Friday, June 4, 2010

A Couple of Lists

Perhaps the worst proposition on next week's ballot is Prop 16. Fully funded by the northern California energy giant PG&E, it seeks to place into our state constitution a provision that would just about guarantee that anyone attempting to compete with them (or those like them such as SoCal Edison and Sempra) would face almost insurmountable odds at the ballot box. And for this great honor they have spent $46 million of their own money. So far.

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.

41 comments:

  1. Thanks, Crawford.
    Most of the Tattler readers will be voting NO.

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  2. Son children : you wont be getting off the electrical grid anytime soon .

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  3. Wow, 46 million. Say no more.

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  4. I've spent the week watching cartoons with young children. While there are some bright spots out there in ether land I've been struck by the similarities to local and state politics. In fact, it is a cartoon world and we're bringing up Joey and the Moscateers to take their place in a one-dimensional non-confrontational mind numbing arena of "me first" clammering politicos who want to make a name for themselves but have no ideas or insights - just endless chattering.

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  5. 8:58, your observation begs the question, has it always been thus?
    Steve Allen wrote a book in the 80's about the dumbing down on America. Dumbth.
    I'm not sure any country has ever been that smart. Maybe just stubborn.
    So are we Rome, 476 AD, or just still the era before?

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  6. It's no longer enough to "just vote no" if you're against higher taxes or political grabs. And if they don't get your hard earned $$$ one way, they'll find another.

    Never ending battle for truth, justice and the American way -- whatever that means.

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  7. Joe and John are working hard to bring Sierra Madre to the kinds of politics and government that has dragged this state to the depths it is in now. Tax as much as you can tax, raise fees and rates as high as people can stand, and then. when all that is used up, start working some bonds. Which is just a polite way of sinking the city deep into debt. Water rate hikes, slight of hand UUT enhancing tricks, street bonds, pay raises, the new agreement they'll soon work out with the cops and, of course, the crown of their creation, development and lots of it. Sierra Madre is no longer hidden away.

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  8. One day soon, the complacent voters and non-voters of Sierra Madre will wake up and ask:

    "What the hell has happened"?

    Hey complacent voters.....ask MacGillivray, she'll tell you. Oh, wait....she already did tell you and you didn't want to believe her....
    too bad. You voted in Mosca, Moran and Walsh.
    You believed the LIES of the dirts. Now you only have one honest representative on the council, MaryAnn.
    Hey people in Sierra Madre, you had 3 honest neighbors, willing to work for you on our city council.....Don Watts, Pat Alcorn and John Crawford......they would have saved Sierra Madre.
    Now, we can all watch it turn into Los Angeles, and watch California turn into Greece.

    Good luck to ya' all.

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  9. Boy oh boy this corruption stinks to high heaven.The California Chamber of Commerce can't take a position on the proposition if some PGE execs sit on the board.Talk about a conflict of interest.

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  10. Chambers of Commerce are generally about as crooked as a cane. The only commerce they're interested in is the kind that puts money in their pockets as quickly as possible.

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  11. Political terminology is maddening. It's a bunch of advertising/public relations language games that make the public give up trying to find the truth. People complain a lot about voter apathy, but you can understand why people get discouraged. I make an effort to read the actual propositions, but it's rough going, and have to rely on some public sources that I trust. And there are votes I'll abstain from just because the water is so murky. But Prop 16 is clearly a power grab.

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  12. The public relations firm that has created and run the Proposition 16 campaign will surely spend some time in Purgatory and/or hell.
    What level of Dante's Inferno do you think is occupied by those who make a living intentionally fooling voters?

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  13. Fiona Ma will do wonders for the piercing industry if she succeeds.

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  14. Fiona will drive that business underground. Think of the health consequences.

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  15. I think a lot of city governments, along with the Chamber types, look at residents strictly as a source of money. And they work full time trying to figure out how to get more of it. It's gotten to the point where if an event says it has something to do with the Chamber Of Commerce, I won't go.

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  16. 11:19, Dante was pretty specific. You'll find the manipulators of public perception can fit nicely into circle 8 or 9:

    Circle eight - Fraudulent, pimps, seducers, flatterers, simonists, sorcerers, corrupt politicians, sewers of division, falsifiers, alchemists, thieves
    Eternally walking and tormented. Living in excrement. Stuffed into holes. Heads turned backwards. Boiling tar. Lead capes. Snakes. Flames.

    Circle nine - Sinners against family, betrayers, traitors against country
    Encased in ice. Home of Satan. Cannibalism. Judas being eternally chewed by Lucifer.

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  17. A few issues ago Newsweek magazine ran a page comparing imagined fears and the real deals. For instance, don't spend a lot of time worrying about getting on a plane, but good luck next time you're in a car.
    Sounds like those reps need to do a reality check and look at some statistics.

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  18. Interesting 11:26. Do you think it would be possible to hire an exorcist as a consultant?

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  19. Voodoo and Chinese spell casting doesn't seem to be working...June 4, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    Vote no on 16, Dante obviously had a grip on insidious politicians back then, no to political nannies, get your holy water shooters filled up at the San Gabriel Mission, in the old church from the copper basin, where all the indians were forced to pray not the new church, take aim and squirt the indian holy water at them mentioned at 9;41 they should melt, if not revert to the implosion of hearts like the movie men that stare at goats, take some red brick and salt to the voting booth, who needs expensive exorcists when you have the merry band of tatts.

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  20. Why does Wayne have Betty Rubble on his list?

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  21. I just sent 50.00 to the national wildlife federation fund, they are cleaning up the animals in Louisiana, they are asking for as little as ten dollars, they have a you tube site and you can find them by searching who is helping the animals of the oil spill. Please help if you can

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  22. Betty Rubble (Barney's wife) is top gal in Wayne's book as "one of the top ten female cartoon characters we'd like to have sex with". The other ladies are real actresses, I suppose they're in the same category.

    Spoof.

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  23. I can get Betty - I'm surprised at Irene Ryan. Kind of a thinking man's woman of choice. Not the usual babe.

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  24. Even though my old Granddad used to say that public radio was full of communists, I like the KPCC analysis shows before elections. They will present advocates for both sides of a proposition, and do a good job of giving equal time.
    FM 89.3

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  25. I like KPCC too.
    Everything else is so jaded, or pushes an agenda so hard.

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  26. Big Daddy Tesla @8:38, I know a few folks who are off the grid. Took a big wrenching effort to make the change, but once made, things got easier. Course they live way way far away from towns, and there's some restlessness they have to contend with.
    Been at it maybe 10 years now.

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  27. 11:43, we need a consultant to help us figure out how to get rid of consultants.

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  28. I never could figure out what Betty saw in Barney. And Bam Bam doesn't look a thing like him.

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  29. Great idea Scarlet T.
    Put some money where real actions are taking place.

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  30. KPCC is having one of their endless fundraisers. As much as I like Larry mantle, that is too much to take. Then you go over to KCRW and before you know it they're playing all that precious crap music. It is a quite a problem for me.

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  31. I hang tough during the pledge breaks.

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  32. Any truth to the rumor that once the emergency radio station gets going they're going to give Harriet Pantsonfire her own talk radio show? That way she can move her fundraisers out of Beantown.

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  33. Really? What's Harriet need the money for? Literacy lessons?

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  34. Just heard on KPCC, they're finishing the fund drive this afternoon & then no more for 5 months.

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  35. Frustrated PUSD teacherJune 4, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    Children do not need phones in school. They text one another for test answers and now can get on the internet. Children in the early teens know how to do more than you want to know. Calif law makes it easy for parents and children to "be on the phone" but not read books or graduate from HS. No one wants government in their lives, but parents keep buying kids phones. Who can control the parents?

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  36. still read the papersJune 4, 2010 at 5:27 PM

    Pretty interesting developments regarding the development tussle in Pasadena. PSN has a story about the fight over the Playhouse district plan, waaaaay too big.
    Stopped for the moment because "A group of residents, including former Councilman Sid Tyler and Planning Commissioner Richard Norton, filed a lawsuit in January to stop the project."
    Legal fund, legal fund, legal fund.

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  37. How come when you click on the water rate hike "frequently asked questions" link on the City of Sierra Madre site, the page is blank? Are they changing their story?

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  38. @ still read the papers

    Contributions are being accepted by Pasadena Heritage to fund the lawsuit. They're nearly at the needed funding level. This is about a project that's busted the zoning and design guidelines and then ran to City Council to overturn the decisions made according to community-based regulations. The lawsuit says that's not legal.

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  39. 7:16 that page has been blank for a week or ever since it went up.

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  40. Lifelong CanyoniteJune 5, 2010 at 10:36 PM

    Less government, more personal responsibility!

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  41. I wish we could reduce the size of the government in this town to the size of a postage stamp and have it run out of a P.O. box. Bunch of power mad imbeciles.

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