In a suit filed in Sacramento,Yes on 87 is demanding that No on 87 make it explicitly clear to voters that Chevron and Aera Energy, an ExxonMobil and Shell joint venture, are bankrolling their campaign. The Consumer Federation of California and two Sacramento voters joined Yes on 87 in filing the suit.”The law says the No on 87 ads must make it clear that they’re paid for by Chevron and Area Energy, which is owned by Shell and ExxonMobil,” said Beth Willon, Yes on 87 Press Secretary.
“The oil companies need to come out of the shadows and let voters know that they’re bankrolling the No on 87 campaign.”
“All we’re asking the oil companies to do it meet the same standard that the tobacco companies are,” Willon said.
“The fact that the oil companies are bankrolling the No on 87 campaign is vital information. Proposition 87 presents a simple choice to voters: do we keep doing things the oil company way or do we move forward with cleaner air and cheaper energy? Voters need to know that the opposition to Proposition 87 is paid for by the oil companies,” Willon said.
The lawsuit states that the No on 87 television and radio ads violate laws created by Proposition 208, a campaign reform initiative passed by voters in 1996. That law, and related Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) regulations, require that ads explicitly state the campaign’s top two donors.
The No on 87 ads contain this disclaimer: “Paid for by Californians Against Higher Taxes – No on 87, a coalition of taxpayers, educators, public safety officials, businesses, energy producers, Chevron Corporation and Aera Energy LLP.” “Their disclaimer is just more oil company smoke to conceal the fact that they’re bankrolling the No on 87 campaign. Teachers and firefighters haven’t contributed a dime to their campaign,” Willon said.
Chevron and Aera Energy, the ExxonMobil/Shell venture, have contributed more than $25 million against Proposition 87 so far. Oil companies are bankrolling more than 99 percent of the $35 million campaign against Proposition 87.
Noted in the lawsuit is the disclaimer on ads against Proposition 86, which is opposed by tobacco companies. That disclaimer reads: “Paid for by No on Proposition 86, Californians Against Unaccountable Taxes, a coalition of taxpayers, businesses and law enforcement, with major funding provided by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Inc. and the Cigar Association of America.”R.J. Reynolds owns Camel, Winston and many other cigarette brands.
The lawsuit asks that the No campaign follow a similar format. This disclaimer, as opposed to the No on 87 ad, makes it clear that R.J. Reynolds and the Cigar Association are the major funders, and not simply part of a “coalition.”
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