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Friday, November 03, 2006

PG&E buys Target Votes

A few weeks ago I suggested that PG&E’s campaign against SMUD may actually be Target’s best friend. A few days before the November 7 election, I think that notion needs to be explored again, especially in the wake of the financial disclosures this week.

Recall back to a year ago—the Measure X campaign rubbed people the wrong way with the amount of money they spent but also the professional looking brochures that bombarded the public on a daily basis. Flash ahead a year later, and we see that the Measure K campaign has actually slightly outspent the Measure X campaign. However, they have toned down their assault on our mailboxes while assaulting us with a slew of cheaply produced TV commercials.

However, much of the scrutiny is off the Target campaign, because whatever excesses you can accuse the Target and the Yes on K campaign of, they pale in comparison to what PG&E is doing to us.

This Monday, and I know I’m not alone because I’ve read it elsewhere, I opened my mailbox to find not two but FIVE different mailers from PG&E in there. FIVE. And because they sent to my wife as well on some of them, there was a total 8 mailers in my mailbox on Monday. They were professionally produced, multicolor mailers. PG&E isn’t shy.

While Target has spent in excess of $200,000, PG&E has spent $10 million plus in fighting to keep its market-share in Yolo County. TEN MILLIION DOLLARS.

PG&E is obviously committed to staying in Yolo County. Target on the other hand, I guess just doesn’t want our business nearly as badly.

I’ve said this several times already, but it bears repeating. I have favored the SMUD annexation for quite some time, but the PG&E campaign has really raised the stakes on this election—but then again, I guess $10 million will do that for you. If they are willing to spend that on a campaign, you can wonder how much this County is worth to them—a fairly small county as California goes.

I think we all knew PG&E would fight to keep Yolo County, I’m not sure anyone expected it to this extent. You have to wonder if they aren’t trying to send a message for future reformers. I think we all need to send them a message on Tuesday—Yolo County cannot be bought.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting