GRAY DAVIS IS JUNE PORKER OF THE MONTH | Citizens Against Government Waste


Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Sean Rushton or Melissa Naudin
June 5, 2001(202) 467-5300



Washington, D.C. – In May, President George W. Bush traveled to California to discuss energy policy with Gov. Gray Davis (D).  The commander-in-chief’s visit did nothing to curb Davis’ incessant whining about the White House’s (correct) opposition to Davis’ request to impose federal price controls on wholesale energy markets.  For his advocacy of price controls, lawsuits, and subsidies, being in the dark about basic economics — while keeping millions of Californians in the dark with him — and for playing finger-pointing politics with California’s energy crisis, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) awards Gov. Davis its Porker of the Month Award for June 2001.

Let’s recall: last year, Davis was so concerned about his populist reputation that he refused to raise consumer energy rates until it was too late.  Upon waking up and noticing the lights were off, he flushed the state’s entire budget surplus down the drain attempting to subsidize consumers.  Private utilities, power suppliers, and many analysts urged Davis to increase consumer prices steadily.  This was the solution Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Utah and Nevada (where electricity is also scarce) sought in response to rising wholesale prices.  Davis ignored the pleas and these examples, only to endorse rapid consumer rate hikes in April.  If Davis had uncapped consumer energy prices sooner, the major crisis could have been averted.

Instead of proposing appropriate solutions, Davis pointed fingers.  He blamed his predecessor for not building power plants, Texas energy producers for gouging prices, and the Bush administration for his problems.  He is now spending $30,000 a month in state funds to retain two former Gore staffers — known for their scorched-earth attacks — to shift blame away from himself, onto Bush.

What Davis has not done so far is blame California’s electricity “deregulation” scheme, which put wholesale prices on the free market but regulated consumer prices.  Nor has he looked to the state’s almost-complete reliance on conservation, which works only when consumer prices reflect real costs, or its failure to construct new energy production facilities thanks to the radical environmentalist lobby.  Electricity consumption has risen 24 percent in the last ten years.  It is obvious conservation is not a viable route to permanent price stability. 

For resting on his laurels during the first months of California’s crisis, for blaming the Bush administration and free markets for a California-government-created problem, and for asking for a “solution” that will do nothing but defer the problem and keep Californians in the dark, Gov. Gray Davis is our June 2001 Porker of the Month.

CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in government.  For more information, see CAGW's web site at




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