Why I am running for governor, part one

Dear Friends,

As most of you know, atomic humanists around the world have recently scored a series of big victories protecting nuclear power, our largest source of clean energy.

Last year we won in Illinois and New York; this year we won in South Korea, Connecticut, and France.

Battles are still simmering in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, where I will testify on Monday.

But the biggest battle is here in California — my home state.

Soon, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will announce a plan to kill Diablo Canyon, our largest source of clean energy, and replace it with fossil fuels.

Who’s behind the CPUC’s effort to kill our largest source of clean power? Our anti-nuclear governor, Jerry Brown, who appoints its members.

As Brown travels around the world claiming to be a climate leader, emissions have risen in California every year since he took office. Meanwhile, throughout the rest of the United States, they declined.

The main reason? The Brown Machine’s successful effort to kill another nuclear plant, San Onofre, in 2012, and replace it with natural gas, at a cost to ratepayers of $3.3 billion.

The more I looked, the more corruption I found:

The people who are paying the highest price are, as usual, the poor and vulnerable.

Today, California has the highest poverty rate in the nation. Why? Because the cost of living is so high, and wages are too low.

Air pollution has worsened in southern California, disproportionately increasing asthma attacks among the poor, Latino, and African American children.

Even though we pay some of the highest taxes in the country, seven percent of Californians lack health insurance, housing prices are outrageously high, and tuition keeps rising.

Meanwhile, our schools are failing. Less than half of our students are proficient at math and English. And Latino and African American students suffer the most.

And our prison industrial complex — rightly called “the new Jim Crow,” for its racially disproportionate impact — is maintained by lavish campaign contributions from the corrupt prison guards union to the Brown Machine.

Who is the heir-apparent to the Brown Machine when Brown steps down in 2019?

Gavin Newsom.

As Lieutenant Governor, Newsom is implicated in the corruption. Indeed, he has played a pivotal role in the effort to replace Diablo Canyon with fossil fuels.

When Newsom appeared on “The Colbert Report,” in 2013, he babbled like an airhead, but he is no idiot.

Why does Newsom spend all day attacking Donald Trump on Twitter and Facebook?

To distract us from his record running and ruining our golden state.

Meanwhile, none of the other candidates are telling the truth. None are offering real solutions. And none can be trusted.

Over the last year I have struggled with what to do.

I went to Sacramento and discovered that the few clean legislators who exist are powerless against the Brown Machine;

I tried and failed to participate in the corrupt CPUC process;

And I tried and failed to recruit a reform-minded legislator to run for governor.

None of it has worked.

I am left with one option to save our largest source of clean energy, and our state, and that’s to run for Governor.

While I appreciate this may come as a shock, I hope you will consider supporting my candidacy.

First, though I am a lifelong Democrat, I’m running as an Independent. The Democratic Party is corrupt, through and through.

Second, I’m running to win, and “winning” will require more than getting elected. It will require enacting sweeping reforms.

Until we smash the dirty Brown Machine, nothing we do on jobs, schools, health care, housing, or energy matters.

I only came to this decision very recently, and very reluctantly.

I hate politics for precisely the reason I am running for governor: it’s a dirty profession and must be cleaned up.

I have spent most of my career fighting for clean energy. Now, I must fight for clean government.

I have spent my life creating and working for not-for-profit organizations. Now, we must make California’s government a not-for-profit organization.

I did whatever it took to win in Illinois, New York, South Korea, Connecticut, and France — I will do whatever it takes to win in California.

This won’t be easy. The Brown Machine is backed by millions of dollars and the dark money of its allied special interest groups.

But we have something on our side they don’t have: the truth. It is the stone in our sling shot.

My campaign will be a campaign of action: it will consist of exposing the corruption of California by the Brown-Newsom Machine at every turn. Sunlight remains the best disinfectant.

The media gatekeepers can no longer stand in the way between the public and the truth.

Twitter and Facebook have ripped down the barriers to communicating directly with the people of California.

I need your help. I can’t win without your moral and financial support.

Before I ask you for a contribution, I want to ask for your volunteer labor.

We need everything: researchers; organizers; graphic designers; fundraisers; attorneys; and administration. If you’d like to help, please send me an email.

But don’t ask me for permission. If you support the reform agenda I’ve laid out here, then please just start campaigning: make your own Shellenberger for Governor sign; share this on your Facebook page; and recruit your friends and family to help.

I have so far only asked one person for his or her endorsement, and that’s climate scientist James Hansen. I am honored to announce he has given it to me.

Let me reassure you that EP’s critical work saving nuclear around the world will continue.

I will testify in New Jersey next Monday, and I will travel where I need to travel to defend clean power in crisis.

And I will keep a very bright line between my work at EP, and my work at Shellenberger for Governor.

Thank you for your support in helping EP to achieve our goals of nature, prosperity and justice for all.

Now let’s go fight for the California dream.


Michael Shellenberger