PG&E's Prop 16 ads, which claim that they are defending our right to vote rather than buying themselves a constitutionally guaranteed monopoly over any possible competitors (you know, like start-up solar energy collectives), actually include some glowing endorsements from what sound like reputable organizations. How did they get these fine outfits to sign on you ask? According to an article in the Sacramento Bee, apparently the answer is that they either flat out bought them, or have highly placed employees in positions of trust within key boardrooms and got the endorsements they wanted that way. Here's the list:
Antioch California Chamber of Commerce - PG&E donated $27,000 to this fine business oriented organization last year. The "Chamber" later endorsed Proposition 16.
California State Conference NAACP - PG&E gave $25,000 to them in 2009. And the NAACP endorsed Prop 16 in 2010. Also PG&E spent $50,000 on an NAACP related voter slate card.
American GI Forum - Got $5,000 from PG&E to pay for a big dinner party in 2009. Which could be why they forked over their endorsement when the utility giant came around asking a year later.
California Chamber of Commerce - Since they are a "Chamber," their motives always have to be examined very closely. And here we find that PG&E executives proudly sit on the CCoC Board of Directors, which has now endorsed a proposition funded by their employers. No conflict of interest there!
The Bay Area Council - You might remember an individual we discussed some months back named Jim Wunderman. Jim was not only instrumental in the creation of SB 375 (having been cited at the bill's signing for his selfless efforts by Der Ahnold himself), but he also led the now failed attempt to rewrite the California State Constitution. According to Wunderman the Bay Area Council endorsed Prop 16 by "an overwhelming margin." You can only imagine what Wunderman wanted this new Constitution to look like. My guess is Paraguay could have served as a role model.
The Coalition for Green Jobs - While this bunch did not get any electric money themselves, "The Coalition" does include many building trades unions that do some bidness with PG&E. Thus their willingness to deliver an invaluable "Green" endorsement for an energy company listed among the state's worst greenhouse gas producers.
The California Alliance for Consumer Protection - This is one of those groups that sounds like they're our very best buddy, but is actually a lobbying organization that works hard for the corporate buck. It's no wonder they've endorsed Proposition 16. PG&E having spent over $15 million on lobbying last year. I suspect the "California Alliance" ate well at that table.
Our Next List
... comes to us from the website CalWatchDog, which is listed to the right of this column. Check it out some time, it rocks. And this cited item tells us about how our overly caring representatives in Sacramento are working very hard to protect us against having too much fun. These guys can't run the state, nor balance the budget, or even help educate our kids despite the vasts sums of tax money they're allowed to play with. But, and as we can see in a CWD article entitled "Nanny May I?," when it comes to being everybody's second mommy, nobody shakes a finger quite so sternly as our elected state representatives.
Here are a few:
Leland Yee (D - SF) and Dave Jones (D - Sacramento): If you ride a bike, ski, or enjoy snowboarding, it is the hopes of these two Assemblymen that you will always wear a helmet. And so strongly do they feel about this issue that they are trying to make their wishes the law of the land. Can full body armor be far behind? Dave Jones has also authored a bill that will play a major role in the vital field of pet insurance consumer protection.
Jared Huffman (D - San Rafael): The Senator wants to ban the use of metal bats in Little League and school baseball games. Apparently somebody got hit in the head with a batted ball, and because of this single incident Jared wants all bats in the future to be wooden. Something that would cost childrens' sporting organizations such as our Little League a bit of money since wood bats tend to break quite often. And don't those kinds of bats come from ... trees?
Fiona Ma (D - San Francisco): Rather than doing things like bringing our state back from the brink of fiscal collapse, Fiona has decided to concentrate on the very important issue of outlawing body piercing for kids under the age of 18 years of age. Which would make her very unpopular down on Melrose Avenue.
Alex Padilla (D - Pacoima): Alex feels really strongly about Gatorade. So strongly in fact that he wants to outlaw the drinking of the stuff from all schools in the state of California. Which begs the question: What will victorious high school football teams dump on their coaches when they win a championship?
A dicey power company trying to place its self-interest into the California Constitution, and toys in the attic elected officials who want to micronanny the lives of everyone unfortunate enough to have to live in the same state with them.
Only in third millennium California.