PG&E has no friends


The full-page ad on the back of the front section of today's San Francisco Chronicle shows exactly how far PG&E has fallen in its political fortunes.

The Yes on 16 ad lists all endorsers of this godawful ballot measure -- and other than the Chamber of Commerce, there's not one San Francisco politician, community group, or organization on the list. Not one.

In fact, there's not one statewide elected official. Nobody wants to carry PG&E's water any more (unless you count the California Republican Party and the San Bernadino County Tea Party, two listed endorsers who will no doubt sway a lot of votes in the Bay Area).

That's a big change. In past public-power campaigns in San Francisco, the giant utility was able to call in its chits and find a handful of politicians (who had been elected in part with PG&E campaign money) and community groups (who paid their bills in part with PG&E grants) willing to be PG&E shills. Now: Nobody.

Part of that is a reflection of just how bad Prop. 16 is -- not one significant newspaper in the state has endorsed it, and most have blasted it. But it also shows how badly CEO Peter Darbee and his minions have alienated the California political world. "Nobody remembers them acting so outrageously," State Senator Mark Leno told me. "They've just gone down a whole new path, and Peter Darbee is leading the charge."

And if Prop. 16 goes down, PG&E's fortunes will just fall further.



Remember that the largest population in California is in the L.A. area. Prop 16 could lose big here and still win, unfortunately.

And I wouldn't count out PG&E's fortunes even if Prop 16 loses. After all, the ratepayers are paying for their campaign, not the shareholders who should be.

Posted by Jeff Hoffman on May. 27, 2010 @ 12:01 am

If you register at the No on 16 website, they'll send you an on-line tool to use to make No on 16 calls to LA. Register here for more info:

Posted by Rory Cox on May. 27, 2010 @ 11:00 am