Archive for August 19th, 2009

On Tuesday, the Public Citizen Texas team drove down to Houston to crash the American Petroleum Institute’s Energy Citizen event. Billed as a “grassroots” rally against the cap-and-trade bill pending  in Congress, this event was nothing more than a company picnic.

Read Sarah’s take and Andy’s take at our sister blog, TexasVoxorg.

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We’ve blogged a couple of times about the Supreme Court’s decision to review campaign finance reform, but now we’re taking action and invite YOU to join us.

On Sept. 9, the Supreme Court hears a case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that reopens the question of unlimited corporate money in our elections. In a stunning move, the court will reach back and reconsider two other pivotal campaign finance cases settled long ago.

What does this mean for you and me, the voters? Corporations could wield even more influence than they do now over policies that affect us all. If you think it’s hard to get your perspective heard now on issues like climate change and health care reform, you likely would be completely shut out if the court does what it is indicating it might do.

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Yesterday the Public Citizen Texas team drove down to Houston to crash the American Petroleum Institute’s Energy Citizen event. Billed as a “grassroots” rally against the cap and trade bill currently before Congress, this event was nothing more than a company picnic.

About 2500 energy employees were brought by charter bus to the Verizon Wireless Theater, a private location that could be easily secured to keep undesirables out. David, Ryan, and Andy were all denied access, but stealthily dressed in Banana Republic and spectator pumps, I was able to blend in with the crowd and slip into the hot dog line.

Inside the theater it became evident quickly what a polished, professional event this was. Right at the door you could pick up a bright yellow t-shirt with a clever slogan on it like “I’ll pass on $4 gas”, “I’m an Energy Citizen!”, and “Congress, Don’t Take Away My Job!” The same lines could also be found on bumper stickers and the same kinds of cardboard signs you would wave at a football game.

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