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Will Whitman’s Opposition to Prop 23 Help Get Her Elected?

Mary Catherine O'Connor | Thursday September 23rd, 2010 | 3 Comments

Sure, seeing former Secretary of State George Shultz come out against Proposition 23, the November ballot measure that would stop California’s landmark emissions-reduction law (AB32) in its tracks, might have raised some eyebrows. But Shultz has been actively pushing for energy independence and the increased use of renewable energy, so really, his support of AB32 is no surprise.  But Meg Whitman? Yes, the Republican nominee for Governor, has also come out in opposition of Prop 23.

Why? Because the ballot measure is “too simple.”

Come again?

Whitman had been mum on Prop 23, but her Democratic opponent Jerry Brown has been pushing her to take a stand. She did just that today, listing her opposition to the ballot measure. She has long called AB32 a “job killer” and mentioned her plans on enacting at least a year-long moratorium on the law’s implementation, if she is elected. In a statement to expand on her opposition to the measure, she said:

While Proposition 23 does address the job killing aspects of AB 32, it does not offer a sensible balance between our vital need for good jobs and the desire of all Californians to protect our precious environment. It is too simple of a solution for a complex problem. I believe that my plan to fix AB 32 strikes the right balance for California. I will vote ‘no’ on Proposition 23.


Her plan would still be to initiate a moratorium on the law that AB32 set in motion, while she’d work to “develop the sensible improvements the law badly needs to protect the jobs of hard working Californians while improving our environment.” A call to her press office, to ask just what kind of sensible improvements she’d make to the law, was not returned at press time.

So, then, what does her opposition to Prop 23 really say about her election and, more importantly, the fate of AB32?

“From the perspective of the ballot measure, [her opposition] is an enormous boost to our campaign,” Steve Maviglio, spokesperson for the No on 23 campaign that is fighting the ballot measure, told me.

But it’s hardly a boost to the effort to implement AB32, given her stated intention to forestall the law in her own way. “Well, she’d have to get elected first,” noted Maviglio.

And how likely is that? “I’m sure her people read the polls, and can see that many independent voters and many women–a group she is focused on–oppose Prop 23,” he said. “I’m sure they looked at the numbers to decide her position.”

What do you think? Will Whitman’s stance garner her significant support among people who think Prop 23 doesn’t go far enough? And, when looking at the big picture, could Whitman’s stance do more–or as much–to slow California’s efforts to reduce emissions while also generating jobs linked to the new energy economy? Sound off.

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  • http://www.gina-mariecheeseman.com Gina-Marie Cheeseman

    I can’t see environmentalists voting for Whitman. I for one am very skeptical of her plans, whatever they may be, to remake AB 32. I can’t help but think she wants to gut it.

    One thing that is not in Whitman’s favor is her mouth. She recently made disparaging remarks about Fresno, comparing it to Detroit (a city it has nothing in common with) and calling it “awful.” Considering the San Joaquin Valley is where her conservative base is, she really put her foot in her mouth.

  • Elizabeth Krueger

    Let’s hope people are smart enough to see beyond her play for votes. Saying she’s against Prop 23 doesn’t mean she supports AB32, as the author states. Maybe it just means she’s actually going to VOTE in this election.

  • Wayne

    The key thing to keep in mind is that, according to CARB, the organization who wrote and will enforce AB32, AB 32 will do NOTHING to help global warming, will cost jobs and have a negative effect on the economy. This comes from the very people who drew it up!

    AB 32 does nothing for local pollution.

    Prop 23 leaves us with the toughest pollution laws in the country, among the toughest in the world. It will NOT increase local pollution

    If Proposition 23 is rejected, here is what will happen according to expert sources:

    •A 60 percent increase in your electricity bill according to the Southern California Public Power Authority.

    •An 8 percent increase in your natural gas bill according to CARB’s economic analysis.

    •$50,000 more for the price of a new home according to an analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

    •$3.7 billion a year more for gasoline and diesel according to Sierra Research.

    •A $1,000-$3,000 additional cost for a new car according to CARB and automaker studies.

    On top of all that, a study conducted for the California Small Business Roundtable found that AB 32 regulations would cost small business alone nearly $200 billion, and would result in more than 1 million lost jobs.

    The more I learn about AB 32, the more I fear it. It just gets worse. Please vote yes on Prop23.

    “”2 Guys on the Bay Area Transportation Board told the CARB people, “If you try to do what you are going to do(AB 32) we’ll have gas at $9.07 a gallon and we have freeway tolls at up to $4,500 a year to drive during rush hour.”

    “Part of the plan is to stop suburban development, get people to stop driving, make driving too expensive for people to live out there, force them to live in high-rises, condos, in the city.”

    For months, John and Ken have made Prop 23 their top priority, calling it a necessary step to stop a law they say will kill jobs and cost Californians a fortune in higher gas and energy prices. With an estimated one million listeners per week, these two guys usually manage to rally enough votes to get their way.

    The video has John and Ken explaining why they think this bill is the most important measure on the ballot.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/39853750

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