Public Defender Jeff Adachi is firing back against local labor leaders and legislators trying to draw a link between his pension-reform efforts in San Francisco and the battle over the future of organized labor that is playing out in Wisconsin.
Adachi, a Democrat, says that efforts to compare him to Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin — including bizarre speculations that he is somehow connected to the Tea Party movement — are “red-baiting” intended to obscure a serious conversation about the financial problems posed by current pension and health-care costs for city employees.
Exhibit A in his argument is a point he says his critics have ignored — the fact that public employees in Wisconsin have already agreed to financial concessions similar to those Adachi is advocating.
“If we were in Wisconsin, the workers there would have agreed to the changes that Prop. B would have made,” Adachi says. “The labor movement in Wisconsin is much more realistic and practical in dealing with its issues there.”