Much shouting and finger-pointing accompanied Public Defender Jeff Adachi to City Hall on Tuesday, when Adachi was forced to defend himself and his pension reform ballot measure — SF Smart Reform — from livid labor representatives.

Labor is peeved at Adachi’s audaciousness, wherein the PD went up and over the heads of politicians like Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Board of Supervisors — and ergo avoided wasting time at the legislative level, where Gavin’s friends with the Fire Union and the BoS’s buddies in SEIU and other labor would have shot it down anyhow — and engaged in a last-minute signature drive to qualify SF Smart Reform for the ballot.

How did Adachi get there? Venture capital, mostly: records show that venture capitalist Michael Moritz and his wife, author Harriet Heyman, donated another $95,000 in the last two weeks in June to the effort, on top of the $150,000 the Sequoia Capital principal had previously contributed.

There must be something about Adachi’s pension reform measure to make an admitted billionaire donate a cool quarter-million to the effort, and to encourage investor Ronald Conway and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger advisor David Crane to dish out $10,000 each.

There is, and that something smells fishy, according to Tim Paulson, executive director of the SF Labor Council. “This comes out of the same camp as Meg Whitman,” said Paulson, who pledged that “California workers energized by Whitman’s attacks on them will be energized to come out against [SF Smart Reform]. It’s the same corporate camp as Whitman, attacking workers.”

There may be some truth to that: Crane is a Democrat but decidedly pro-business; and who else but private capital would wish to put a stop to public employee benefits?

According to Adachi, there are 75,614 people in San Francisco eager for pension reform. Adachi dropped off that many John Hancocks at the Department of Elections today roughly one hour before the final deadline. In order to hit that number, his team collected an estimated 15,000 signatures over the holiday weekend.

If Adachi’s measure does qualify for the ballot, it will have done so more cheaply than Supervisor Sean Elsnernd’s Muni reform measure: records show SF Smart Reform has spent $157,000 in its push for 75,614 scribbles, or a little more than $2 per signature. Elsbernd’s Fix Muni Now spent over $4 per signature.

Whatever Adachi’s motives, and the motives of the money behind him, SF Smart Reform would save SF mucho dinero if it passes in November: up to $170 million of the city’s unfunded pension liability would be lifted from taxpayer’s backs (and dropped onto the backs of city workers, who would contribute up to 10 percent of their paychecks into their pension, up from as low as 7.5 percent).

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  • Greg Dewar

    Why say it is “putting a STOP to public employee benefits?” Where in the measure does it kill them off?

    It doesn’t.

    It’s kind of like how people say Fix Muni Now will “cut driver pay.”

    It doesn’t.

  • Greg Dewar

    Why say it is “putting a STOP to public employee benefits?” Where in the measure does it kill them off?

    It doesn’t.

    It’s kind of like how people say Fix Muni Now will “cut driver pay.”

    It doesn’t.

  • Jamie Whitaker

    Younger City workers with low seniority may not have to be sacrificed (laid off) …. Keeping as many folks employed as possible, as many services available to our most vulnerable and needy neighbors as possible, and keeping San Francisco away from insolvency while helping to ensure retirees actually get their promised benefits if they contribute a bit while still working is the Progressive thing to do. Jeff Adachi will be proven right as many public entities lacking such courageous leaders declare bankruptcy. Willie Brown and other career politician cowards thought they could hand a bill to Gen X and Gen Y to pay for their unsustainable public employee retirement benefits promises made to our public servants in exchange for political power and support. It is nice to see someone recognizing that we should treat our kids better than handing them all of the bills for promises made by scum bucket politicians to baby boomers.

  • Jamie Whitaker

    Younger City workers with low seniority may not have to be sacrificed (laid off) …. Keeping as many folks employed as possible, as many services available to our most vulnerable and needy neighbors as possible, and keeping San Francisco away from insolvency while helping to ensure retirees actually get their promised benefits if they contribute a bit while still working is the Progressive thing to do. Jeff Adachi will be proven right as many public entities lacking such courageous leaders declare bankruptcy. Willie Brown and other career politician cowards thought they could hand a bill to Gen X and Gen Y to pay for their unsustainable public employee retirement benefits promises made to our public servants in exchange for political power and support. It is nice to see someone recognizing that we should treat our kids better than handing them all of the bills for promises made by scum bucket politicians to baby boomers.

  • Jamie Whitaker
  • Jamie Whitaker
  • bloomsm

    Someone please inform me how and why a criminal defense attorney has any business putting pension reform on a ballot. Unless of course, said criminal defense attorney was sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong because he wants to be mayor someday. Biggest. Ego. Ever.

  • bloomsm

    Someone please inform me how and why a criminal defense attorney has any business putting pension reform on a ballot. Unless of course, said criminal defense attorney was sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong because he wants to be mayor someday. Biggest. Ego. Ever.

  • John Murphy

    well blooms – whose business is it? Newsom? Speaking of which, how can Adachi match the current Room 200 occupant on the “Biggest Ego Ever” scale?

  • John Murphy

    well blooms – whose business is it? Newsom? Speaking of which, how can Adachi match the current Room 200 occupant on the “Biggest Ego Ever” scale?

  • Jamie Whitaker

    How public dollars get spent and the services received is ALL of our business because those public dollars are our dollars … when Howard Dean said “I want my Country back!” in 2003/2004, that was the kick in the ass of a bunch of us to start paying attention and to throw the bums who would otherwise accept the unsustainable status quo out of office ….. the status quo is killing the next generation’s potential.

  • Jamie Whitaker

    How public dollars get spent and the services received is ALL of our business because those public dollars are our dollars … when Howard Dean said “I want my Country back!” in 2003/2004, that was the kick in the ass of a bunch of us to start paying attention and to throw the bums who would otherwise accept the unsustainable status quo out of office ….. the status quo is killing the next generation’s potential.

  • marcos

    Yes, Peter Pan, because you’re never going to grow up, never, ever, and you’re going to be one of the 1/3 of folks who actually make a defined contribution plan work. Hope you’re not speaking for your client.

    Adachi blew it in this instance because he limited contributions to health care for dependents of employees to 50%, effectively doubling the out of pocket cost for health insurance and pricing kids out of access to health care. Hmm, should we pay for gold plated defense for accused criminals or should we fund health care for kids of city workers, most of whom make

  • marcos

    Yes, Peter Pan, because you’re never going to grow up, never, ever, and you’re going to be one of the 1/3 of folks who actually make a defined contribution plan work. Hope you’re not speaking for your client.

    Adachi blew it in this instance because he limited contributions to health care for dependents of employees to 50%, effectively doubling the out of pocket cost for health insurance and pricing kids out of access to health care. Hmm, should we pay for gold plated defense for accused criminals or should we fund health care for kids of city workers, most of whom make