Wednesday, July 30, 2008

PG&E's Kindler, Gentler Side

PG&E has contributed a quarter of a million dollars to a campaign to defeat Proposition 8 on the November ballot. You'd be hard pressed to find a business motiviation for the donation, as the "what's in it for me?" quotient on this one appears to be fairly low.

Proposition 8, which seeks to ban gay marriage in the State of California, is being supported largely by social conservatives, but PG&E, which is headquartered in San Francisco-- the cradle of progressive politics in California-- is lining up with the other side.

A PG&E spokesperson was quick to point out that this contribution was not made on the backs of ratepayers. Rather, it was drawn from "shareholder funded political contribution accounts."

The "No on 8" folks are thrilled. Not surpirsingly, the pro-Prop 8 folks were not happy about the donation and they offfered a stinging response that included all of the requisite buzz-words:

"As a heavily regulated monopoly in California, PG&E can make decisions such as this without regard to their customers or fear of boycott," [a spokesperson] said."

This is not the first time PG&E has acted on its social conscience. In the 1990's the company contributed to efforts opposing the curtailment of Affirmative Action and opposing a crackdown on illegal immigration.

Can't we all just get along?