Posts Tagged ‘proposition 23’

Today’s Flickr photo

Flickr photo by 350.org.


If you read on thing today . . .

If there was a silver lining Tuesday for progressives, it might be found in the results of California’s Proposition 23 ballot measure. Texas oil refineries pushed the measure to repeal California’s aggressive curbs on greenhouse gases, saying Prop 23 would create jobs.  But as the L.A. Times’ Greenspace blog tells it, a broad grassroots coalition, backed by Hollywood heavyweights and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, helped environmentalists pull off a stunning victory.

No environmental campaign in U.S. history can boast the level of activism in California this year: Prop 23 opponents mustered 3,200 volunteers, made 2.8 million phone calls to voters, sent out 3.4 million pieces of mail, made 379,676 on-campus contacts with college students, and operated a sophisticated computerized outreach program that identified and contacted 481,000 voters, and showered voters with 900,000 get-out-the vote phone calls and text messages in the last three days.

National environmental leaders, smarting from the defeat of federal climate legislation in Congress this year, expressed awe. “It is the largest public referendum in history on climate and clean energy policy,” said Fred Krupp, president of the New York-based Environmental Defense Fund. “Almost 10 million Californians got a chance to vote and sent a clear message that they want a clean energy future. And this was in an economic downturn. There has never been anything this big. It is going to send a signal to other parts of the country and beyond.”


This is a story the Washington Post probably writes every two years but that doesn’t it make it any less compelling. Many of the new members of Congress ran against Washington and business-and-usual but now that they’re here, they will find it very difficult to remain true to their idealism, Marc Fisher writes in the WaPo. As an example, he cites new Virginia Congressman Morgan Griffith who remarks the only thing he’s looking forward to about living in D.C. is, perhaps, going to a Redskins game. David Bass, a Republican political insider, says Griffith will have no trouble getting tickets.

“He might find himself in a couple of nice skyboxes before too long,” Bass said. “These new members who ran against Washington will play Mr. Smith for a while, but there is a structure, a way of doing things that has to be respected. New friends will be very important to them.”

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Today’s Flickr Photo:

Flickr photo by tcktcktck

If you read one thing today…

It is T-minus 11 days away from Election Day, but one contentious race is being covered far less than the Tea Party revolution. It’s the battle of the corporations in California over Proposition 23, a measure that would suspend California’s landmark greenhouse gas law until the state’s unemployment level dropped. Both Big Oil and the developing green industries are dishing out the major moolah to sway voters on this referendum to the tune of $16 million.

The Washington Post’s article features a quote from the outgoing Governator that pretty much says it all.

“Does anyone really believe that these companies, out of the goodness of their black oil hearts, are spending millions and millions of dollars to protect jobs?” Arnold Schwarzenegger said recently. “This is like Eva Braun writing a kosher cookbook. It’s not about jobs at all, ladies and gentlemen. It’s about their ability to pollute and thus protect their profits.”


In other campaign finance news, the corporation arguably spending the most on the upcoming midterm elections, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has been pouring enormous gobs of money into highly contested races. And not so surprising, it has not disclosed where it’s getting the big bucks from this year.

Of the Chamber’s spending, John Motley, a former lobbyist for the National Federation of Independent Business said:

“They’ve raised it to a science, and an art form,” he said of the chamber’s pitches to corporate leaders that large contributions will help “change the game” in Washington.

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Stunning Statistics of the Week:

  • Amount the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent this week in new independent expenditures: $6.6 million
  • Amount the committee has spent to date: $19 million
  • The amount the committee is expected to spend before Election Day: $52 million
  • Amount that just two Republican groups, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, have raised to influence the elections: $56 million

FEC should investigate Crossroads GPS for campaign finance law violations, watchdogs say
Crossroads GPS, an organization created by Republican strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie to influence the midterm elections with huge expenditures of money, appears to be violating federal campaign law, Public Citizen and Protect Our Elections told the Federal Election Commission in a complaint filed this week.

SuperPacs are debasing our democracy‎
When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in January, Public Citizen predicted that corporations were sure to accept the court’s invitation to overrun the political process. We were hardly alone in offering this prognostication. Nine months later, we concede: Things are much, much worse than we anticipated. (more…)

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Environmental activist Van Jones talks about California’s ballot Proposition 23, a horrible attempt by Texas oil companies to roll back California’s effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

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There is a battle going on in California that has a direct impact on the future of our planet. I’m speaking, of course, about Proposition 23. Proposition 23 is a ballot initiative that would effectively repeal many of California’s revolutionary clean energy policies. There are many special interests taking advantage of the opportunities Proposition 23 presents to them.

Oil interests are especially invested in whether Proposition 23 succeeds. Heading up the movement to support Proposition 23 is Koch Industries. Koch Industries is the group that, along with Rupert Murdoch, Karl Rove, and others, essentially funds the Tea Party movement. Businessman David Koch has thus gained immense power.

ClimateProgress published an article today about Koch’s attempts to use this power to support Proposition 23. In the article, ClimateProgress quotes environmental activist Van Jones on the subject of Koch Industries and Proposition 23:

Koch Industries has promoted awful environmental policies. They’ve been literally poisoning rivers, poisoning streams, and making money off of that. They’ve promoted now this awful economic idea that if you grow new industries in California you somehow hurt the economy. That’s nuts. And now they’re promoting bad politics by backing I think extreme movements in the United States. Here you have a bad actor, three strikes and you’re out. They’re bad on the environment in terms of their practices, they’re bad in terms of their economic philosophy they’re trying to shove down the throats of California, and they’re bad in their politics in terms of their supporting extreme political ideas in America. I think if you start connecting those dots, California voters are very sophisticated, and I don’t think any of them think the people who run Koch Industries wake up in the morning thinking how can Californians have better jobs? […]

Koch Industries is a very dangerous group (more…)

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