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Friday, March 19, 2010

S.F. Business Group Spurns Pelosi's Health Care Plea

Posted By on Fri, Mar 19, 2010 at 5:15 PM

click to enlarge Not winning the vote of San Francisco's business community...
  • Not winning the vote of San Francisco's business community...
Despite 30 minutes of face time, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi failed to convince a delegation of San Francisco Chamber of Commerce business leaders to endorse the most important piece of legislation a San Francisco politician has shepherded in the history of the world.

"She thinks insurance companies are out of control, and until we get reform passed, we'll never get insurance rates under control," said Chamber CEO Steve Falk, in reference to Pelosi's decision to take time out earlier this week from cajoling people who'll actually vote on her bill to invite a city business delegation into her conference room.

In return, the House speaker apparently got bupkis.

"She would certainly like all business organizations to take a position on this. But she understands that the lack of detail has folks concerned," Falk said. "We haven't taken a position on health care reform because so far there is a significant lack of detail: What's the impact on small business?"

Added Falk: "The frustration with it is this: there's no doubt the Chamber of Commerce has been listening to the woes of small business owners being clobbered with high insurance rates. We want some kind of reform. But the devil's in the details. And there are no details."

Chamber representatives also met with Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Jackie Speier, all with an eye to greasing the skids for millions of dollars in funding for transportation projects such as new freeway off-ramps at Mission Bay and in the Presidio.

"We came back with a high confidence

level that San Francisco business

leaders and the Chamber were able to get these projects on the short list," Falk said.

So the best way to lobby a powerful politician is to give her an "in-yo'face" at the most important juncture of her legislative career?

It's time we signed up to send these Chamber guys to the Middle East.

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Matt Smith


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