Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Checks & Balances Project sues Brnovich and Stump

It's been more than seven months since Scott Peterson, director of the Checks and Balances Project first filed a public records request seeking access to which he, and the public, are rightfully owed by the Arizona Corporation Commission and Trash Burner Bob Stump.

In the meantime, the Corporation Commission has aggressively stonewalled, wasted thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds on shiftless attorneys (notably David Cantelme), and made several excuses to refuse to comply with the lawful request.

Most recently, however, the Corp Comm received an assist from Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich when his office seized Stump's phone pursuant to investigation of a whistleblower complaint. That was months ago and nothing has been done, or at least reported about publicly regarding the phone or the whistleblower complaint.

In an effort to compel both AG Brnovich and the Corp Comm to get off the pot, as it were, Peterson filed a special action in Maricopa County Superior Court today. In a press release, C&BP said,
“Commissioners must be impartial in their oversight and regulation of the state’s business community. Yet public records demonstrate that leading up to Arizona’s Republican primary election on August 26, 2014, then-Chairman Stump texted extensively with players in a dark money election scheme that may have provided the funds to elect pro-utility candidates and defeat pro-solar candidates,” Peterson continued.
“The Arizona Corporation Commission needs to get out of the way and let the public see what Bob Stump was really up to,” said Peterson.
You may read the 11-page complaint and the 79 pages of exhibits which detail the background to this situation.

Lest there be any confusion, (and columnists at the Arizona Republic seem to like to obscure public perception as to who the Checks and Balances Project works for and what it does), here's how the Project puts it in the complaint filed today.
Plaintiff Scott Peterson is the Executive Director of the Checks and Balances Project, a watchdog project blog that is devoted in part to investigating the efforts of utilities to influence regulators on public utility commissions and stymie the growth of clean energy. In furtherance of its news gathering mission, Plaintiff regularly requests access to the public records of federal and state government agencies and officials, and publishes relevant information contained in those records to the public.
Despite Laurie Roberts absurd characterization of Peterson's work as that of a sinister Dark Money operation, it's plainly obvious that he functions as a de facto investigative journalism enterprise. If the Arizona Republic had the balls (and competent reporters on the beat following the Corp Comm), would Peterson even have to be doing any of this? I think not. In Arizona anyway.

Further, what on Earth makes it sinister for a watchdog blog operation to be concerned about regulatory capture that stymies the growth of clean energy? Perhaps Laurie Roberts and Ryan Randazzo should investigate both the obscene level of respiratory disease among Arizona citizens, especially in Maricopa County AND compare fossil fuel tax subsidies to the miniscule amount of incentives given to the solar industry and its customers in Arizona and around the country.

Oh, and perhaps some meteorological data comparison of the progression of climate change in our state might help put this situation in perspective also.

As I have argued previously about the co-dependency role the Republic holds over Arizona by enabling fossil fuel interests to continue to oppress Arizona citizens and enabling the GOP at the Arizona Capitol to facilitate that oppression, I've had enough of it.

Rise UP, Arizona.

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