Tag Archives: Arizona Corporation Commission

This Obscure Agency Crushed Solar Power in Arizona

Attorney Bill Mundell, candidate for Arizona Corporation Commission

“You can’t believe the corruption,” says Attorney Bill Mundell, candidate for Arizona Corporation Commission

Why isn’t Arizona the world capital of solar power? It’s a question that comes up all the time. The answer is that a five-man GOP board killed solar incentives while boosting rate hikes from dirty-technology electric companies.

The deceptively-named Arizona Corporation Commission, which is the state electric utility regulator, has been a cesspool of corruption that has crushed the incentives for homeowners to install rooftop solar panels.

Last year former Commission chairman Gary Pierce was indicted for taking bribes of $31,000 and property from a utility owner for Pierce’s vote in favor of a rate increase.

“It is the tip of the corruption iceberg. The Commission staff were calling me saying ‘you can’t believe the corruption and coziness between the commissioners and the utilities they’re supposed to be regulating,'” said Chandler attorney Bill Mundell, a former commissioner. He and former commissioner Sandra Kennedy are Democrats running for two open seats on the agency.
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Arizona Corporation Commission Debate

The two-year long saga of secretive “dark money” and the GOP culture of corruption surrounding the Arizona Corporation Commission came to a head this week in the televised debate on Arizona Horizon (video).

CorpComm

Arizona Corporation Commission candidates Bill Mundell, Tom Chabin, Andy Tobin, Boyd Dunn and Bob Burns debate Tuesday night at KAET-TV with host Ted Simons. (Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer)

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reported, Democratic Corp Comm candidates side with Burns, push for APS investigation:

The two Democrats running for the Arizona Corporation Commission showed solidarity with a current Republican commissioner over an outstanding investigation into a utility’s role in the 2014 commission election, telling voters electing the bipartisan trio the best way to push the investigation forward.

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Democratic team to run for Arizona Corporation Commission

Bill MundellFormer Arizona Corporation Commissioner Bill Mundell filed to run for the Arizona Corporation Commission on February 5.  Former state representative Tom Chabin also filed to run for the Arizona Corporation Commission on February 5.  Both are running as Democrats as a team, and both are running as Clean Election candidates.

I do not find a web site for Bill Mundell (right), but you can go to the Secretary of State’s web site to Sign a Candidate Petition or Give $5 Qualifying Contribution.

Tom_ChabinTom Chabin (right) has a web site where you can electronically sign his petition, make a a $5 Clean Elections contribution, and volunteer to work on his campaign. Support — Tom Chabin for Corporation Commission.

It was my understanding that there was to be a campaign kickoff event this week in Phoenix and Tucson, but this blog has not received a press release to date. (Hint: send us your press releases).

This is an opportunity to break the GOP culture of corruption at the Arizona Corporation Commission, which is now a captive regulatory agency of the utilities it is supposed to regulate (APS, SRP, TEP, etc.) The “dark money” melodrama that has been playing out at the Arizona Corporation Commission is a disgrace.

2015 was a big year for the GOP culture of corruption in Arizona

The GOP culture of corruption in Arizona has produced a number of threads this year that are coming together at the end of the year. Other shoes are about to drop early in 2016 — lookin’ at you crazy Uncle Joe Arpaio.

Disgraced former congressman Rick Renzi has now exhausted all of his appeals and is finally serving time in prison after years of litigation. Ex-Arizona congressman Rick Renzi denied new trial:

MorgantownA federal judge on Wednesday denied a new trial for former U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi, who was convicted in 2013 of corruption, money laundering and other charges and is serving a three-year prison term.

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Renzi was convicted in 2013 of corruption, money laundering and other charges. An appeals court upheld the convictions last year, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his appeal in June.

Renzi began serving his sentence at the federal prison in Morgantown, West Virginia, in February. Best Places To Go To Prison – Forbes.

The top political corruption story in Arizona in 2015 has been the melodrama playing out at the Arizona Corporation Commission.

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GOP Culture of Corruption: things just got real for Commissioner Susan Bitter-Smith

The GOP culture of corruption at the Arizona Corporation Commission has been a soap opera for over a year now.  Tom Forese and Doug Little were elected to office last year with “dark money” from the state’s largest utility, APS, and its parent company Pinnacle West Capital Corp. The regulated purchased the regulators.

Screenshot from 2014-04-02 14:06:21In a related matter, Commissioner Bob Stump’s phone was seized for a forensic examination to recover emails and texts that may disclose illegal campaign coordination between Tom Forese and Doug Little and the GOP “dark money” organizations. The complaint is being pursued by the Checks and Balances ProjectJudge orders review of Stump’s text messages.

There has been the ongoing “dark money” disclosure dispute between some members of the Commission who want APS and Pinnacle West to come clean, and  Tom Forese and Doug Little who simply chant the Goldwater Institute’s magical mantra of “First Amendment free speech!” to justify political corruption and the Commission becoming a captive agency, bought by the utilities that it regulates. Regulator wants APS to disclose ‘dark money’ — well, not reallyMontini: APS disclosure request is kind of a sham and Roberts: Burns’ request for APS disclosure is a joke.

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Grand Old Misogyny

You’ve got to pity Rand Paul after Thursday night’s Fox “Fair and Balanced And Totally Not An Arm Of The GOP!” News Republican Presidential Primary debate. This is not just because of the embarrassing scuffle with Chris Christie. No, it’s more to do with Rand failing to be the natural successor to his dad Ron Paul as the “Ron Paul of 2016”. Paul père was never expected to win the nomination in either 2008 or 2012 but he did capture the enthusiasm of a sizable enough number of libertarian (mostly) dudebros to make a showing in both those primaries and dot the landscape with silly hand-painted looking signs. This was a sure path to Ron Paul’s lucrative retirement hawking financial scams. Continue reading