No on 23

(Come friend Aunt Ruthie on Facebook and let’s hang out.)

Never mind that they are using Michael Jordan’s jersey number—how low do you go?—and never mind that 30 cities including Sacramento and Los Angeles oppose the deceptively titled California Jobs Initiative.

Or that government studies state that more than a half-million employees already work in green jobs. Or that green industries are growing 10 times faster than the statewide average.

And never mind that a Deutsche Bank executive told Reuters it would pour most of the $7 billion it has to invest in clean energy into China and Western Europe, noting, “[Congress is] asleep at the wheel on climate change, asleep at the wheel on job growth, asleep at the wheel on this industrial revolution taking place in the energy industry.”

Never mind that Yes on 23’s leader, right-wing California Assemblyman Dan Logue, has publicly said he expects the oil companies to spend $50 million on Yes on 23. Or that The New Yorker reports that David H. Koch, while giving $2.5 million to the American Ballet Theatre and $100 million to modernize a Lincoln Center building, “is best known as part of a family that has repeatedly funded stealth attacks … on the Obama Administration” and has been named “one of the top ten air polluters in the United States.” And never mind that the Koches just gave $1 million to Yes on 23.

Never mind all that.

Mind this: Grist states that 97 percent of the $8.2 million backing Yes on 23 is from oil-related interests, with more than $7 million of that money coming from out-of-state oilies, and three companies (Koch Industries, Tesoro and Valero) are putting up more than $5.7 million of the total.

In a time when the U.S. Supreme Court has opened corporate floodgates to fund political campaigns, the battle to protect the environment from the self-interest of the rich has never been more important.

And, strangely, it has set the stage for the battle of rich vs. rich—the co-chair of the No on 23 campaign, Thomas Steyer, a San Francisco hedge manager, has pledged $5 million of his own money. As for the rest of us, we have to pitch in what we can; you can donate to No on 23 at Think of it as microfinancing the good guys—and remember: Never mind the bollocks. There’s a helluva lot more of us than there are of them.