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Sunday, January 24, 2010


Today's "democracy" watch

Following up on Friday's post on the Supreme Court decision on corporate money in politics, an item in today's news shows us once again how, sadly, corporate "free speech" was perfectly legal in most places even before this ruling, and reminds us how real democracy is non-existent in the U.S.:
PG&E put another $3 million late last week into pushing a June ballot measure that would make it harder for communities to start or expand their own public utilities — essentially, to choose power other than PG&E's.

The rather euphemistically named "Taxpayers Right to Vote Act" would require local governments to get approval from two-thirds of their voters before providing electricity to new customers or expanding service to new territories if any public funds or bonds are involved. Critics say PG&E is playing populist in order to block governments from fleeing to smaller, greener energy producers — a movement that's been gaining steam in recent years.

The power giant's latest ante — almost doubling the $3.5 million it had put into the committee it created to qualify the measure for the ballot — comes after several California newspapers published editorials taking aim at the measure, saying it's anything but what its title implies.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced earlier this month that the measure had qualified for the ballot, and clearly the company is now making ready to spend whatever's needed to protect its profits.
The best "democracy" money can buy.

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