Campaign to Protect AB 32 Gains Steam and Endorsements

As if the Campaign to Stop the Dirty Energy Proposition weren't already on the right side of history, now they've got Edward James Olmos stumping to defeat Proposition 23 and uphold AB 32, California's ground-breaking greenhouse gas legislation. I think ever since Stand and Deliver, if Edward James Olmos told me to do something, I wouldn't hesitate to trust his authority.

Kidding aside, Olmos delivers a great message and his spot is the first of several videos the campaign hopes will go viral and spread through social networks. Because they expect to be outspent many times over by the Texas oil giants Valero and Tesoro, the 13th and 32nd most toxic air polluters nationally, the Campaign against Prop 23 is trying to get to voters in as many creative ways as possible.

Steve Maviglio, lead organizer for the Campaign, said they have raised $2 million to date and they anticipate bringing in another $5 million in the next two weeks. A recent a Field Poll showed Californians support AB 32 by a double-digit margin and, historically, measures that start with a proximate lead usually finish that way. What's more, the endorsements are pouring in, with the California Labor Federation, Pacific Gas and Electric, the California Professional Firefighters and the California Democratic Party all publicly endorsing the Campaign in opposition to Prop 23 over the past few weeks.

All of the major newspapers in the state, with the exception of the noted conservative-leaning Orange County Register and the San Diego Union Tribune, have denounced Prop 23 and even large oil companies like Chevron and Shell won't wade into the swamp their petrol peers have created.

Maviglio cautioned against too much excitement, however, because he knows the Prop 23 funders, notably Texas oil companies Valero and Tesoro,  will begin pouring in money, perhaps as much as $100 million by the time the election nears.

Maviglio said any campaign for or against a proposition is a "chess campaign," but this year's governor's race makes it much harder to predict the moves of the opponents.

"Meg Whitman bough most of the ad time in October" already, said Maviglio, so it will be difficult to get in edgewise with their message. Fortunately, though Whitman wants a 1-year moratorium on AB 32, she doesn't support Prop 23 and won't run ads in conjunction with her personal campaign. As KQED noted, Whitman has even toned down her anti-AB 32 rhetoric recently.

If you haven't already, forward the Olmos video to your friends and help generate some buzz.