Information & Perspective by Warren Woodward
Sedona, Arizona ~ April 30, 2016
Most people who are paying attention are aware that APS is the largest corporate political donor in the state — and that’s not even including the millions in APS’s “alleged” dark money contributions.
It is widely believed that APS has bought and paid for its regulators at the Arizona Corporation Commission. APS has also made massive donations to the Arizona Attorney General and Governor. Many lesser politicians, both Democrat but mostly Republican, have also been recipients of APS largess. Anyone can go to FollowTheMoney.org to see where the money’s going. Technically the donations are from Pinnacle West, the APS parent company, but in my opinion that’s an insignificant difference. I am sure the people getting the money know who’s buttering their bread and what’s expected.
APS also peddles influence via its so-called “charitable” donations that also total in the millions. A city council member of one Arizona town told me he doubted any of the other council members would go against APS “because of all they do for the community.”
So here is something else to consider when pondering why the ACC staff, who are not getting APS money (that we know of, LOL), also seem to be doing the bidding of APS — perhaps it’s so they can get a job with APS after they retire from or quit the ACC.
Case in point: Former ACC Utilities Division Director Steven Olea retired last year from many years at the ACC. While at the ACC he did a great job doing APS’s bidding on the “smart” meter issue. Olea is now working for APS.
Former ACC Executive Director Ernest Johnson and Amanda Ho, ACC commissioner Bob Stump’s former policy adviser, both work for APS now.
APS lawyer Thomas Mumaw used to be Chief Hearing Officer at the ACC until he was asked to resign for being “anti-consumer.” That was back when the ACC had commissioners with integrity who were real regulators looking out for the public.
So is the prospect of a second career at APS the reason why the current ACC Utilities Director, Thomas Broderick, is in favor of APS’s new rip-off scheme, mandatory demand charges? Is he also pushing for CenturyLink’s new rip-off “facility relocation fee” to show his bona fides?
Treat ’em right and there’s another cush job waiting for you on the other side of the revolving door while you collect your “public service” pension at the same time. Is that how it works?
I am a registered Republican, but I have to say that it seems like too many Arizona Republican officeholders are corrupt cronies and ignoramuses. That often happens when any party is in control for too long.
If you are as weary as I am of the corrupt Republican establishment, consider helping the campaigns of Democrats Tom Chabin and Bill Mundell who are running for the ACC. Chabin & Mundell are running a “clean elections” campaign. That means they are not taking huge corporate donations. In order to qualify they need several thousand people to give them $5 each. You can do that at their websites. Look for the “Donate a $5 Clean Elections Qualifying Contribution” button and take it from there.
I swore off giving politicians money — any money — some time ago, but I made an exception for Chabin & Mundell after hearing them speak at a recent clean elections campaign event. I truly believe they have Arizonans’ best interests at heart and will stand up to APS and the corruption at the ACC.