PG&E’s Disgusting Campaign for Prop 16

by Paul Hogarth on April 20, 2010

Almost every day, I get mailers that urge me to vote “yes” on Proposition 16 – the worst initiative on the June ballot. Prop 16 would effectively block any local government from providing energy – a public option that would compete with PG&E’s monopoly. Their most recent mailing asks if you are “tired of feeling powerless over how government spends your money.” To date, PG&E has spent $30 million to pass Prop 16 – funds that come from ratepayers without our consent. Unlike politicians (who can be voted out of office if taxpayers are unhappy with how they spend our money), PG&E is completely unaccountable. But State Senator Mark Leno has a solution – SB 1441, which will be heard today in committee. If passed, the legislation would require a two-thirds vote of ratepayers – before utility companies can transfer funds to their holding company for other purposes. So if PG&E wants to spend $30 million of our money on a political campaign, they would have to get a two-thirds vote from all ratepayers. And frankly, I’m tired of feeling powerless over how PG&E spends my money.

All the “Yes on 16” mailings come with a legal disclaimer that says – “major funding from Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a coalition of taxpayers, business and labor.” That’s not true. 100% of the Prop 16 campaign budget comes from PG&E. Where is the “coalition” giving them that money?

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