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PG&E does not care about us

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POSTED April 14, 2010 2:51 a.m.

I don’t much care for the world of politics and the opportunism that seems to thrive in that world.

I thought that the wake of 9/11 had spawned examples of opportunism so egregious that nothing would ever come close to such disgusting behavior. Political careers that were circling the drain received reprieves and entirely new careers were built upon the souls of nearly 3,000 innocents. We even abandoned one war we shouldn’t have for another we shouldn’t have started, and now we are back to where we abandoned.

With the upcoming election political opportunism has been taken to a new level – or depth. In fact, what Pacific Gas & Electric Company is attempting to do with Proposition 16 isn’t even opportunistic – it is downright exploitive.

 It is called the Taxpayers Right to Vote Act, and it is the most disgusting piece of political garbage I have ever seen. PG&E is using the current economic crisis – “At a time of tight budgets and layoffs of police and firefighters…” (from a political brochure) – to stifle what little competition it faces.

Every time I see one of those insipid commercials for Proposition 16 I just want to scream. One of the many mantras being hurled at us is that we the taxpayer has no say when local government would like to take a piece out of the PG&E energy pie. That may be true, but we the taxpayer have no direct say in anything our dollars are spent on.

That is the difference between a republic and a democracy. We elect people to do our business. There have been many things tax dollars of mine were spent on things I didn’t like, with my only recourse being to vote against whoever I disagreed with.

If you think California is messed up now, could you imagine if everything major move required a vote of the people? Why stop at the energy business? More appropriate, why even start at the energy business?

One of the reasons companies state when they leave California is the high cost of energy, so PG&E is partially to blame for the dismal state that it is taking advantage of with this proposition!

I was at an industrial trade show some years ago, and a couple of PG&E hacks were there touting their company’s accomplishments. When the question and answer session opened up, I asked them why government-run utilities were cheaper across the board than their or other private companies. There was some stuttering, stammering and back pedaling, but no answer.

Just as with other ballot propositions in the past, Proposition 16 is misleading to the point of dishonesty. PG&E does not care about us – if it did, then it wouldn’t continue to saddle us with some of the most expensive energy prices in the nation. And now it is trying to get the law of the land to continue to do so.

Just like Meg Whitman is going to try to buy her way into the governor’s chair, PG&E is trying to buy protection from the very people it has shafted and will continue to shaft.

There is another proposition on the ballot that will be interesting – the legalization of marijuana in California. This is something that is long overdue. If a person can come home and take a drink to unwind, then someone should be able to smoke a joint and do the same thing. At one time I did both and now do neither, and will continue to do neither regardless of the outcome of this proposition.

Think of the drug lords that will be put out of business overnight. No more booby trapped gardens in the national forests. Less people incarcerated. And as PG&E points out, law enforcement is being laid off all over the state. Why not use the enforcement resources we have to target real criminals?

Just like PG&E could not answer the question about government-run utilities having lower rates, those ardently opposed to marijuana legalization never have a response to this one: When was the last time you heard of someone getting high and being arrested on domestic violence charges?   

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