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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pension Wars: Labor Head, Chamber of Commerce Boss to Head "Consensus Plan"

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 1:45 PM

click to enlarge References to The Odd Couple may date us, but we're going for it anyway
  • References to The Odd Couple may date us, but we're going for it anyway

The proponents of the "consensus plan" pension measure -- Proposition C -- have come up with a pretty clever bit of gamesmanship to push that whole consensus idea: The co-chairs of the measure's ballot committee will be labor council boss Tim Paulson and chamber of commerce head Steve Falk -- the equivalent of Dracula and the president of the Gilroy Garlic Festival joining forces. (Depending on your political views, you can assign either man with Dracula/garlic status).

This is more than just a symbolic presentation of a united front. It also foretells plenty of money coming in from said united front.

"I think the indicators of financial resources would be there," notes consultant Chris Lee. "This is pretty genius. I honestly see the voters looking for folks who are looking for solutions to the problems, rather than throwing hand grenades in the minefield and blowing everyone up."

Not surprisingly, Jeff Adachi, he of rival pension plan Prop. D, was not impressed.

"It's a consensus between elected officials and the labor officials who were in the room," he says. Regarding the chamber of commerce's involvement, Adachi says the business-friendly body "concluded that [the "consensus plan"] was an easier political fix. The fact remains, if it doesn't solve the problem, what good is it? ... The savings under the original plan put forth by Ed Lee were much closer to our measure. Then they went through the so-called consensus process and it got weaker and weaker."

In addition to consensus, the Prop. C backers -- who had worried about Adachi pushing a "yes-yes" campaign to approve both measures -- unveiled a website whose name says a lot:

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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