Sunday, May 02, 2010

And on the Home Front ...

Confession: I spend enough time Thinking Big Thoughts that I sometimes forget where I live. Michael Hiltzik at the LA Times jerks me up by the collar:
With the exception of former EBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman, who has demonstrated impressive skills at fundraising from her own pocket ($38 million for her gubernatorial campaign so far), the kings of campaign spending are corporations.

Pacific Gas & Electric continues to outdistance the field, having spent $28.5 million so far on what I like to think of as the "Immunize PG&E from Competition" initiative, or Proposition 16 on the June 8 ballot. By PG&E standards the runner-up, Mercury Insurance, is a piker — it has donated only $3.5 million to what I've deemed the "Let Mercury Trash Consumer Protection Laws" initiative, or Proposition 17.

Bringing up the rear but running very strong is the oil industry, which has raised $1.2 million to collect signatures for an initiative, aimed for the Nov. 2 ballot, which would suspend the state's greenhouse gas restrictions.

Afterthought: Actually, I've followed a bit of the campaign for local control of utilities, and most of the efforts strike me as misguided, far-fetched, or just plain silly. Of course if after a decade or more of "deregulation" we had anything like a decent market, this kind of silliness might not seem so plausible.

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