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When last we checked in on the Independent Voter PAC, the political fund run by David Takashima was helping to the advance the agenda of Proposition 30, the successful November 2012 tax hike by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

It was also spending money on mailers for Republican George Plescia in his ultimately failed attempt to beat out incumbent Democratic Assemblyman Marty Block for a senate seat.

Takashima, one-time associate of ex-Democratic state Sen. Steve Peace and former employee of Pacific Gas & Electric, told us he was just trying to help further the agenda of free speech by accepting cash from opposing special interests.

$125,000 came from the Reform California Now Independent Expenditure Committee, described by the Sacramento Bee as a "'stealth group of corporations' funding Republican state Senate candidates that is being coordinated by Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable.”

“Chevron has contributed $1.25 million to Lapsley's program," the Bee reported. "The California Real Estate Association has given $625,000; Phillip Morris, $250,000; and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, $250,000. Other key donors include Sempra Energy, Farmers Insurance and Anthem Blue Cross. Charles T. Munger Jr., a Stanford University physicist, has contributed $750,000."

On the other side of the political aisle, Takashima’s so-called independent voter PAC got $100,000 from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, the state prison guards' union.

Since then Takashima has departed San Diego for presumably greener political fields, becoming a staffer for San Francisco mayor Ed Lee, according to Peace.

But the political committee is still in business here, and late last month reported that it had raked in $65,000 during the first half of this year from San Diego's own mega-utility, Sempra Energy.

The entire amount was spent by the fund on the services of IVC Media, LLC, for “Design of Internet Communications Regarding AB 327.” The legislation, if a website by IVC is to believed, has something to do with changing how residential utility rates are charged.

And who is behind IVC Media?

None other than Chad Peace, son of Steve, the politically peripatetic former legislator who has been busy been taking apart California’s political party system, among other endeavors.

Chad is also founder of the non-profit Independent Voter Network, an online news and opinion operation.

And Steve runs the non-profit Independent Voter Project, which throws an annual fall bash for lobbyists and California legislators on the island of Maui that has drawn national media scrutiny for its practice of mixing fun and alleged influence peddling far from prying public eyes.

Neither of those is financially connected to the Independent Voter PAC, notes the elder Peace, who himself is controversial in some quarters for utility reforms passed during his time as a legislator.

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monaghan Aug. 20, 2013 @ 10:11 p.m.

"Utility reforms" passed during Steve Peace's time in the California Legislature? Would those "reforms" be the statewide electric deregulation that Peace engineered in 2000-2001 that caused blackouts, power shortages, and an 800% increase in the wholesale price of electricity? That were directly related to Enron price-gouging? That led to bankruptcy of Pacific Gas & Electric and near-bankruptcy of SoCal Edison? "Reforms " that were the number one reason that Gov. Gray Davis was recalled and Ahnuld Schwarzenegger was elected?

Now Peace's kid is in the business of fooling around with legislation that will affect residential utility rates? What could possibly go wrong here?


Yankeedoodle Aug. 20, 2013 @ 11:27 p.m.

Monaghan: How do you remember all this stuff? I barely remember his name. Those years were so about national and international policies...


monaghan Aug. 21, 2013 @ 10:56 a.m.

If you remember Ahnuld, you remember Steve Peace who always imagines he is smarter than most mortals. He isn't: he masterminded a double disaster. As for remembering the details? Full disclosure -- wikipedia helps.


PeteHasapopoulos Aug. 21, 2013 @ 12:14 a.m.

The $65,000 Sempra dumped into the Independent Voter PAC bought them a social media campaign called Fix My Energy Bill that tries to pass itself off as an objective, electricity customer friendly voice. They are using it to post comments on articles, including those in the Reader and UT. Their website says paid for by Independent Voter PAC with no mention of Sempra/SDG&E, the real money behind it. The UT ran a story in their business section today exposing this sham. SDG&E is seeking a fixed charge on all residential customers that will diminish the appeal to go solar and do energy efficiency upgrades because, with the fixed charge, you are stuck paying it no matter how much energy you conserve or generate yourself with solar. AB 327 is bad for our local solar industry, bad for electricity customers, and bad for the fight against climate change. SDG&E is in full attack mode on rooftop solar. They would rather build more fossil fuel gas plants, like the proposed $1.6 billion Pio Pico plant in Otay Mesa, and charge electricity customers for them.


monaghan Aug. 21, 2013 @ 11:03 a.m.

Where in the world is the California Public Utilities Commission? Could it be in the pocket of SEMPRA/SDG&E? Oh no, that would be a "conspiracy theory"-- a de facto impossibility in this town of ostriches with heads in the sand.


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