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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Lunch w/ Chamber Pres

Posted by on July 27 at 16:13 PM

Just had lunch with Steve Leahy, the head of Seattle’s Chamber of Commerce. Apparently, I had caused a stir among his membership when I published a controversial e-mail he had written, so he wanted to meet me. I was his guest today at a rotary club lunch (weird patriotic songs, overly-friendly people), and then we hunkered down in the lobby of the Westin. Leahy was way different than I thought he’d be. I had talked to him on the phone when I was doing the e-mail story, and he sounded like a wine-sipping upper crust type. In peson, however, I found that he’s more of a Jimmy Hoffa Jr. typethat is: Kind of a fast-talking brawler in a suit with lots of strong opinions (mostly about transit issues.) We never struck a deal about on-the-record or off-the-record, so I could probably get away with quoting him here, but, again, since there was no agreement struck one way or the other, I’d have to be a real dick to go and quote him. He did say one thing, though, that unlike most of his opinions, wasn’t a policy point, but was, rather, a general observation about Seattle. Since I agree with him 100% on this point, and since I wouldn’t be showing his hand on a particular political issue, I’m going to repeat the crux of it here: He seemed to think that a lot the problems in town were caused by political leaders’ unwilingness to state their positions loud and clear and up front. In other words, their unwillingness to go on the record.