Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mayor of Los Angeles urges Californians to stop greed, reject Proposition 23

Back in July, NPI broke the story that BP (yes, that BP) had dumped $65,000 into Tim Eyman's unconstitutional scheme to take away our cherished tradition of majority rule. BP and three other oil companies — Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Tesoro — are collectively responsible for a third of the corporate money that paid for Initiative 1053's signature drive.

Each of these companies happens to own a refinery in Whatcom County that pollutes Washington's waters (no coincidence, obviously).

Each employs a lobbyist in Olympia that looks out for their interests. For BP, it's William Kidd and AlliancesNW. For Shell, it's Steve Gano & Associates. For Tesoro, it's Millennia Public Affairs. For ConocoPhillips, it Jim Jesernig and Dan Coyne.

Each would be affected by an increase in the hazardous materials fee, which the Legislature considered raising last spring.

And so each is bankrolling Tim Eyman's efforts to make it effectively impossible for lawmakers to democratically raise revenue to protect our quality of life.

We can forget about funding for the cleanup of Puget Sound if Initiative 1053 passes. It is critical that we defeat Tim Eyman's Initiative 1053.

It turns out that Washington isn't the only state where dirty oil conglomerate money is at work funding regressive ballot measures. In California, oil companies are trying to hoodwink voters into suspending the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which requires that emissions in California be reduced to 1990 levels by the year 2020. Today, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa delivered a message to two Texas oil companies that are bankrolling Proposition 23 (the measure to suspend the Solutions Act): Go home!
Flanked by community activists from Latino neighborhoods, Villaraigosa accused San Antonio-based Valero and Tesoro of "dirty tricks," adding that because of asthma from poor air quality, "more Californians will get sick if Prop. 23 passes."

The No on 23 campaign released a four-page report, "Toxic Twins: Soiling the Southland," detailing environmental violations and fines assessed against the two Wilmington refineries in recent years.
Hundreds of California businesses, nonprofit organizations, elected leaders, and civic groups have joined forces to say NO to Proposition 23. It's heartening to see that so many of our brothers and sisters in the Golden State have come together to stand fast against greed. Now it's our turn.

Activists in California know firsthand that sabotaging majority rule leads to partisan gridlock, dithering, and chaos. California's Legislature can't even pass budgets without a two-thirds vote, let alone raise revenue to sustain public services.

Californians have a message for us: Don't let this happen in your state. Don't let Tim Eyman and his dirty oil money win. Stand strong against Initiative 1053.

We only have a few weeks to educate voters about the consequences of I-1053. The conventional wisdom is that this measure can't be defeated. We wholeheartedly reject the conventional wisdom.

We believe I-1053 can be defeated.

We've stopped Tim Eyman cold for two years running, and we can do it again! We at NPI are preparing to launch an aggressive, creative campaign to reframe this toxic initiative, in partnership with other concerned organizations and individuals. We'll be announcing our next steps here, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Please become a fan of StopGreed if you aren't already, and join us in taking a stand against one of the biggest corporate power grabs in Washington's history.


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