Arizona Republic: Corporation Commission cozy with APS? Say it isn’t so!

This article by Laurie Roberts was published by The Republic on May 22, 2015.


y1l929WLSo, I see that the then-chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission was playing digital footsiewith both an Arizona Public Service executive and the guy who runs a dark money group widely suspected of being a front for APS during last year’s elections.

I, for one, am shocked. Shocked, I tell you, that the commission – the folks who determine how much you will pay for electricity — is apparently nothing more than a wholly owned subsidiary of the electric utility it’s supposed to regulate.

Why do I say that, you ask? Well, let me count the ways.

It’s widely believed that APS purchased a pair of seats on the five-member commission last year by secretly funneling millions of dollars through the Arizona Free Enterprise Club and a second dark-money group.

And that APS kicked in $438,395 via AzFEC to help then-Commissioner Gary Pierce’s son, who was running for secretary of state.

Meanwhile, Pierce is under investigation by the Attorney General’s Office after a commission staffer questioned his cozy ties with Don Brandt, the head of APS parent company Pinnacle West.

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