Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Growing Chorus Of Critics Against Measure B, Solar Fraud by Villaraigosa, City Council, LADWP & IBEW

The LA Weekly has an excellent article by Beth Barrett explaining the origins and deceptions that led to a massive fraud of unprecedented proportions in Los Angeles' history. Measure B, the so called "Green Energy and Good Jobs for Los Angeles Solar Initiative" is actually a multi-billion dollar giveaway to the powerful union of electrical workers and their business manager, Brian D’Arcy.
It could cost $1 billion to $3.6 billion — nobody knows because Villaraigosa and City Council President Eric Garcetti rushed it so quickly onto the ballot. With about two weeks until the election, City Hall is awash in rumors that Measure B isn’t about bringing solar to L.A. — but was meant to provide Villaraigosa a flashy issue in case he faced a wealthy mayoral challenger, such as the developer of the Grove, Rick Caruso.
This raises critical questions for our elected officials, Garcetti and Villaraigosa. What was their motivation to rush a multi-billion dollar plan with no studies and no real oversight onto voters with a flashy name that is anything but a description of what it will do? The answer is posited later in the article:
Although Villaraigosa clearly supports large-scale solar, Measure B is the brainchild of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18 business manager Brian D’Arcy. He was assured that IBEW, representing most of the DWP’s 8,500 employees, would get the bulk, if not all, of the solar-installation work. Mostly unknown outside City Hall, the IBEW is feared by officials like Villaraigosa. The union can quickly jam City Council chambers with members wearing matching union T-shirts and threatening to strike.
Our elected officials are not afraid of us, the people. We are lazy, disinterested and vote more often for American Idol than City Council. This is our fault. We let our elected officials take our city for a joy ride, and should this measure pass, we'll lose more than just a couple billion:

Measure B contains a power grab that requires a change to the city’s constitution, known as the City Charter. In its fine print, Measure B shifts significant oversight power away from the Department of Water and Power Commission and gives that power to the City Council, whose members have almost no educational or professional background in energy or technology.
This measure changes our city's charter, giving control over the largest solar power project in US history to the people who brought you billboard blight, Elephant-gate, illogical parking meters and the largest city deficit as well as the highest taxes ever.

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