Friday, June 04, 2010

Vote 2010: California Proposition 16 and Proposition 17: Just Say No Way!

... Surprise!
Yes, I'm back.
I do apologize for being MIA for however long it's been.

And, because You're Worth It, rather than offering an explanation...
I prefer to offer something much more worth your time and attention...

The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing But The Truth.
And, What A Timely... Nay... What An Urgent Truth At That.

And what is The Truth, you might ask?

The Truth, dear friends and neighbors is this...

PG&E is at it... Again!

And, as hard as it may be to believe... this time, it's even worse.

In the past, when the visionary concept of "Public-Owned/Locally-Produced Power" had successfully reached inclusion on the list of Propositions to be voted on by Californians... In the months prior to the day when people would be heading to their polling places, PG&E would spend tens of millions of dollars on a perpetual barrage of slick TV-ad campaigns and glossy mass-mailings - all of which had been finely-tuned and choreographed by PG&E's well-paid sound-bite/spin-meisters.

Without hesitation, PG&E spent truckloads of money on these guileful commercials.
Their self-serving goal being this: to convince California's Public-at-Large that "Public Power" was "Public Enemy #1".

And sadly, at each of those times, their mega-million dollar mis-information campaigns worked.

You'd think PG&E would be content with that kind of record.

They're not.

Nope... Not PG&E ("Pathological Greed & Exaction").

In this, their most recent Anti-Competition Campaign, the monstrous power-monopoly has actually spent $35-$45 million in an attempt to convince Californians to vote In Favor a Proposition... Proposition 16, to be exact.

The difference between then and now is this:
Proposition 16 - referred to as "The Taxpayer's Right To Vote Act" in the TV spots - was written and created by PG&E!

Please don't be fooled by the indignant cries - not coming from concerned Californians, but from Paid Actors - of:
"And, we don't even have the right to vote on it!".


I've studied the situation.
I've done my due diligence of Following The Money:
Finding out who paid to saturate the airwaves with the ads.
Figuring out who has the most to gain if Prop. 16 passes.

And, yes, there is a conspiracy going on here.
But, it's not the government power-grab conspiracy that PG&E wants you to believe.
It's actually just another PG&E Power-Grab.
A Corporate Conspiracy to change California's State Constitution to fend off the threat that the increasingly popular public power-option and green-energy will likely be to their monopoly and their mind-boggling profits.

My fellow Californians:
Please don't let PG&E get away with pulling the wool over people's eyes again.

Please talk with your friends and neighbors about The Truth.
Prop. 16 was written by PG&E.
Passing Prop. 16 would only serve PG&E by re-writing California's State Constitution to prevent the utility having to face competition from other energy providers and (gasp!) offer more competitive rates to customers.
It would perpetuate their massive fossil fuel-based energy monopoly, their virtually non-existent green-energy development and their perpetually rubber-stamped rate increases.

Spread The Good Word:
PG&E Can Take Their $35-$45 Million and Shove It...
Our Democracy Is Not For Sale!

Vote NO On Proposition 16!


Enjoy this great article on the issue from The San Francisco Bay Guardian:

From: The San Francisco Bay Guardian Newspaper

The Danger Of Propositions 16 and 17
04.20.10 - 1:28 pm
Guardian Staff Writers

"The problem here is not just two awful laws - it's the idea that a single company, with loads of cash, can utterly subvert the basic premise of Democracy."


The California Democratic Party voted at its statewide convention April 17 to oppose Propositions 16 and 17.

The San Francisco Chronicle — no friend of public power and consumer rights — endorsed strongly against both measures April 18.

In fact, most major newspapers and civic groups have come out against what amounts to the most blatant attempt in California history by a pair of big corporations to buy favorable legislation at the ballot box.

And for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and Mercury Insurance, none of that matters much.

This campaign is all about money — big gobs of money — and PG&E and Mercury have it and their opponents, so far, don't.

And if that doesn't change in the next few weeks — if Democratic Party leaders, starting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer — don't immediately start making the defeat of these two measures a priority, California will send a signal to every big corporate interest in the world that its laws and policies are for sale.

Proposition 16 is being sold — in slick TV ads and mailers so deceptive they can only be called intentional lies — as giving the voters the right to have a say before local government gets into the business of selling electricity. The proposition, one PG&E flyer notes, "is our best protection against government spending your money to get into a business they [sic] know nothing about."

Actually, government knows a lot about the electricity business.

All over California, public power agencies offer better service and lower rates than the private utilities (see: PG&E).

Nationwide, residents of more than 2,000 communities have public power — and few want to give it up and return to buying electricity from private utilities.

But that's not the point. Prop. 16 exists entirely because PG&E wanted to stop competition.

PG&E has spent at least $35 million of its money to pass a law that would require a two-thirds vote (a nearly insurmountable obstacle) before any local agency can offer or expand local electricity service.

The Chronicle, which has always opposed public power in San Francisco, argues that "Californians should be skeptical of any local government's claim that it can deliver cheaper and cleaner power than an established utility. But they should be at least as wary when that monopoly utility wants to deprive them of that choice."

Proposition 17 is another blatant single-interest measure, sponsored and underwritten entirely by one giant insurance company, to change the way car insurance is regulated in California.

It would, among other things, allow insurers to raise rates for people who don't already have coverage. Give up your car for a year (because you lost your job and couldn't afford it, or decided that you could commute just as well by bicycle, or for any other reason) and the next time you buy insurance, your rates could soar — even if your driving record was clean.

The problem here is not just two awful laws — it's the idea that a single company, with loads of cash, can utterly subvert not only the intent of California's initiative law but the basic premise of Democracy.

PG&E and Mercury were unable to get the state Legislature to do what they wanted, so they hired campaign consultants, paid millions for people to gather signatures on petitions, put the self-serving measures on the ballot, and are now flooding airwaves and mailboxes with well-crafted, effective lies.

If they succeed, what's going to stop every other sleazy big-money interest from doing the same?

Well, right now, nothing.

It's absolutely critical, both for the issues of public power and consumer rights and for the fundamental notion that you can't simply buy a new law, that Props. 16 and 17 are defeated.

But we're not seeing a lot of evidence that any of the most influential people in California are taking this seriously.

State Sen. Mark Leno has done tremendous work in getting the state party to oppose Prop. 16. Assembly Member Tom Ammiano has been working nonstop in Sacramento to try to get some money into the No on 16 coffers. San Francisco Sup. Ross Mirkarimi has led the statewide organizing efforts. And San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera joined a lawsuit to invalidate the law.

But in all the speeches and public statements that Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Attorney General Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. candidates Janice Hahn and Gavin Newsom, party chair John Burton, and others delivered at the state party convention, there was nary a mention of the fundamental importance of voting NO on 16 and 17. None of the people who are capable of raising millions of dollars, the sort of money needed to defeat these measures, is making much of an effort to do it.

Propositions 16 and 17 can be defeated.

All it takes is a massive campaign to educate voters in a low turnout election about what these two measures actually are.

But if the state's political leaders allow these two measures to pass, California in 2010 will go down in history as the most corrupt and ungovernable state in America.

And it's very close to happening."

San Francisco's/California's Brilliant & Influential Movers & Shakers:

* Speaker Of The House, Nancy Pelosi's, San Francisco Congressional Office Address:
90 7th Street, Suite 2-800, San Francisco, California 94103.
The phone number: 415-556-4862.

* Office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein:
One Post Street, Suite 2450
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: (415) 393-0707
Fax: (415) 393-0710

* Office of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
1700 Montgomery St., Suite 240
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 403-0100
(202) 224-0454 fax

* Attorney General Jerry Brown:
California Department of Justice
Attn: Public Inquiry Unit
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
(916) 322-3360 or (Toll-free in California) (800) 952-5225
Fax: (916) 323-5341

* Mayor Gavin Newsom
City Hall, Room 200
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102
Telephone: (415) 554-6141
Fax: (415) 554-6160

* Janice Hahn
Lieutenant Governor 2010 Committee
5353 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 109
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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