Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Power to the People

Prop. 16, PG&E's cynical gambit to establish a long-lasting monopoly on California's energy markets, has gone down to defeat.

The Northern California electricity giant outspent consumer advocates $1,000-to-$1 and they still lost decisively. Woo-hoo!

I say it time and time again: Never underestimate the intelligence of the electorate. This one was an epic battle and one that I will take comfort in for some time to come.

Here's the dramatic tale of how the results trickled in during the wee hours this morning:

Pretty soon, our three-point loss became a one-point lead – and there was a palpable sense in the air that we could win it. I wasn’t convinced yet – scouring the L.A. County numbers to see if this positive trend in our favor was not going to start reversing itself.

When 58% of L.A. County had been counted, we were ahead there. I got up, and boldly shouted that we had won. It reminded me of the scene in Milk, when Jim Rivaldo tells Harvey Milk not to worry about the Briggs Initiative. L.A. County had just come in, and we were going to win. By now, I was sure that we had slain the Prop 16 dragon.

I only wish I could have been there to see happen live.

Post-script: The other big industry-funded proposition, Prop. 17, was also defeated, this time in a major rebuke to Big Insurance.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Oh, I just wonder what that previous commenter said.

    Ballot propositions are written to confuse. What helps me understand them is to find out who's backing them financially. When big business is behind a proposition that's all about that particular business, I smell a rat.

  3. Petrea, the previous comment was gibberish - I couldn't read it.

    I think one of the PG&E misfires on this campaign was exactly what you've identified. There was clearly so much money being spent (I got mailers every single day for at least a month) that people got suspicious and figured out that it had to benefit a big corporation disproportionately.

    So that definitely backfired on them.