to San Francisco

Written by Harold Brown. Posted in Opinion, Politics

Published on August 13, 2011 with 29 Comments

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi officially entered the race for mayor yesterday "to restore integrity and financial accountability to the City." Photo by Luke Thomas.

By h. “Bulldog” Brown

August 13, 2011

Mission accomplished!

Obviously this changes my endorsements. Jeff’s number one far and away. I’ll watch with interest as the shrill trolls screech in agony like moldy vampires caught in the deathly glare of the morning sun.

Is it immodest to quote yourself? Probably, but if you don’t toot your own horn who’s gonna toot it for you at my advanced age, pyrrhic status and short soap box?

Well, the sun burns a bit brighter today doesn’t it? Bloggers really can make a difference. But, can this poor old guy living in a humble SRO match big money mouthpieces like Nathan Ballard and Sam Singer and Tony Winnicker?

You be the judge cause it’s, ‘Game on!!’

Yeah, I think I can take them on all together, or one at a time. Easily. Because they’re all paid liars and I’m not. I’m the real deal and not for sale. They’re hired guns working for the forces of Evil. And, of course, there’s my obvious advantage.

I can write and they can’t.

In San Francisco, Substance beats Snark every time.

Bulldog girds for these battles:

Paul Miyamoto for Sheriff

San Francisco is poised to accept another 700 prisoners into our jail system. Thanking God that Sheriff Michael Hennessey chose to follow Federal court orders and construct a new jail sufficient to meet the legal mandate to provide adequate housing for the City and County’s jail population.

Now, the retiring icon Sheriff’s moves seem prescient. We’re gonna need every cell in every one of those new pods and probably more, and the City (thanks again to Mike) will be able to meet those new needs more than any other California jurisdiction. Who’s best suited to integrate these new inmates into our incarcerated population?

Well, the Sheriff’s deputies voted 353 to 2 to choose their own Captain Paul Miyamoto. Two of them chose Ross Mirkarimi. Does that tell you anything?

Sheriff's Captain Paul Miyamoto.

Vu Trinh for District Attorney

Y’all want a DA who’s more about redemption than maintaining a higher conviction rate? That’s Trinh and this new face (not really, he went to SF State and Hastings and was an intern with the public defender when Jeff Brown was boss) … Trihn is my top choice for this office. I like George Gascón second and would encourage my readers to consider an IRV slate of Trinh, Gascón and David Onek, in that order.

Candidate for District Attorney Vu Trinh.

Jeff Adachi for Mayor

No contest. He’s all about fiscal responsibility, protection of our immigrant population and a no-ties integrity missing in the other candidates with the notable exceptions of John Avalos, Terry Baum and Tony Hall.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi.


What a mix! An Asian immigrant threesome. Two Japanese-Americans (has this ever happened in American politics?). And, a Vietnamese-American. Plus, Gascón is a Cuban-American.

Lordy, lordy… talk about ‘only in SF’.

Just got a call from a Michigan polling outfit ( – headed by one Jeffrey D. Padden) who asked me to choose a pick for Mayor from a list of 10 or so candidates that did NOT include the name of Jeff Adachi.

So, the strategy from Ace Smith and the Lee team is to use their Downtown holds on the major local media outlets to ‘disappear’ Jeff Adachi?

This morning’s Chron had a piece by Rachel Gordon (buried deep in the Bay section and quickly removed from the front page of their online posts). Story was about Jeff Adachi’s entry into the race for Mayor and Rachel told a big ole lie when she wrote that Adachi had promised (“like Ed Lee”) not to run for Mayor.

That’s a lie and Rachel certainly knows it. She knows that Adachi has consistently said that his priority was to qualify his ‘Son of B’ Pension Reform measure for the ballot and that he’d consider a run for Mayor after that happened. I’m praying that her editors altered her copy to both smear Jeff with a lie and give support to Ed Lee. If not, I’ll be glad to print her confirmation that passing on this slanted and incorrect information was her idea. I wrote her a couple of hours ago and haven’t received a response.

Editor’s Note: Adachi has every right to run for mayor, regardless of whether he has said he will run or not. Ed Lee, on the other hand, was appointed “caretaker” mayor by the Board on the condition he would not seek a full-term. Gordon is mistakenly attempting to create equivalency where there is none.

Hmmm, Bulldog against Winnicker, Smith, Nevius, Garcia, Gordon, Falk, Sutton, Singer, Stearns and a host of others?

I like my odds.

Giants at 4:15pm to break out of slump.

Let me close with a song dedicated to Nathan Ballard:

Editor’s Note: Views expressed by columnists published on 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, 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.

More Posts - Website


Comments for Adachi Candidacy Tosses Life Preserver to San Francisco are now closed.

  1. @marc: Could you explain why “With IRV, we’re probably going to see someone elected with a narrow primary base and a shallow secondary base.”?

    I think you’re the local IRV expert.

  2. @Whitney, hope all is well with you. Adachi erred and continues to err by accepting the framing of economically libertarian billionaires whose successful politics had led us to this economic collapse that the public sector fiscal crisis was caused primarily by full spectrum public employee benefit packages. When politicians accept the framing of my opponents, operate within it and legitimate it, they can never deliver the outcomes that I’d desire and only make matters worse.

    Pensions are but one aspect of public policy that a mayor must deal with. Ed Lee sputtered and spawed when I asked him at the League of Pissed Off Voters happy hour whether political corruption did not cost the City more than unfunded pension liabilities, he’d not been briefed on that one.

    I’ve still got a third place vote undecided. If I am prepared to vote for Leland “car critical mass” Yee second, then I’m prepared to make compromises with my values based on strategic considerations if the net balance between positions I support and oppose reconcile to my satisfaction in accordance with my values. Adachi could dig himself out of a deep labor hole if he proves independent and progressive on other issues.

    I look forward to learning of Jeff Adachi’s positions on such crucial issues facing San Francisco such as pervasive political corruption, land use give aways that are destroying our east side neighborhoods, snarling transit and requiring massive taxpayer subsidies to developers, the bleeding dry of the Muni, the corruption at the DPW, the inability of the City to maintain its basic infrastructure as it goes instead of resorting to bonds, positions on regressive taxation such as sales taxes and tax breaks for bubble companies and police reform.

    Adachi’s ongoing courtroom pit bull style go it alone tactics on display for a single issue like pension reform were not encouraging. The voters rejected that approach last year, and seeing more of the same indicates an inability to learn and does not bode well for Adachi building a viable citywide governing coalition.

    With IRV, we’re probably going to see someone elected with a narrow primary base and a shallow secondary base. How that electoral coalition translates into a governing coalition is always the mystery. I hope we see the Jeff Adachi who rallied neighborhoods to defeat the machine in 2001 rather than Jeff Adachi, the new best friend of Michael Moritz.


  3. Excuse me for taking what may have been a less than obviously logical turn there, but “the war” is like the elephant in the room in any conversation about municipal financial crises.

    Obviously, canceling the Blue Angels Air Show would cost the City a few bucks in the short term, though it would be an innovation in anti-war organizing, not the same old rally proving that we have free speech to defend with bullets and bombs. One of the main excuses for continuing to invite it every year is that canceling would cost the City a few bucks—i.e., that even San Francisco is hooked on the military industrial complex, like every other city, county and state in the U.S. It can’t pass up a chance to raise taxes on hotel and restaurant bills, cab fares, and military chatchke sales, even if it means risking a jet fighter bomber crashing on the city at the speed of sound with 3000 gallons of kerosene-based jet fuel on board, And celebrating America’s war on the Global South to secure resources to sustain the war, even as it bankrupts the U.S. and every city therein.

    People have been asking me to go to D.C. or help publicize the usual “health care not warfare” demo in October but I said ‘Nah, I vote in a place where people have power they won’t use to reject the war, just by writing a note to the Secretary of the Navy. Don’t see any point in going to beg.’

  4. Actually, excuse me: wrong word; the City doesn’t have legal jurisdiction re the Blue Angels; it’s the power to invite, or not. The Angels come by invitation only. The City has the power to invite them, annually, or cancel the invitation, which has to be formally submitted by the last week of September.

  5. Anyone remember the cost of “the war,” quotes because no one’s sure which one, or how many, we’re even talking about anymore. Pension reform backer Matt Gonzalez himself said it costs San Francisco $600 million/yr.

    So what’s San Francisco supposed to do about that? Cancel the Blue Angels Air Show of course. The City has jurisdiction.

  6. @ Luke, Whitney,

    The point is not whether voters overdid it a little with worker pensions. The point is that those worker pensions wouldn’t be a problem if we were not bailing out, instead of taxing, the rich, the finance capital firms, and corporations.

    The point is that there don’t need to be any cuts to solve the problem. And the -false- claim that cuts are necessary (instead of tax increases on the wealthy) to solve what is largely a purposely -manufactured- fiscal crisis is -straight- out of the the Shock Doctrine playbook.

    And Adachi is being as much like Scott Walker as he can possibly be, in such a fundamentally progressive city as San Francisco. The methods are different, but the result will be the same. We will pay, while the rich laugh all the way to the bank.

    This stuff of blaming financial problems on worker pay and benefits and social spending, is happening -everywhere- right now. Greece, Wisconsin, Germany, England, Ohio, Michigan. Have you seen the uprisings?

    The fact that you all are not seeing this pattern and realising that it is the same -exact- agenda, everywhere in the world, is frightening.

    It -is- Disaster Capitalism. Right here in San Francisco; and everywhere else. The rich have launched an all out -war- on all of us.

    We need to rise up and stop it now.

  7. @h.: If you can find that link and share it, I”ll listen. Avalos doesn’t seem like one to attack the Public Defender’s office, but you’re making it sound like a personal attack on Adachi, not on the rights of indigent defendants, though the latter would no doubt be the more serious consequence.

    That what you’re describing? Oh hell, if you find the link, I”ll listen. I don’t generally find user friendly.

  8. Also, @Eric, though I consider you an ally in most things, I disagree with the argument that the Examiner, by its nature, can’t be expected to do any decent reporting. All the outlets we’re more inclined to trust publish and broadcast some really bad stuff, and even the New York Times and AP produce some good reporting once in a great while. Most media outlets are like a swamp of info and disinfo that you have to wade through.

  9. Annie,

    Yes, the Avalos/Elsbernd/Harvey Rose move that underfunded the Public Defender’s Office is probably what got him to thinking about Room 200. Do an Archive search of the Avalos led Finance Committee for the tape of the Budget meeting where they heaped abuse on Jeff.

    What goes around comes around.

    Who said that?

    Don’t know but it’s true and I just said it again.

    Go Giants!


  10. I’ve never spoken to Jeff Adachi about this, but I’ve been told that his pension reform drive is motivated by cuts to the Public Defender’s office which have meant that defendants facing the most serious of crimes, and penalties, are often stuck with indifferent, incompetent, court appointed lawyers. Can anyone confirm this? Mr. Adachi?

    That said, this association with Joe Nations and San Francisco’s plutocracy to achieve his goals is disheartening.

    As for the labor unions so outraged by this, I think they’re in trouble because of their insular indifference to broad social justice issues and working people as a whole.

  11. Mr. Brooks – do you really think it accurate to describe Adachi’s pension plan as akin to a Wisconsin-style assault? Isn’t it, in fact, far more progressive than the plan that the Wisconsin governmental union proposed in response to the Gov. Walker plan? The answer is yes, and more than a few have suggested that if reforms were implemented earlier, radical plans like Walker’s in Wisconsin (which among other things, cut off collective bargaining, an element that entirely distinguishes Adachi’s plan) would have never gained traction.

  12. Sabatini’s Examiner article does a good job a highlighting how San Francisco got into this pension tsunami mess.

    He highlights politicians (particularly Newsom) bending over for the sacred cows (police, fire and nurse unions) for political benefit (endorsements etc), and the voters for not doing their homework when they voted for increased pension payouts.

    Add in a poorly performing retirements portfolio fund and we are literally facing the prospect of insolvency, not to mention all the cuts to basic city services, year after year.

    Something has to be done to re-balance the imbalance, hence the need for reform – and though disaster capitalism, as defined by Naomi Klein, is something we should all be fighting to thwart, it is not the cause of SF’s pension costs crisis.

  13. And the SF Examiner, owned by corporate oligarchs, became an honest source of news about worker pay vs taxing corporate profits, just when exactly…?

  14. Eric sorry, but you are the one that does not get it !

    Please read today’s article
    San Francisco’s public pension system is drowning in red ink

    San Francisco Examiner:

  15. and then I’ll get on my knees and I’ll pray –

    we don’t get fooled again…

  16. Thank you, h. Go Jeff!
    Eric, where do you think the vampire squid are looking for their next feeding?– pension funds and access to health care accounts–that’s why the war on public employees.
    Chill on Adachi. Unions are the ones who have been bought off. We need the Anti-City Family slate. I am so thrilled Adachi is in. And I hope h and a legion of supporters show those spokesholes the door: theeey’rrrre OUT!

  17. H, you simply do not get it.

    Read the book.

  18. Elephant in room?

    The fact that Hellman said, and Ed Lee concurred that the 100 million or so in worker investment both of these plans call for (maximum) is around 300 million short of what the plans will need over the next 3 years. Where’s that money going to come from?

    If there’s justice then it has to come from the uber-wealthy and their corporations. Lee and Chiu and most of the pack are not only not calling for going aggressively after the big boys, they’re suggesting hundreds of millions more in tax cuts for them. It’s the old ‘Voodoo Economics’.

    Who’s got the stones to stand up to the corporations? That would be Jeff Adachi.

    Brandon Belt hits two homers and the Giants win again!


  19. @Eric
    Calpers has 260 billion in assets. It’s considered one the most powerful shareholder bodies in the world. Calpers is just one fund.

  20. First, your deceptive implication that pension funds and workers with 401Ks are somehow major players in global finance capital is nonsensical propagandistic bullshit.

    It is clearly wealthy elites and predatory multinational finance corporations like Goldman Sachs which control capital flows and wealth.

    Second, there is indeed -some- wealth holding and leverage held by pension funds on finance decisions. And though it is much smaller than you imply, it is nonetheless meaningful. It gives workers a tiny modicum of power.

    And the banks and finance megalopolies -hate- even that limited leverage.

    Which leads to the obvious 2+2=4 analysis.

    That little bit of leverage is -precisely- why wealthy elites are working so vehemently to cut worker pensions.

    Get it?

  21. @Eric
    Pension funds and mutual funds (via 401ks) are some of the largest shareholders (i.e., owners) of corporations. Pension funds pay out to union and non-union workers. Doesn’t that make your anti-corporate class warfare struggle circular?

    Making Adachi’s candidacy about a macro class struggle problem seems diffuse to the extreme.

  22. Eric,

    Could you expand on that a little?

    Giants won!


  23. @Rob – Anyone who doesn’t recognize that human civilization is in the most serious and even deadly class war of its history, is simply not paying attention. You need to go to Warren Buffet school brother.

    And your contention that this is about knee jerk support of unions is simply bogus.

    I am highly critical of unions, especially in San Francisco. Modern day unions have become ridiculously liberal (rather than radical) hierarchical, capitulating jokes. In San Francisco specifically, they have repeatedly organized to screw over local neighborhoods, workers, public health/safety, and affordable housing, at the behest of Wall Street developers like Lennar and Fortress; all just to limply (and barely) protect their own asses, and on -very- flimsy jobs promises from those corporations which rarely materialize.

    And of course the SEIU and others have -abjectly- failed their rank and file, and all people of San Francisco, by foolishly going along with the Ed Lee version of pension ‘reform’.

    This is an incredibly weak and self destructive move that shows no understanding of U.S. labor history whatsoever.

    The times demand that the unions wise UP and lead a -determined- general strike to shut this fucking city down until the rich and corporations, and the City government, capitulate to paying legitimate taxes, and delivering living wages, benefits, social services, and a new green economy renaissance, to all workers, the unemployed, and all of the people of this city.

    However, with all that said, you bet your ass I’ll stand with, and fight, to protect unions from the Wisconsin style assault underway on themselves, and on all of the rest of us in San Francisco.

    For all of their flaws, the unions are keeping our social structure and working class standard of living from descending completely into the toilet.

    The unions are our first line of defense against corporate and elite greed, and we need to fight to defend them, make them better and stronger, and get them to stand up to the neo-liberal capitalist power structure to help stop this latest global class war rampage in its tracks.

  24. Given Adachi is the only elected official who has the spine to challenge the unions, that’s good enough to get my #1 vote. City Hall corruption is a major problem.

    The Chronicle is shilling for Lee so hard it’s painful to watch.

    It will certainly be interesting to hear Adachi’s positions on the secondary issues…

  25. Rob,

    I had my fingers crossed to the very end that you wouldn’t say the word ‘bicycle’. And, who are you kidding? Everything is about me. Then the Giants.

    Least we agree on Jeff. I’ll ask him your questions if you list em all here.

    Giants up 2-0 in 6th.


    What Jeff said consistently

  26. H, this is not about you—or the Giants either, for that matter.

    Eric Brooks is a Class Struggle fundamentalist. Anyone who dares to criticize and/or oppose unions is The Enemy, even if the unions, with the help of all good progressives, have been looting the city’s treasury for years. No one would have noticed the scam if the Real Estate/Wall Street bubble had never burst, but sooner or later they always do.

    Adachi gets my vote for going against City Hall on the pension issue. He defined himself by the enemies he made, and good for him!

    I would be even more enthusiastic if he challenged other Progressive Land dogma on traffic and development. 19,000 people on Treasure Island is “smart growth”? More 40-story highrises at Market and Van Ness? Screwing up traffic on Fell and Oak Streets on behalf of the Bicycle Coalition?

  27. That’s a highly Machiavellian view,” Adachi replied. Asked if he was considering running for mayor, he simply said: “No.”-SF Chronicle Feb 22, 2011

    Not so Machiavellian now is it?

    Adachi’s is a crook and his campaign was caught lying to the voters to get signatures. Here’s a SF Chronicle article on his campaigns bad behavior:

  28. Adachi Is Now An Enemy

    (H. Please read the book I reference below. Really read it. So that you will truly understand what Adachi and his pension ‘reform’ are really about. This, and Adachi, will be our ruin if we do not stop them.)

    Every indication shows that Adachi has sold out to pursue high cynical power politics using the leverage of the global corporate assault to drastically cut social spending, wages, health care, benefits, and education, to enrich the elite power structure.

    There is an all out war of the rich against the rest of us, and Adachi has joined the dark side of that war gambling to become wealthy and protected himself.

    Ranking him at all is a dangerous mistake.

    Anyone who is uncertain of this, should get a copy of Naomi Klein’s ‘Shock Doctrine’ and read it. Every word of it.


    Some Key Indications Of Adachi Corruption:

    That Adachi worked with the utterly corrupt Joe Nation to craft ‘pension reform’ shows clearly that Adachi is now an enemy of progressives.

    Joe Nation is bought and paid for by PG&E and tried to falsely paint Mark Leno as sympathetic to child molesters in his attempt to win an election against Leno; essentially in a blatant bid to become PG&E’s proxie in the California legislature?

    Supporting Adachi when he is keeping such company is absurd.

    Adachi’s Purposeful Prop B Maneuver To Flip Control Of City Hall To Downtown

    If progressives foolishly get behind Adachi, it will continue to deepen the terrible and growing divide between labor and progressives in this town when we should be working together to unite behind people like Avalos and Baum.

    This is exactly what Adachi’s prop B accomplished last November. That ballot measure was a brilliant divide and conquer maneuver by our enemies. Prop B was thrown into the election -on purpose- to completely drain labor away from getting into the trenches and fighting to help win elections for allies like Mandelman, Kelly, and Walker.

    Instead, all of labor’s precious foot soldiers were forced to fight prop B and the result was that we -lost- the progressive majority on the Board of Supervisors; and then in very well planned short order, we lost control of City Hall itself to the Downtown machine.

    This is serious business, it was not by any stretch of the imagination an accident, and it means that Adachi is now our enemy.

  29. H Brown has earned his day in the sun, here is to many many more days of sunshine H.
    Adachi for mayor.