Utility Companies Falsely Claim Sierra Club Opposition to Prop. 9 in S. F. Democratic Club Mailing
A slate mailer arriving at San Francisco homes this week falsely lists the Sierra Club as an opponent of the Utilitiy Rate Reduction initiative, Prop. 9. The “Robert F. Kennedy Democratic Club of San Francisco” voter guide includes a recommendation to vote no on Proposition 9 and further states that “Gray Davis, the Sierra Club, the California Chamber of Commerce and the state AFL-CIO oppose Prop. 9.”
On September 21, 1998 the Sierra Club officially endorsed Proposition 9, which eliminates the ratepayer subsidy of nuclear power plants and other electric company mismanagement and bad investment decisions. “The Sierra Club strongly supports Prop. 9 as an environmental priority for California,” said Megan Mullin of Sierra Club California. “It is outrageous that the anti-9 campaign would use our name despite our clear support of the initiative. It undermines the value of our endorsement of Prop. 9.”
The utility companies anti-9 campaign paid $5,000 to the RFK Democratic Club to appear in this mailer according to statements filed with the Secretary of State. The utilities supplied the mailer company with the language that included the Sierra Club as a Prop. 9 opponent, according to consumer groups working with the Prop. 9 campaign.
The Sierra Club has issued a letter to the RFK Democratic Club demanding a public retraction of this distortion. The campaign in support of Prop. 9 is considering legal actions against both the utilities’ anti-9 campaign and the RFK Democratic Club.
“This mailer is a sham. The utilities have spent $40 million to lie to voters about Prop. 9, which would lower electric rates by at least 20%. But now they have moved beyond just lying about the issue; they are lying about the campaign’s supporters,” said initiative co-author, Harvey Rosenfield. “This is more proof that the utilities will say and do anything to protect their $28 billion bailout. Voters should throw out this bought and paid for slate card and join the Sierra Club, League of Women Voters, Ralph Nader and Consumers Union by voting yes on Prop. 9.”
Declaring Sierra Club support of Prop. 9, Dr. Rich Ferguson, energy chair for Sierra Club California said, “The Sierra Club and the people of California do not want to spend their electricity dollars subsidizing nuclear power.”