Top Headlines, September 1st

in the news


Excerpt from The Arizona Republic (8/31/15): “Our View: Quit whining, commissioners, and do the job”:

Now comes something else uncorked by the busy folks at Checks & Balances:Commission Chairwoman Susan Bitter Smith has been moonlighting at her old job ever since her 2012 election.

Make that “jobs.” Bitter Smith has remained executive director of a cable-industry trade group. And she has retained interest in the public-relations firm that at times has lobbied the Corporation Commission on behalf of certain clients.

Bitter Smith’s response? The complaints are coming from “East Coast liberal solar groups,” aka the Checks & Balances Project of Washington, D.C.

Let us cut to the chase here. Bitter Smith was elected to a full-time job that pays her $80,000 annually, plus expenses, including a travel budget. That salary may be less than half what she gets from the cable-industry trade group, but no one pulled her by the ear to the Secretary of State’s office, forcing her to sign up for this lesser-paying gig as corporation commissioner.


Excerpt from the East Valley Tribune (8/29/15): “For Arizona GOP, party and power are all that matter”:

A group called the Checks and Balances Project is inquiring into Arizona Corporation Commissioner Bob Stump’s text communications with campaigns and the utilities he regulates. As a result, Republicans have launched an attack ad trying to discredit the investigation through good ol’ fashioned shooting the messenger.

Not surprising, Republicans took flak for their recent hit piece. In response to the criticism, state GOP Chairman Robert Graham defended his party’s actions saying, “That’s what the Republican Party does for Republican officeholders.”

 The job of a political party is to provide leadership, not a criminal defense in the court of public opinion. As is painfully obvious in Graham’s letter, the GOP’s only interest is to create misdirection.

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