The Pinocchio syndrome is in strong evidence this election season, particularly when it comes to the California ballot initiative Proposition 23. A debate last week at UCLA about Proposition 23 is evidence. The debate involved Dorothy Rothrock, California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA) Vice President and Terry Tamminen, CEO of Seventh Generation Advisors.
Listed below are thre examples of growing half truths and fibs coming out of the Prop 23 campaign:
Rothrock began the debate by stating that the 5.5 percent unemployment requirement in Proposition 23 is “not that extreme of a requirement,” and said it has been that low about 30 percent of the time since 1988. The state has only had three periods, with each period about 10 quarters long, when the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent of lower for four consecutive quarters. The last period when the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent or lower was in 2007.
The unemployment rate for the first two quarters of this year was above 12 percent. Economists predict that over the next five years California’s unemployment rate will be over eight percent. Proposition 23 will effectively kill California’s climate change law, AB 32.
“They are not oil companies,” proclaimed Rothrock about Valero and Tesoro. No, Rothrock was not making a joke. She made the statement while defending the two Texas-based companies who are the biggest financial backers of California’s Proposition 23.
Tesoro is “an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products,” according to its website, and Valero, according to its website, is “North America’s largest independent petroleum refiner and marketer.” Clearly, Rothrock’s nose metaphorically grew a foot after that statement.
Rothrock claimed that California’s business community has not supported Proposition 23 because the opposition campaign to the ballot initiative is “negative” and “mean-spirited.” The transcripts of two different anti-Proposition 23 ads are listed below. In my opinion, the ads are neither negative or mean-spirited, but simply tell voters the truth about the ballot initiative.
“Prop 23 is one deceptive ballot measure from two Texas oil companies that would have three disastrous consequences…Twenty-three would pollute our air, kill clean energy jobs, and keep us addicted to costly oil. Vote No on 23.”
“California is outlining a clean energy future, a growing workforce of bright Californians who harness wind and solar power to move our state forward…But two Texas oil companies have a deceptive scheme to take us backwards. They are spending millions pushing Prop 23, which would kill clean energy standards, keep us addicted to costly polluting oil, and threaten hundreds of thousands of California jobs. Stop the job-killing dirty energy proposition. Vote No on 23.”