PG&E knew Proposition 16 was losing

June 14, 2010

Reports indicate that Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) sunk nearly $50 million trying to get Proposition 16 passed in California’s recent June 8 primary–even though they knew it was a losing cause. [San Francisco Chronicle

Campaign insiders are now saying that the PG&E-sponsored ballot measure polled favorably initially by a margin of 48 percent to 32 percent.

However, in March, state Attorney General Jerry Brown issued the official ballot statement, describing Proposition 16 as “imposing” a two-thirds vote requirement for cities wishing to launch their own power systems.

Shortly thereafter, support for 16 flipped from 35 percent “Yes” to 40 percent “No.”

After that, not much moved in public opinion until the final week before the election, according to David Townsend, chief strategist for the proposition.

Final vote: 52.3 percent said “No” and 47.7 percent said “Yes.”

And PG&E is out nearly $50 million.

It is unknown whether PG&E will attempt to put the measure on a future ballot.



  1. Vagabond says:

    I can just see the stockholders meeting, “Hey guys, lets fund this proposition, we have a great slogan! If it works we win the Monopoly game, and even if it doesn’t work, we can raise the rates to cover it. All in favor say aye.”

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  2. Unbelievable that they would spend nearly $50 million trying to get this Proposition passed knowing they would loose. I found more related information at

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