Skip to comments.Gray Davis: 'I knew nothing' - Ex-governor says he was unprepared for crisis
Posted on 06/12/2005 8:57:00 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
Former Gov. Gray Davis now admits he was unprepared for the 2000-01 energy crisis that sent electricity bills soaring, brought rolling blackouts and ultimately helped bring an early end to his political career. Davis, recalled by voters in an unprecedented move, was replaced by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in October 2003, a year after Davis had won a second term.
The former Democratic governor said he erred by buying power at inflated rates during the height of the crisis, but said he acted because he "wasn't willing to risk" sustained blackouts.
"Did it turn out to be a mistake? Yes," Davis said during a speech Friday before the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco.
Davis blamed bad advice from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as he tried to respond to manipulation of the state's energy market by traders from Enron Corp. and other energy companies.
"When I ran for governor in '98, not a single human being asked me about electricity," Davis said at a conference on finding ways to reform California government and politics. "I knew nothing about electricity. ... I wish I knew as much about electricity then as I do now."
Davis said the state's 1996 deregulation law, signed by GOP Gov. Pete Wilson, was a "colossal mistake" that allowed unethical energy traders to rip off consumers in the "the biggest robbery since the Brink's robbery."
He also criticized federal energy regulators for failing to stop Enron traders from practices like urging that power plants be shut down to drive up electricity costs.
"Enron (traders) were like the old wildcatters," Davis said of the company now in bankruptcy protection. "They had no care about tomorrow. They just wanted to sweep every nickel, every dime out of California because they had no idea how long this party would last."
Davis declined to comment on Schwarzenegger's performance, but noted his successor has eclipsed his old record for campaign fundraising from special interest groups. Davis was roundly criticized for his fundraising while in office, but Republican Schwarzenegger gathered $28.8 million last year -- more than twice what Davis raised in his first year in office.
"This is one race I am happy to lose," Davis said. "I always knew those criticisms that I was a world-class spender would be eclipsed by someone, and it was eclipsed by Arnold. I'm delighted someone has passed me."
This shrub was consider to be the next President.. Shudder...
Former California Governor Gray Davis makes an appearance in this Friday, May 13, 2005 file photo, on California Connected, a public television newsmagazine broadcast, for a roundtable discussion about the legislative changes they proposed on the program last season, held at The Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif. Davis now admits he was unprepared for the state's 2000-2001 energy crisis that sent electricity bills soaring, brought rolling blackouts and helped bring an early end to his political career. The former Democratic governor said Friday he erred by buying power at inflated rates during the height of the crisis, when utilities were not able to keep up with demand, but said he acted because he 'wasn't willing to risk' sustained blackouts. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
From the "Where Are They Now?" file.
So in other words, Gray Davis is contending that FERC failed to protect Californians from Davis' own incompetence with respect to energy policy?
"I knew nothing about electricity. ... I wish I knew as much about electricity then as I do now."
Atta boy, Gray. There's always someone else to blame.
Gumby is a dipwad.
Gray Davis: 'I knew nothing'
Finally, something he and I agree on.
Gray Davis: 'I knew nothing'
Even when he knew something, he knew nothing.
So even years later he still has no idea what he did wrong...
He is lieing through his teeth. Good thing Al Goron lost because he would have used the crisis to nationalize the energy industries.
How much exactlydid Davis not know, and when did he not know it???
Then perhaps he should have been Stalag California's guard, not its commandant.
Everything about Gray Davis is...Gray.
Just the natural consequence of letting the political system replace the free market in terms of supplying a vital commodity.
Finally, a Gray Davis quote I can agree with!
They just can't shut up and go away, can they?
I traded spot and to-arrive natgas in 2000-2001 (aka ''the cash mkt''), and Davis' pet puppies infesting that idiotic Calbanian ISO made it almost impossible to lose...or, said another way, Calbanian taxpayers indirectly funded every single trade I made.
For Grayout Davis to crime Calpine, Cinergy, Duke, El Paso, Enron and the boys for simply operating their trading businesses according to HIS bloody stupid rules, and to crime little tiny individual traders to boot, is absolutely risible. Such commentary would be a terminal embarrassment to any remotely honest individual.
Why did this subject come up again?
That's good to know.
Once a liar, always a liar, eh, Grey?
This guy is up to his dyed and manicured eyebrows in corruption and paybacks, something must be brewing if he came back out of obscurity to make this claim.
Why else would they be hauling this pompadoured poodle out of his enforced retirement? The issue has not been under discussion lately, nobody has even said his name in public since we fired him...why now? What is the L.A. Times up to?
No way this was something written just because it's a slow news week.
Something's up. I smell a rat, a big GREY one. Either Grey is going to be indicted, or the Dems are cranking up the smoke and mirrors machine to hide something else...
An excellent point. It is very out of context.
Something is up!
Because Californians are being prepped to accept more "rolling blackouts" this summer.
That would just remind common sense Californian that he wasn't fired soon enough!
If Davis didn't know
Then he is more of an Idiot then I ever gave him credit for
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One of the best things we ever did here in Cal was recall this corrupt boob of a governor.
I said at the time if Doofus had just said no to the cartel for their blackmail prices for just one day they would have caved. You can't store Kilowatts...
Probably, because Mr. Davis wants to run for some political office or be appointed to some political post. It has been a while since he raked in big government dollars and was given the power to do things in the name of the people.
People like Davis have a hard time finding happiness and success in the private sector where one needs to perform and where one is held accountable for one's actions.
Yes, Davis is trying to rehabilitate his name so he can get back into some kind of Government job. At least that is my guess.
Considering how Boxer & Feinstein cut him loose during the recall campaign, any chance he will go after one of their jobs soon?
"Why did this subject come up again?"
Davis may be trying to rehab himself and blaming everything on Enron and GW.
he looks like a mortician, i always thought.
Why did this subject come up again?
He's coming clean and grooming himself for a HildeBeast administration position?
Energy Czar, maybe. ;-)
Don't forget... He served in Vietnam, too!!! Just like scarry Hairy Kerry!!! (you remember him dont'cha... The Fonda Babe Magnet?!?)(Phhhhht!!!)