The Arizona Republic gets it half right: endorses Jim Holway for Corporation Commission


The editors of  The Arizona Republic earlier this year demonstrated their schizophrenic reasoning when they heaped praise on Mesa Mayor Scott Smith,  but then endorsed “Cathi’s Clown” Doug Ducey, the candidate from Koch in the GOP primary for governor (after editorializing against the influence of “dark money” in this year’s campaign all year). There were no principles or best interests of the state at stake; the editors freely admitted in their endorsement that they wanted to pick a winner, and the polls said Ducey led the GOP field.

A similar schizophrenic dynamic was in play in The Republic’s endorsements for Corporation Commission in the GOP primary when it endorsed Lucy Mason and Tom Forese, so they could cancel out each others vote (actually it was to prevent two pro solar members from being elected to the ACC). Ignore the slates for corporation commission.

Holway-145x160The editors are repeating the error of their ways by encouraging voters to again split their ticket by endorsing Republican Tom Forese, the candidate from APS dark money, and the highly qualified Democratic candidate Jim Holway, so Forese can cancel out Holway’s vote (and to prevent two pro solar members from being elected to the ACC). Split your ticket for Corporation Commission:

[Split] your ticket to elect the two most qualified candidates and add ideological diversity to the body that sets water and electric rates across the state.

The Arizona Republic recommends Tom Forese and Jim Holway.

The editors say we should give Forese credit for this:

Forese was a part of the GOP team supported by nearly $2 million in “dark money” ads during the primary. It is widely believed that Arizona Public Service, a regulated utility, provided the money. Forese supports requiring APS and its parent company to open their books, which would reveal how much they spent, if anything, on campaigning. Such transparency is needed.

Give Forese credit for being the beneficiary of dark money from APS and its parent company Pinnacle West, and from the “Kochtopus” dark money network run by Sean Noble? Or give him credit for saying there should be disclosure of the source of this dark money? Sorry, but Forese doesn’t  get credit unless he actually demands that they cease and desist, and he rejects their support.

Here is what the editors got right in a moment of lucidity:

[T]here’s a better candidate: Democrat Jim Holway, who ranks among the most qualified candidates to seek a seat on the commission. He has more than three decades of experience with water, energy and economic issues, including a stint as assistant director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources. He served the past four years on the Central Arizona Project Board.

That is a great asset to bring to the board. The other is political diversity. The commission today is an all-Republican body. The five commissioners differ on details, but they’re in general agreement on the big picture. A healthy debate would flow from adding a new viewpoint.

Holway, for instance, has a rooftop solar system. He knows he benefits from the grid but wants an independent economic study to determine whether solar users are indeed shifting costs to non-solar users. That’s in contrast to the commission coming to that determination on its own, as the group did last year.

He can speak in great detail about coal, the Navajo Generating Station and the need to study coal sequestration. He speaks the language and would not have to lean on staff to get up to speed.

We don’t agree with every idea he offers. He suggests, for instance, that everyone who comes before the commission, not just APS, should reveal contributing to a Corporation Commission race. That’s a step too far and clearly beyond the commission’s authority.

But on balance, Holway would inject the commission with something it needs: a varied viewpoint. That would be good for Arizona.

The editors fail to mention Democrat Sandra Kennedy, who previously served on the Corporation Commission for a term, and is running with Jim Holway as part of the “solar team.” Putting two strong advocates for solar energy on the Corporation Commission would change the balance of power on the Commission from being a captive agency that protects the profits of the Carbon Monopolies it is supposed to regulate, to being a pro-consumer regulatory  agency that wants to smooth the transition to competition from clean renewable energy.

If you are pro Carbon Monopolies that can determine their own rates and prevent any competitors from entering the market, the Republicans are for you.

If you want free market competition from a variety of new renewable energy providers and a transition to a clean renewable energy future, vote for the “solar team” of Jim Holway and Sandra Kennedy.

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.