Redbeardedguy - Posted on 09 June 2011

Thornton Kimes

A year or two ago the San Francisco-based The Bay Citizen flexed its muscles, joining the ever-growing on-line newsworld, with a nice mainline shot o' green from financier Warren Hellman. Now the “Bay Citizen” provides Bay Area news for issues of The New York Times that include our part of the world.

Minister of Information JR of the San Francisco BayView paper, and Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Robles of POOR Magazine, wrote, at the time, of the GentriFUCKation of the on-line wwworld—the Bay Citizen was one of their main targets. Warren Hellman, unsurprisingly, is not content to merely PAY for news content on computer, cellphone and other screens, he makes news too...and not in a good way.

The Bay Citizen's section of the New York Times recently covered an on-going bit of the all-the-time Budget Brawl In City Hall which resurrected a phrase I've never heard before: “The City Family”. People got tired of “brawling” in general in City Hall, or that's the story being sold on E-Bay these days, thus San Francisco ex-Supervisor Chris Daly is the blackest sheep in the city “Family”, the invisible elephant in the corner, made irrelevant by fiat.

The Budget Brawl seems to be mutating into “this is how it's gonna be, see”, aka “play ball by my rules or you'll see Hell before I do!”. Interim Mayor Ed Lee and others have gotten in bed with Twitter and are eager to get in bed with other devilish partners, among other things. It feels like I live in Chicago instead of San Francisco!

I've said it before, I've never had a union job. I'd love to have one, if there was a union out that with real sharp teeth. Unions have been hamstrung by politics since day one back in the day in the 1930's when they were raising hell for working folks' rights. They are constantly under attack in San Francisco and everywhere else. The MUNI bus drivers' union is constantly in the crosshairs, and City of San Francisco government workers have had bullseyes spray-painted on their backs for some time now.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi got into this particular aspect of the 24/7 Budget Brawl with a plan to take an axe to the pension plan of city workers, and he's still at it. Interim Mayor Lee and others have their own plan, apparently less hostile to workers than Adachi's, with Hellman on board as a big bucks supporter. Less hostile doesn't mean friendly.

Especially when the undead rise from the grave, aka the “City Family” thing. I don't really care who wins or loses in most of these Brawls, the winners and losers tend to not be friends of the poor—except that Adachi has been doing really good work defending SRO hotel tenants from the San Francisco Po'Lice, who have been performing illegal home invasions and stealing property from tenants and getting caught on video tape doing it.

Adachi has been threatened with Chris Daly-like irrelevance if he continues to push his pension plan. Is the campaign to stop the SFPD's abuse of SRO hotel tenants (among others they routinely abuse) the real reason for the attack on him?

City. Family. No family is “normal”, no family is without its own disagreements. Words are important. If you're gonna use those two words together, best not to leave anyone out of the family, best not to attack and hack 'n slash away at the crumbs doled out to the family members on Welfare. My yahoo and facebook identities are “redbeardedguy”. Coming into this story I felt like a storybook character who wanders in from the woods to an empty house with three steaming bowls of porridge on a table: one bowl marked “Hellman”, one marked “Adachi”, the other marked “Lee”. Which one do I eat?



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