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When Saint Louis–based brewing giant Anheuser-Busch, owner of SeaWorld, gets taken over by a Belgium-based beer maker, will state politicians be left out in the cold? The most recent lobbying disclosure form filed by Anheuser-Busch shows that on February 3 it gave admission tickets valued at $390 to GOP assemblyman George Plescia for a game at the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, Arizona. And last October it handed out free SeaWorld admission tickets valued at $228 to Democratic assemblyman Charles Calderon. … San Diego–based Sempra Energy isn’t the kind of company most people feel all that warm and cuddly about. Besides struggles over its San Onofre nuclear plant, allegations of price fixing during electricity shortages, and questions about how much of its power should be generated from renewable resources, Sempra is also pushing hard to build a controversial power line through the middle of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. But Sempra is a big donor to political campaigns, which may explain why the San Diego City Council unanimously voted to declare Tuesday, July 8, “Sempra Energy Day.”

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Fred Williams July 16, 2008 @ 1:55 p.m.

Sempra Appreciation Society 1234 Greed Street San Diego, CA 92101

July 9th, 2008

Dear San Diego,

Yesterday was quite a celebration everyone!

To mark Sepra Energy Day, we ran an extension cord across our neighbor's backyard. Since we're very good friends with important people in the city and county, no one objected.

Unfortunately, there was this big fire that our neighbor now claims was started just because we ran this little unprotected wire over his yard during a windstorm.

No worries. We always party on! We've hired some well-connected lawyers to take care of that, and if lawsuits fail we've got our good friends in the state and federal government to call on.

Sure, it costs a lot of money to celebrate Sempra Energy Day. We have to contribute to lots and lots of political campaigns, hire plenty of former government employees to work for us, and put embarrassing sunshine and butterfly commercials on KPBS...but it's well worth it. The subsidies, rigged markets, and special deals keep rolling in. Plus, we always get what we want, no matter what our neighbors say.

Now that's something to celebrate!

Actually, in San Diego, every day is Sempra Energy Day.

San Diego is the best friend a secretive energy trading company could have since Houston chummed up with Enron. We all have fond memories of what we did in Texas, and sure do hope we'll be able to do the same right here in the land of sun and fun.

Thanks San Diego!

Fred Williams Chairman and President Sempra Appreciation Society


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