Bay Area Capitalists Outspending Big Oil in Last Stretch of Prop. 23 Battle

Oilwell1.jpg
No longer so menacing
So much for the titans of the petroleum industry using their profits to bend voters and politicians to their will. It turns out the out-of-state oil companies behind the campaign to pass Proposition 23 -- the ballot initiative that would suspend California's landmark 2006 law to address global warming -- are being financially overpowered by those opposing the measure as the November election nears.

California Watch reports that opponents of Prop. 23 have raised 16 times as much money as the Yes on 23 campaign this month. More than $8 million in contributions have poured in to defeat the measure, with the largest contributions coming from wealthy individuals attached to Bay Area financial institutions.

For instance, Thomas Steyer, founder and managing partner of San Francisco-based Farallon Capital Management, contributed $2.5 million this month to defeat the measure. John Doerr of the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, along with his wife, donated $1.5 million.

Guess when you have the wealthy magnates of California's knowledge economy backing your cause, the ire -- and money -- of Big Oil might not be such a threat.

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