Freeman takes on Cavanagh
David Freeman and Ralph Cavanagh went toe-to-toe in a radio interview on 89.3 KPCC FM, and Freeman ran circles around Cavanagh. This campaign is getting good. Listen through KPCC’s website here and read my analysis below.
Host Larry Mantle asked Cavanagh “What is your opposition?” Cavanagh’s responses were:
“CA’s leading environmental groups all oppose Prop 7. If our good friend Dave Freeman had written the initiative, I am sure we would all be for it.”
Huh?? Isn’t David Freeman that other voice on the radio telling you you’re wrong on Prop 7?
“This initiative locks in two new pages of mandatory excuses for the utilities that will let them off the hook.”
WHAT? Then why are they spending 27½ million dollars to defeat it? Is Cavanagh actually saying with a straight face that the utilities would invest $27.5 million dollars to kill a measure that had no provisions to enforce its requirements? Or that the utilities want to scare people about an initiative that would actually make skirting the law legal for them?? In actuality, Prop 7 strengthens existing law by making FINES mandatory and prohibiting the utilities from passing them on to consumers. That's why the utilities are spending $27.5 million to defeat Prop 7.
“Can’t change it without a 2/3rds vote.”
This is a blatant manipulation of the law on Cavanagh’s part. CA election law already states that the ONLY WAY to amend an initiative is…..THROUGH ANOTHER INITIATIVE. That’s right, the default mechanism to changing any provisions of a successful ballot measure is to PUT UP ANOTHER INITIATIVE. True story, check it out for yourself, in the California Constitution (apparently not a very important part of Ralph Cavanagh’s analysis of Prop 7). What the authors of Prop 7 did, and I think this was pretty clever, was include a provision that allows it to be amended in the Legislature. The 2/3 vote requirement is key to protecting the integrity of the initiative (and thus the will of the voters), while giving the Legislature the flexibility to adjust the measure as needed. Most initiatives include just such a provision to make them easier to amend but not too easy so special interests can simply gut them. It’s a common sense, smart way to write an initiative. Cavanagh’s a Yale educated lawyer. He knows the law, but hopes you don’t. This is what his strategy actually is.
Highlights from David Freeman’s response:
“What Ralph is missing is the huge opportunity for California to stake out a leadership role. The problems Ralph has with this are nit picking. They are relatively minor.”
“The Legislators don’t like it because it points out their existing failures, the agencies don’t like it because it points out that they aren’t getting this done. It’s time for the people to speak.”
“This is a charge (the size restriction issue) that is being made that just doesn’t hold water. The last time Ralph, you and the PUC got together on something with the utilities, you brought deregulation to the state. The judgment of the PUC and the environmental organizations is not impeccable. The issue is, do we take a risk in staking out CA as the leader in renewable energy?”
Thank you David Freeman for bringing some common sense to the Prop 7 debate.
Listen to the whole thing here.
Labels: David Freeman