Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Dishonesty of PG&E and Prop. 16

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 11:34 AM

For weeks, PG&E has blanketed the airwaves and newspapers with ads touting Proposition 16 as the “Taxpayers Right to Vote Act.” But in reality, no taxpayer, consumer, or voters’ rights group has donated a single dime to getting the measure passed.

Likewise, Pacific Gas & Electric Company has boasted in advertisements and on its website that a wide range of groups have endorsed Prop. 16, which would make it nearly impossible for cities to jump into the public power market and increase their renewable energy use. Although it’s true that many groups have announced their support of the measure, only one of them — the California Chamber of Commerce — has donated any money to the cause. And its contribution was microscopic. It represented just 0.2 percent of the total money raised for the measure. The other 99.8 percent, totaling a whopping $44.1 million, came from PG&E, according to the latest campaign finance statements.

To sum up: Not a single taxpayer, consumer, or voters’ rights group — or just about anyone else — has donated money to the campaign to pass the disingenuously named “Taxpayer’s Right to Vote Act.” And the measure does not have widespread strong support, because the only organization or person to put their money where their mouth is and make a donation to the measure — other than PG&E — was the California chamber, and it only gave $91,258. Moreover, the chamber’s donation came right around the same time that PG&E donated $250,000 to the chamber’s PAC. In other words, even the chamber’s contribution to Prop. 16 appears to have actually come from PG&E.

The truth is Prop. 16 always has been a measure sponsored and bankrolled by PG&E so that it can protect it’s monopoly in the power market. This is not the Taxpayers Right to Vote Act. It’s PG&E's Attempt to Keep Its Monopoly Act.

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