PG&E’s Dirty Campaign

The sentiment of many people I have talked to or received email from was basically that they supported SMUD over PG&E, but it was not an issue that they were passionate about. I guess I just can’t get passionate about my electricity the way I do about a police officer violating someone’s rights. One makes my blood boil, the other reminds me that I need to go see my accountant.

The People’s Vanguard of Davis blog has been up since the end of July and yet the first article I wrote on Measure H & I was on October 11 when I noted that PG&E had spent over $9 million on the campaign against H & I. I’ve been around politics long enough that I knew PG&E would bring everything they had against this, but I never imagined $9 million, and frankly I looked at another figure–the endorsers of Measure H & I.

This all you really need to see:

Yolo County Supervisor Duane Chamberlain
Yolo County Supervisor Mike McGowan
Yolo County Supervisor Frank Sieferman
Yolo County Supervisor Helen Thomson
Yolo County Supervisor Mariko Yamada
Davis Mayor Ruth Asmundson
Davis City Council Member Sue Greenwald
Davis City Council Member Ted Puntillo
Davis City Council Member Don Saylor
Davis City Council Member Stephen Souza

And you can add newly elected Davis City Council Member Lamar Heystek to that list, not to mention an equally impressive list from West Sacramento and Woodland. You would be hard-pressed to find an elected official in Yolo County supporting PG&E, which is why Pollack a former County Supervisor is given such a prominent role with the PG&E side.

When do these guys agree on anything? And yet they are all supporters of SMUD (at least in name).

I’m a believer that with local candidates and local iniatives it is all about endorsements. Because people pay limited attention to these issues, if they see a person they normally like or are aligned with, they will tend to support it. And when you see Sue Greenwald and Don Saylor agreeing on something, you figure you have the gamut covered. I figured PG&E would outspend SMUD and the local officials, but it would be hard to get past the endorsements.

I’ve written more about this recently because I believe PG&E is running a deceptive and misleading campaign (shocking I know). They have attacked SMUD on their strengths–claiming that they overstate the savings that individuals will get from the switch while at the same time making the claim that they are more environmental friendly than SMUD.

They then take up the “No on Measure X” mantle by claiming it’s not easy being green (see yesterday’s entry for the picture). Legal analysts who have evaluated the misleading and unauthorized used of the “No on Measure X” concur that PG&E has in fact committed an actionable misuse of campaign logos. Unfortunately, PG&E is particularly vicious when they are litigated against, and will attack the litigants with a counter-suit–at the very least sapping the resources of the litigants and in some cases actually prevailing.

Folks, PG&E is a particularly vicious company that does not want their domain encroached upon. I know a lot of people are starting to see that they have underestimated the importance of this issue. Hopefully it is not too late to prevent PG&E from prevailing in H & I.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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