Proposition 16


Why I May Run For Congress

By Norman Solomon

One of the most inspiring political leaders in recent decades, Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.), famously declared: "I represent the democratic wing of the Democratic Party." Today we need progressives in Congress who will represent the progressive wing of the Progressive Caucus.

That's the largest caucus on Capitol Hill — but having 80 members on the roster won't do much good if many cave under pressure.

For 18 years, the North Bay has been represented in Congress by Rep. Lynn Woolsey. Her strong antiwar voice and very progressive voting record have endeared her to a lot of constituents. Now she's publicly saying that she may choose to retire instead of seeking reelection.

Nancy McF-F-F-Fadden?! Why Jerry Why?

By Megan Matson
Mainstreet Moms Organize or Bust

The disappointing news that our new governor just appointed PG&E’s Senior VP Nancy McFadden as his, essentially, co-Chief of Staff, is one of those heart wrenching moments for those of us who fought the $50M “worst ballot initiative ever” that McFadden helped create, Prop 16.

Whatever she is in other circles, PG&E’s Nancy McFadden is considered by many to be the mother of Prop 16. She is more responsible than anyone apart from Darbee for this measure, according to his own statements to investment analysts last year. And after the bad banner year PG&E had with McFadden in a senior exec position (San Bruno, smart meters, Prop 16, CPUC rebukes, cybersnooping the grassroots, more), this makes you wonder if Jerry was so busy campaigning he forgot to read the news.

Machete 21: Never Underestimate the Voter’s Sense of Smell

By John Geesman

Special Note: Part 21, the final chapter, of the California Progress Report’s serializing of former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman’s new ebook, 21 Machetes, the skin-peeling saga of PG&E’s most obtuse political overreach – aka Proposition 16 on the June 2010 ballot, defeated 53 – 47 (and 59 – 41 within PG&E service territory). We thought this would be topical as voters just finished considering another slew of corporate funded ballot measures and now face the next round of PG&E requested multi-billion dollar rate increases scheduled for decision by year-end.

Monday, May 31, 2010

PG&E's panicked infusion of an extra $11 million into its floundering Yes On 16 propaganda machine may trigger a familiar domino-falling, death watch process. Titillated by even the remote prospect of political upset, and with no public polls to provide guidance, the forensic teams are starting to gather.

Machete 20: LA County Republicans Ain’t Buying – Demise of Prop. 16 Among Conservative, Pro-Market Voters

By John Geesman

Special Note: Part 20 of the California Progress Report’s serializing of former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman’s new ebook, 21 Machetes, the skin-peeling saga of PG&E’s most obtuse political overreach – aka Proposition 16 on the June 2010 ballot, defeated 53 – 47 (and 59 – 41 within PG&E service territory). We thought this would be topical as voters just finished considering another slew of corporate funded ballot measures and now face the next round of PG&E requested multi-billion dollar rate increases scheduled for decision by year-end.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

In an unmistakable signal that PG&E's mass hypnotism strategy isn't working, the Republican Party of Los Angeles County voted last week to oppose the "Taxpayers Right to Vote Act" -- an "ugly" misnomer, in the words of the San Diego Union Tribune, which "ranks right up there with the most deceptive political advertising slogans of all time -- and that covers a lot of deception.”

Machete 19: Prop. 16 Drafting Error Would Spew Pestilence Across 48 Real Estate Markets in California

By John Geesman

Special Note: Part 19 of the California Progress Report’s serializing of former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman’s new ebook, 21 Machetes, the skin-peeling saga of PG&E’s most obtuse political overreach – aka Proposition 16 on the June 2010 ballot, defeated 53 – 47 (and 59 – 41 within PG&E service territory). We thought this would be topical as voters just finished considering another slew of corporate funded ballot measures and now face the next round of PG&E requested multi-billion dollar rate increases scheduled for decision by year-end.

If the Taliban set out to poison California's frail 2010 real estate market, it would be hard to come up with a better plan than simultaneously disrupting the electricity hook-ups of home buyers and new businesses in 48 different communities.

Machete 18: Prop. 16 Limits on Competition Would Erect “a Constitutional Iron Curtain” to Lock in Customers

By John Geesman

Special Note: Part 18 of the California Progress Report’s serializing of former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman’s new ebook, 21 Machetes, the skin-peeling saga of PG&E’s most obtuse political overreach – aka Proposition 16 on the June 2010 ballot, defeated 53 – 47 (and 59 – 41 within PG&E service territory). We thought this would be topical as voters consider another slew of corporate funded ballot measures, the next round of PG&E requested multi-billion dollar rate increases scheduled for decision by year-end, and the San Bruno tragedy.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Leave it to the Bakersfield Californian, hometown newspaper of blue collar philosophers Merle Haggard and the late Buck Owens, to find the phrase which succinctly captures the full scope of Prop. 16's sinister rewrite of the rules governing for-profit utilities in California:

Machete 17: San Diego Chamber of Commerce Votes 79-2 to Oppose Prop. 16: Is PG&E’s Whopper Indigestible?

By John Geesman

Special Note: Part 17 of the California Progress Report’s serializing of former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman’s new ebook, 21 Machetes, the skin-peeling saga of PG&E’s most obtuse political overreach – aka Proposition 16 on the June 2010 ballot, defeated 53 – 47 (and 59 – 41 within PG&E service territory). We thought this would be topical as voters and utility customers think about the next round of multi-billion dollar rate increases scheduled for decision by year-end (as well as the San Bruno blast).

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A stunning series of lopsided setbacks for Proposition 16 as PG&E wended its way through various subcommittees of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce -- losing 22 - 0, 12 - 0, and 20 - 1 -- which culminated with a 25 - 1 smackdown at the full Board, raises the question all big budget media campaigns dread:

What if the dogs won't eat the dogfood?

Machete 16: 10 Years After Erin Brockovich – PG&E Is Aiming Its Propaganda at “A Bunch of Dumb Hicks”

By John Geesman

Special Note: Part 16 of the California Progress Report’s serializing of former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman’s new ebook, 21 Machetes, the skin-peeling saga of PG&E’s most obtuse political overreach – aka Proposition 16 on the June 2010 ballot, defeated 53 – 47 (and 59 – 41 within PG&E service territory). We thought this would be topical as voters and utility customers think about the next round of multi-billion dollar rate increases scheduled for decision by year-end (as well as the San Bruno blast).

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Last month marked the tenth anniversary of the release of the acclaimed docudrama, Erin Brockovich, nominated for five Academy Awards and the source of Julia Roberts' first Oscar as best actress. Without PG&E in the role of real-life loathsome polluter, poisoning the small San Bernardino County community of Hinkley with hexavalent chromium over four decades and then covering it up, none of it would have been possible.

Machete 15: CEO Report Card: How Much of the Goldman Sachs Kool-Aid Did PG&E’s Peter Darbee Drink?

By John Geesman

Special Note:
Part 15 of the California Progress Report’s serializing of former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman’s new ebook, 21 Machetes, the skin-peeling saga of PG&E’s most obtuse political overreach – aka Proposition 16 on the June 2010 ballot, defeated 53 – 47 (and 59 – 41 within PG&E service territory). We thought this would be topical as voters and utility customers think about the next round of multi-billion dollar rate increases scheduled for decision by year-end (as well as the San Bruno blast).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Five years is a long time on Wall Street. It's a long time at PG&E. Peter Darbee has been CEO of PG&E Corporation since 2005. He was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs from 1989 to 1994.

It's said that you can take the individual out of "Goldmine Sachs" but you can't take "Goldmine Sachs" out of the individual.

Machete 14: PG&E Fleeced for $175,000 by LA Pols – What Was Darbee Trying To Do With All That Money?

By John Geesman

Special Note: Part 14 of the California Progress Report’s serializing of former California Energy Commissioner John Geesman’s new ebook, 21 Machetes, the skin-peeling saga of PG&E’s most obtuse political overreach – aka Proposition 16 on the June 2010 ballot, defeated 53 – 47 (and 59 – 41 within PG&E service territory). We thought this would be topical as voters and utility customers think about the next round of multi-billion dollar rate increases scheduled for decision by year-end (as well as the San Bruno blast).

Thursday, April 15, 2010

By the jaundiced standards of California's initiative politics in 2010, it barely deserved mention. But there it was, in a small blog post this week in the Los Angeles Times: