With his endorsement of Laurie Capitelli, the conservative running for mayor in Berkeley, Robert Reich has now lost all credibility as a progressive. His shameful fawning over Hillary Clinton (she’ll make a “great president”) was bad enough, but it’s understandable that some people who supported Bernie Sanders are terrified of Donald Trump and will therefore vote for Clinton, despite the fact that Clinton is not progressive. But to endorse the most conservative candidate for mayor in Berkeley is absolutely inexcusable for someone who holds himself out as a progressive. Laurie Capitelli is a major part of the conservative majority on our City Council that has forced massive, unwanted development upon us, has attempted to block a stronger minimum wage ordinance, has blocked badly needed reform of the police commission and has obstructed strong tenant protections — to list just some examples off the top of my head. The soda tax that Reich and Capitelli worked on was nice, but it’s a very minor issue compared to the issues I listed.
It’s too bad that Reich is apparently getting conservative in his old age. I used to really like and respect him and his body of work, but now he’s just another old-and-in-the-way former progressive.
Jeff Hoffman is a Berkeley resident.