BAILOUT WATCH: Keeping an eye on the energy industry and the politicians
Bailout Watch #71 – Aug 29, 2001
SPECIAL SACRAMENTO WAR ROOM EDITION
Wright On The Money. Yesterday’s Bailout Watch recounted the 8+ hours energy and utility co. lobbyists were given on Monday to plead their case for a bailout to the Assembly Energy Costs & Availability Committee. Consumer groups finally were given a chance to plead the case for California ratepayers yesterday. But after just 3 hours of testimony, the discussion got cut short, allegedly so that the lawmakers could give ‘proper consideration’ to the opposition suggestions. If only that were true. In fact, the Committee Chair, unabashed bailout supporter Rod Wright (D-LA), dashed off to a $5,000 a plate fundraiser in his honor at Morton’s Steakhouse. Bailout Watchdog members were in pursuit. Among the guests filing in to fete Wright were many lobbyists for guess which companies? (Wright’s last term in office is over next year. Why is he raising money?) Looks like Mr. Wright had to bump heads with his contributors in order to give "proper consideration" to the public good.
Watchdogs on the Prowl. Bailout Watchdogs yesterday left the War Room in Sacramento to fan out through the capitol — squeezing their way through swarms of energy lobbyists — in an effort to track down legislators and remind them that ratepayers are outraged and watching. The responses of Assembly Members were, for the most part, harried and non-committal; we think our projected vote count (published yesterday) is highly accurate. Despite Gov. Davis’ announcement last week of his new bailout scheme with assurances that it would be on his desk in a matter of days, and despite the Assembly speaker’s backing, still committee members can’t be convinced to pass this corporate bailout on the backs of ratepayers. Their hesitation and incertitude supports our assertion that it is better to do nothing for Edison than pass another flawed and detrimental measure — error compounding error — at the expense of California citizens.
Electile Dysfunction Redux. Why our elected officials would even consider supporting the Edison bail out is a mystery. At least twice in the last 100 years, politicians have been punished for being on the wrong side of populist outrage. The energy crisis looks like it may be the third such example. Read the article by FTCR’s Harvey Rosenfield and Jamie Court, published in the San Diego Union Tribune on August 24th, 2001 by clicking here.
FOR INFO ON HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR STOP THE BAILOUT CAMPAIGN IN SACRAMENTO DURING THE COMING TWO WEEKS, CALL THE "BAILOUT HOTLINE" at 310-392-0522 EXT 8 — OR EMAIL US: [email protected]
433 Days Until November 5, 2002