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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

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

Posted By on Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 1:40 PM

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:

click to enlarge rsz_billion_dollar_bet_cover.jpg

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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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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