Bailout Watchdogs Watch the Dogs
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Aug 31, 2001

CONTACT: Carmen Balber (310) 403-0284

Bailout Watchdogs Watch the Dogs

Citizens Film "Lobbyist Pit"
Sacramento - As California state Assembly Members prepare to try and shove a multi-billion dollar bailout of SoCal Edison down ratepayers' throats, citizen volunteers decided to document who really gets the last word in to our legislators. The Bailout Watchdogs set up their video camera outside the 'lobbyist pit' to film the comings and goings of the energy and utility lobby in a final-hour attempt to sway our representatives against the public interest.

"Our film will give voters physical documentation of who our lawmakers were listening to at the last minute, if a deal goes down," stated Carmen Balber, Organizing Director at the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) and coordinator of the "War Room" in Sacramento. "It's impossible for lawmakers to have had a chance to analyze this bailout bill properly in such a short time frame. If they vote for it, we'll know exactly what energy lobbyists read it for them."

FTCR has established the "War Room" in a hotel near the State Capitol to counter attempts to shove an eleventh-hour backroom deal to bail out Southern California Edison through the state legislature. The War Room coordinates a volunteer-based lobbying effort which will work through the final three weeks of the legislative session, if necessary. The volunteers will counter the massive lobbying juggernaut that has descended upon the Capitol to force ratepayers to pick up the tab for Edison's deregulation losses. They are highly visible walking the Capitol halls wearing yellow armbands bearing the 'Bailout Watchdog' logo.

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