Thursday, June 10, 2010

Really Good Tuesday, Bleary-Eyed Happy Wednesday: PG&E's Prop.16 Defeated

Greeting From The Golden State!

Just prior to this Tuesday's Primary in Cali, I'd been blogging and posting items around the 'net to emphasize the importance that voters in our beloved California understand the Truth behind Proposition 16 and, hopefully, upon learning said Truth... vote against it.

CA Proposition 16 was framed, written and financially-sponsored - to the tune of $46 Million (In the words of sarah palin: "I kid you not.") - by that big ol' monopolizing, corporate parasite: PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric).

And, although the shockingly expensive campaign's goal - with it's targeted, shiny & colorful mailings that resembled Green Party mailings and contained references to "Green Energy" (which PG&E has shown virtually no genuine interest in developing voluntarily) and it's endless barrage of TV commercials with their over-the-top sense of urgency and indignant cries from the actors, babbling about "... government taking away our rights!" - was to sell Prop. 16 as (get this): "The Voter's Right To Choose Act"... This legislation, if passed, would have actually taken away Californians Right To Choose/opt for Public-Owned Power/Green Energy suppliers instead of PG&E by changing the CA State Constitution so that it would require a 2/3 majority ballot vote - something PG&E well knew would have been impossible to achieve - and thereby cementing their fossil fuel-focused, power-supplying monopoly across the state for perpetuity.

Recent events in our beloved Marin County undoubtedly contributed to lighting a fierce fire under PG&E's sizable buttocks and motivating them to do whatever was necessary to achieve their goal of maintaining their monopoly of supplying energy in California.

Thousands of those fine folks unceremoniously dumped PG&E... Opting, instead, to answer the door when Opportunity came a'knocking.

My Warmest Welcome and Greetings to: "Marin Clean Energy", California's First Public Power Agency.

"Marin Clean Energy, a Community Choice Aggregation Program, is an alternative to PG&E and other utility companies. It allows electricity consumers to choose nonpolluting, renewable energy.

The Community Choice Aggregation program was established by the State Legislature in 2002 to give cities and counties the ability to procure electricity on behalf of its customers."


Despite Marin County's achievement, needless to say, fighting Prop. 16 looked to be an uphill battle from the start...

It was going be PG&E's not just deep, but bottomless pockets VS a truly rag-tag pseudo-assemblage of citizens across California, many of whom immediately - upon hearing the "Yes on 16" TV ad for the first time - smelled a big, fossil-fueled, money-lusting rat... namely PG&E.

The No On Prop. 16 Campaign wasn't nearly as well-organized as the mega-bucks corporate monopoly... Still, there were countless individuals and small groups of Californians whom passionately spread the Good Word/The Real Truth about Prop. 16.

And, as it turned out, the "No on 16" Campaign utilized the proven tools of the internet effectively: Groups of concerned citizens of many sizes posted videos on YouTube: Groups like: "BayLocalize" - a rocking group whom posted the Fabulous Music Video you'll find below, which they'd filmed on the steps of the PUC (Public Utilities Commission) - it's a catchy "NO on Prop. 16" message in song and an adaptation of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive") and "NoOnProp16" - whom posted a number of videos with footage of local and network news attention... my favorite of theirs being the $30-Budgeted Mash-up video of "man-on-the-street" real people conversations about Prop. 16, which is also below.

Some groups built pages on Facebook... "Vote No On Prop 16" for example, and they soon discovered that someone had hacked into their Facebook account, commandeered their Facebook ID's and then falsely and fraudulently posted their individual names followed by the statement: "Likes Prop. 16". (Those Bastards!).

And a variety of people - myself included - posted the Truth About Prop. 16 whenever and wherever the opportunity arose.

BayLocalize's "I Will Survive - No On Prop 16":

NoOnProp16's "Mash-Up People On The Streets Interview":

All of You Guys and Grrls Against Prop. 16 Rocked... and You Rocked The Vote!

Heading towards the Finish Line, the "No on 16" Campaign had raised a total of no more than $90,000 to fight the evil, entrenched, energy empire. Unlike PG&E, they couldn't afford a barrage of slick TV ads all across California. Nor could they afford to print and send out many thousands of targeted, shiny, multi-colored mailings on photographic paper.

But the No On 16 Campaign had The Truth on its side.

Thankfully, those against Prop. 16 had a healthy amount of internet access/savvy and know-how.

Individually and in groups, we were all committed to working - when we could - to get the word out about PG&E's lies.

To tell our friends and neighbors and communities about how PG&E was blowing the equivalent of the Gross National Product of a small country to spread their lies and deceit... to incessantly hammer their B.S. across the airwaves.

And, do you know WHY they dumped so much damn money into Prop. 16?

PG&E sank $47 Million into Prop. 16 because that mega-bucks, money-grubbing monopoly thinks so little of all of their hard-working customers that they are convinced that we Californians are Stupid.

PG&E thinks we Californians are so stupid, in fact, that they were sure that if they constantly flashed their lies at our eyes and blasted them at our ears enough times... that we'd start to believe that the lies they were telling were the truth.

Kinda makes one a bit... I dunno... Angry?

Many citizens also began to pressure some better-known CA elected officials to get them to speak out against Prop. 16 (which, in some cases, finally worked - although they sent their representatives... but, hey, they're busy people, too.)

And, heck, at this point... I'd even say we had The Force on our side.

These were only "Primaries" and only being held in 12 states, so many talking heads on TV repeatedly mentioned "low voter turnout" as a real possibility... which might not bode well for the "NO on 16" Campaign.

And, it wasn't really what some mis-labeled as a "Super Tuesday", a term historically used for Presidential Elections.

Pointing this out, Rachel Maddow (Love Her), instead, called it "Really Good/Pretty Good Tuesday" throughout her coverage.

I voted. (Hope you did, too!)

Then, I stayed up late watching Rachel's election results coverage. The last local mention I'd seen was that Prop. 16 was losing... though not by much.

The next morning, on "Bleary-Eyed Wednesday"... I hopped out of bed and onto the internet in search of the Prop. 16 Official Results...

Strangely enough... the results of the vote didn't pop-out right away. They weren't on the homepages for a few local news station websites - well, at least not the Propositions.

And then, I found it...

Oh Beautiful, Happy Day!

Somewhat remarkably, PG&E's deceitful, democracy-damaging, $46 Million Proposition 16 Campaign had gone down in Flames of Defeat!

Approximately... The No Votes: 52%. The Yes Votes: 48%.

(I later found out that the vast majority of the more TV ad gullible folks live in Southern and Central CA. ie - San Bernardino County. Thanks, CA Dept. of Elections website.)

This, my fellow Californians, was an upset of Biblical Proportions!

"David Slays Goliath... Again!"

That said, in the Republican Primary for the Governor's Race, the choice was, unfortunately, between two evils.

And, one of those two evils, Meg Whitman - unqualified, unsuitable, inexperienced and unPR-savy as she could be - sank $71 Million (not a typo) of her own fortune into a barrage of attack ads against her opponent, Steve Poizner, the CA State Insurance Commissioner.

And, Whitman won. (Ugh.)

But, hey... No worries whatsoever!

November's a long way's away.

And, the Honorable Mr. Jerry Brown will be the Democratic Party's candidate for Governor.

He's experienced... Heck, he's already been Governor of California... you can't get more qualified/better experience for the office than that!

Also... Let's remember: One battle at a time.

In the big picture, in This Battle... Californians Won!

As I had stated in a variety of items that I posted:

"PG&E can take their $46 Million and shove it!"

"You (PG&E and anyone else) cannot buy our Democracy!"*

*Unless you're Meg Whitman, have $100's of Millions in a vast personal fortune, are bound and determined to buy your way into elected office and are damn lucky.

Albeit such an unfortunate result is only a one-time thing.

And, putting all her eggs (and her $71 Million) into this Primary was Meg's one-shot, Thankfully.

We can all hope...

We can also actively organize; volunteer; contact friends, family, neighbors; form groups in our communities; post videos; create webpages; dig up dirt on ol' Meg...

We can do Everything we Californians did to Successfully Defeat PG&E, Defend our State Constitution and our Democracy from a corrupt, corporate take-over, and then some.

We defeated PG&E, people.

We Can Do Anything!


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