Hope and Change, Sopranos Style

California state treasurer Bill Lockyer is urging public employee pension fund to divest itself of stocks of companies because of their support for a particular state ballot initiative.   Check that again - a sitting state official using his position in power to punish folks during an election campaign for their stand in that election.

"¦ state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a former attorney general, urged the state's largest public employee investment funds to divest themselves of Valero and Tesoro stock.

Lockyer sent a letter to the public pension funds, known as CalPERS and CalSTRS, asking them to rid themselves of any stock connected to the refiners Valero and Tesoro. Lockyer charged the companies with attempting to constrain gasoline supplies in California to ensure profits for years to come "” and opposing the state's climate change law as a means to ensure that constraint.

"CalPERS and CalSTRS should not be investing in Texas oil companies that hurt the California economy, no more than they should invest in companies that spend millions of shareholder dollars to undermine California's environmental laws and the state's green energy industries and green tech jobs," Lockyer wrote.

Lockyer, a board member at CalPERS, is expected to ask the board tomorrow to divest Valero and Tesoro holdings during a meeting."

The Green Hell blog added:

It was also reported to this blog that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who views the global warming law as his signature accomplishment, kept Chevron out of the Proposition 23 battle by threatening the company with adverse tax measures.


  1. Sean:

    Isn't Lockyer the same attorney general who sued the automotive companies over global warming as a way to pressure them to accept higher mileage standards? The people of California are reaping the rewards of an activisit legislature and elected officials that are only too eager to bend rules to push a position, no matter how tenuous. Unfortunately, I think California has to endure much lower lows before people wake up to the ramifications of this nonsense.

  2. Tom Nally:

    Lockyer was the official who, several years ago, ostensibly gave support to the notion that utility company officials should be raped in prison as part of their punishment. If I'm not mistaken, he was attorney general at the time.


  3. perlhaqr:

    So Lockyer is telling these public service union investment funds to intentionally get rid of stock of companies that are trying to be profitable? Does he want the pensions to go bankrupt?

  4. Mesa Econoguy:

    What would be more appropriate is if Mr. Lockyer instead were to focus his misdirected energy at public pensions demanding accountability of people like Barney Frank, who cost pension holders billions of dollars thru his Fannie incompetence and repeated material public misstatements of fact. CalPERS and CalSTERS should be front and center in shareholder class actions against Frank and the other enablers.

    Unfortunately, because that would constitute left-wing cannibalism, that will never happen.

    In order to prevent fiascoes like the above, I'm proposing a permanent ban on pension shareholder activism, i.e. prohibition of any voting or other related action that would harm any direct shareholders of companies, and any peripheral investors, in conjunction with a national ban on public sector unions. Wipe them out.

  5. Stan/Tx:

    I totally support this idea. It should depress the price of the two stocks when they dump such a large volume into the market. Then I can get more shares with my investment.

  6. Tom Dresslar:

    This post is based on a complete lie. Lockyer did not send a letter to CalPERS and CalSTRS urging the funds to divest from Valero and Tesoro. He did not urge divestment, period. The letter cited in this bogus item was sent by a consumer advocacy group. Lockyer issued a statement criticizing the oil companies for trying to obstruct AB 32. He said CalPERS and CalSTRS should make that view known to both firms, in a way that protects the funds and beneficiaries. The report this item cites is pure fantasy. Check your facts next time. Pitiful.