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Politics & Power

What's new on The American Borders Forum this week? Preview pane at the bottom of the page.

California’s Proposition 16: Power Company Power Grab

For those who follow California politics the barrage of ads for the PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric) sponsored Proposition 16 are an ominous sign of the decline of our political system and of just how far big business will go to make sure their monopolies are secure. If passed, this ballot measure will amend the state constitution so that municipalities will effectively be prevented from competing with corporate interests in the local power market. For PG&E this would basically guarantee their ability to increase their profits at consumers’ expense without fear of any competition to force them to have any concern whatsoever about their customers’ satisfaction. For all intents and purposes Proposition 16 is nothing more than a power grab by the multi-billion dollar power giant.

The presentation of Proposition 16 by its proponents is a protection for taxpayers against local governments spending their money to go into the power business. By requiring a 2/3 majority of voter approval before the city or municipality can form their own power providing agency the proposition will virtually assure that such power providing agencies will never come into being. Any time the matter would come before the voters the power company only has to convince a little over a third of voters to vote against it. It is an inexpensive way to eliminate the possibility of competition that would drive rates down for consumers.

As is the case with most deceptive advertising campaigns the proponents of Proposition 16 focus on one aspect of the initiative that is easy to sell to the public in this case it’s the “taxpayers right to vote”. Selling the proposition as such implies that taxpayers are somehow being harmed by the current system and that it must be changed. The truth is that the current law allows local municipalities to form power providing agencies to allow for better pricing to the consumers. For companies like PG&E that make annual profits in the billions, having to compete with local power providers set up by the local government represents a situation that threatens their hold on the industry. Like any company facing competition they will do whatever it takes to eliminate that competition.

As of the date of this article PG&E was the only major sponsor of the bill having spent $34.5 million to promote passage of the proposition with massive television advertising buys and radio advertising campaigns. Both the taglines for the radio and television ads are deceptive because they claim that the ads were sponsored by a coalition of taxpayers and businesses and PG&E when in fact PG&E is the only donor to the “Yes on Proposition 16” campaign. It has been fully funded by PG&E.

Voters need to be aware of who is funding these propositions and why. Proposition 16 will only serve the interests of Pacific Gas and Electric. It does nothing to save taxpayers money and if passed will assure that local governments with the means to provide low cost energy to their residents will have their hands tied by an unnecessary amendment to the state constitution. This is a power grab pure and simple. Don’t be fooled by the ads, Proposition 16 is not for your benefit unless you own stock in or are an executive with PG&E.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom | Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net





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