Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Was Susan Bitter Smith brazen enough to advertise her conflicts of interest the last four years?

Susan Bitter Smith ran for election to the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2012. She was already lobbying for telecommunications concerns. She won the election that year. No thanks to the corporate media, as they didn't call her out for lobbying.

Perhaps corporate media outlets, such as the Arizona Republic, the Arizona Capitol Times and local broadcast news enterprises had conflicts of interest.

They are, after all, CORPORATE media, not public service media. What was the conflict? Well, we DO have evidence that Bitter Smith paid for advertising her services as a lobbyist before, during and after her election. She apparently still has paid advertising online, at minimum with one corporate news outlet. Arizona Capitol Times, which owns, still has a listing for her as a lobbyist. Additionally, Bitter Smith has paid for advertising (which she had to review and approve, so don't buy any "BS" about it being inadvertent) in Cap Times publications during the pertinent time frames of 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

You may view pdf files of those images here. A pdf file with images from her paid advertising on from 2012 -- 2014 is also available.

Amazingly, the Arizona Republic, known for endorsing the wrong candidates in many cases, and then hoping nobody notices when those Republicans, as elected officials, do stupid stuff -- did NOT endorse Bitter Smith in 2012.

Though they declined to endorse her, despite the widespread audience the newspaper enjoys (and all the local broadcast news enterprises READ the Republic), they also FAILED to report on Bitter Smith's conflict of interest. Not surprising, really, given that their coverage of the Corporation Commission over the last several years has been incredibly anemic (i.e Ryan Randazzo).

The state's largest paper did, on the other hand, endorse Trash Burner Bob.

The same Trash Burner Bob (Stump) who, in 2013 said he thought utilities should abstain from spending ratepayer money on electioneering, is now scrambling to keep the public from knowing the extent of what he (may have) did (remember Jan Brewer) to illegally coordinate Dark Money independent expenditures.

Circumstantial evidence points to Stump's clandestine efforts to get his cronies, Tommy Forese and Doug Little -- the three of them now known collectively as Tommy Little Stump -- elected in 2014.

Shameless, all three of them, Tommy Little Stump, this week filed letters hoping to stop efforts to get APS to open their books so the public can find out to what extent APS spent on Tommy and Little's election in 2014.

Tommy got down right indignant claiming reports of the Corp Comm wanting APS to open their books amounts to elected officials trying to influence elections.
Commissioners attempting to influence elections in their official capacity through this relationship [as a result of their constitutional authority] would exceed the bounds of their constitutional mandate over public service corporations.
Might one reasonably infer that Tommy's freaked out about something? Might he know that when Tom Ryan called for bulldozing the entire Corporation Commission, he had legitimate grounds to do so? Forese goes on to cite the 2010 Citizens United ruling, and expressing grave concern for the First Amendment right of corporations.
Adopting such a policy would also have severe implications to civil liberties. Public Service Corporations have a First Amendment right to support the candidates of their choice as a matter of free speech. 
THIS is the SAME guy who shamelessly manipulated the Arizona Legislature into passing a law that ALL of the lawmakers did, or at least should have known was fully and completely UNLAWFUL. Forese was the sole sponsor of HB2280 in 2013.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Tommy for making it abundantly obvious that you do NOT represent interests of genuine living, breathing people, but rather the plutocrats who run the utilities.

And then there's Trash Burner Bob's amazing and stunning declaration in his letter. If anyone has ever been unaware of the irony of their own statements, it's Stump. He states,
The irony of the controversy over so-called dark money is this: How can any regulator be beholden to dark money donors when these donors are anonymous?
Of course, this is precisely the problem: a lack of transparency about who is expending funds to elect or defeat Corporation Commissioners.
Absolutely priceless.

As if anyone is going to believe that the chump who refuses still to disclose the content of his clandestine communication with Sean Noble, APS and other "unindicted co-conspirators" doesn't really KNOW the source of the Dark Money that was at play in the 2014 corp comm election?

The more I learn about the situation, the more I tend to agree with attorney Tom Ryan that it's time to bulldoze the entire corporation commission and start over from scratch.


Today it is a case of the grasshopper pitted against the elephant. But tomorrow the elephant will have its guts ripped out. Le Loi, Vietnamese emperor, 15th Century.

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