PG&E’s Prop 16 campaign tactics declared illegal

May 4, 2010

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) was warned on Monday to stop using illegal telephone and direct mail tactics in their $35 million campaign to pass Proposition 16. (Los Angeles Times]

The warning letter came from the  California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) as PG&E continued to press for passage of the voters initiative on the June 8 primary ballot. Passage of Proposition 16 would make it harder for local governments and citizens to form nonprofits to provide electricity by requiring approval from two-thirds of the voters in an election.

The official warning stems from alleged PG&E behavior in Marin County, which is set to launch a public power service. PUC Executive Director Paul Clanon advised top PG&E executives that they were in violation of state law with such “aggressive moves.”

Clanon said that PG&E may not use its own phone banks to call customers and then transfer them to customer service after convincing them not to affiliate with the Marin project.

The PUC head also called recent PG&E mailers “misleading” and said that the utility must refrain “from sending any mailers of this nature in the future.”

PG&E officials said they were reviewing the letter and would respond this week.

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So, PG&E wrote Prop 16, funded its getting on the ballot, is caught illegally campaigning to get it passed, and all the while the proposition itself is attempting to give PG&E more of a monopoly by making it harder for municipalities to start up their own electrical generation plants. Of course this proposition does not deserve to be passed; I just hope that the voters realize how bad this prop will be for the rate payers in California.

I just hope the ratepayers realize that they bankrolled this lark