OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Proposition 23, known as the Dirty Energy Proposition for its financial backing from oil companies, has garnered national publicity for its effort to roll back California's greenhouse gas law.  Virtually all of its funding has come from outside California, beginning with Texas-based Valero Energy Co., Texas-based Tesoro Energy Co., and the Kansas-based Koch brothers.  Californians who care about our state, and who remember Texas-based Enron and Utah-based LDS Church, resent the intrusion of out of state interests meddling in our politics.  

But what of in-state oil companies and businesses who might normally put their money into Proposition 23?  Chevron and the California Chamber of Commerce are staying neutral.  That's good, right?

I investigated.  Short answer: no, that's not good.

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Proposition 23 is easy to understand -- FAQs here.  Propositions 25 and 26, by comparison, are MEGO propositions -- "my eyes glaze over" -- dealing with the state's budget process.  Proposition 25 will end budget gridlock by requiring a simple majority, rather than a 2/3 vote, to pass a state budget; both the California Democratic Party and the Los Angeles Times recommend a "yes" vote.  Proposition 26 seeks to require a 2/3 majority on certain business fees by declaring them "taxes"; both the California Democratic Party and Los Angeles Times recommend "no" votes.  

While officially remaining neutral on Proposition 23, California-based oil companies Chevron and Occidental, and the California Chamber of Commerce, have been quietly funnelling their cash into a No on 25/Yes on 26 political action committee.  I've reviewed donations made through the end of September 2010, reported 10/5/10.  All data from California Secretary of State.

First, the basic size of the PAC:

TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS 1/1/2010 - 09/30/2010 $6,051,060.29
EXPENDITURES FROM THIS PERIOD $6,208,269.55
TOTAL EXPENDITURES 1/1/2010 - 09/30/2010 $9,459,904.08
ENDING CASH $819,351.21
By contrast, here's the same data for the dirty energy "Yes on 23" PAC:
TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS 1/1/2010 - 09/30/2010 $8,362,235.39
EXPENDITURES FROM THIS PERIOD $1,774,375.49
TOTAL EXPENDITURES 1/1/2010 - 09/30/2010 $5,317,593.35
ENDING CASH $3,122,966.01
In other words, both groups have taken in about the same amount of money; Yes on 23 has more cash in reserve and No on 25/Yes on 26 has spent more.

Here are some contributions to No on 25/Yes on 26:

California Business Political Action Committee, Sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce:
$215,000.00  4/23/2010
$325,000.00  4/30/2010
$100,000.00  5/7/2010
$120,000.00  5/17/2010
 $75,000.00  4/1/2010
$235,000.00  8/20/2010
  $2,322.65  7/1/2010 (non-monetary contribution)
$100,000.00  3/4/2010
 $50,000.00  3/5/2010
$125,000.00  3/10/2010
 $75,000.00  3/18/2010

Subtotal: $1,422.322.65

Chevron Corporation [based in San Ramon, CA]
$250,000.00  4/15/2010
$250,000.00  9/13/2010
$750,000.00  9/24/2010

Occidental Petroleum [based in Los Angeles, CA]
$250,000.00  9/24/2010

Subtotal from California-based oil companies: $1,500,000

Chevron's $1.25M into Prop 26 is more than the $1M that Koch has put into Prop 23.  But why does Chevron care about California's budget?  Proposition 26's backers portray the initiative as necessary to stop "hidden taxes."  Jean Ross of the California Budget Project explains otherwise:
the fees at issue are primarily those that regulate, mitigate and otherwise respond to environmental, health, and other social impacts of products and services. In other words, businesses seeking to avoid financial responsibility for the “externalities” of the products that they sell....

If the state can’t impose the fees on “pollution-causing industries” to recoup the cost of environmental monitoring and remediation, those costs will be shifted to taxpayers as a whole. Or, in an era where budget crises have become the status quo, programs that enforce environmental, food safety and other laws will be scaled back, if not eliminated. Which may be the true goal of the backers of Proposition 26.

Proposition 26 is a Polluters Protection Act.  Its goal is simple: whatever Proposition 23 can't undo openly, Proposition 26 will undermine sneakily.  Californians are enthusiastically mobilizing against Proposition 23, but they need to be equally energized against Proposition 26 and for Proposition 25.
Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to RLMiller on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 08:27 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.