Los Angeles Times
From a suite on the 13th floor of Sacramento’s newest hotel, consumer advocate Harvey Rosenfield has been plotting a guerrilla operation aimed at thwarting the proposed government bailout of Southern California Edison, which was moving through the Assembly last week.
Wearing a loud yellow armband and barking like a B-movie general, the head of the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights announced last week that the suite would serve as his “war room” for the final weeks of the legislative session.
“We’re at Defcon 1,” Rosenfield said.
To take on the flood of lobbyists pressing for a bailout, Rosenfield said troops of volunteers from throughout the state–he estimated their number at more than 100–will drop in, pick up one of the yellow “Bailout Watch” armbands, and descend on the state Capitol, walking the halls and buttonholing lawmakers for their position on the Edison bailout.
Back in their home districts, politicians will then “be held accountable” for their votes, as part of the initiative Rosenfield is planning if legislators approve the bailout.
“We’re in the midst of a battle–a huge battle–between the people of California and the special interests,” Rosenfield said.
Sure enough, Rosenfield’s “troopers” have been a presence in the Capitol during the bailout hearings. But this is clearly an uphill fight: For every activist in a yellow armband, there are two to three lobbyists in well-tailored suits.