I’ve been around Arizona Republican politics for quite a while. As always, the stakes in the upcoming primary election for our party are significant.
Will we succeed in electing a GOP successor to Jan Brewer?
Will we succeed with other statewide races, including the Attorney General’s Office?
Will some of the Arizona congressional districts being held by Democrats go Republican?
These are all important questions, but a race I am paying particular attention to this year is for the Arizona Corporation Commission. It regulates Arizona utilities, including monopolies like Arizona Public Service and Tucson Electric Power.
For the first time I can ever recall, Arizona Public Service is spending money, your money, to elect and install corporation commissioners favorable to them. They are routing this money through third party “dark money” organizations so they don’t have to be so obvious about what they are doing.
This is a very dangerous situation for all Arizonans. If utility monopolies are able to essentially purchase politicians beholden to them, our rates will go up as those elected will be indebted to those who spent to put them there.
That’s why I am fighting against this. In particular, I think one of these candidates, Doug Little, would be a very poor choice for the Arizona Corporation Commission.
Not only does Little have very little experience to make the complicated, important decisions that impact our lives on a daily basis, he is vehemently anti-solar.
Being against energy choice just isn’t the American way. Republicans stand for school choice, health care choice and should be for energy choice too — not just dependent on the whims of the monopoly.
Little wants to reverse policies that have allowed tens of thousands of Arizonans from seniors to schools to churches to save on their electric bills by going with rooftop solar. His policies would kill thousands of Arizona solar jobs.
Indeed, Little wants to tax solar out of existence at the behest of Arizona Public Service. Why? Because the more energy efficient we all are — I have a solar heater myself — the less money Arizona Public Service makes.
What’s most troubling about Little is that he actually favors a big new property tax on rooftop solar equipment. Very few in the Republican Party support such a thing — tax hikes are supposed to be anathema to our philosophy — yet Little supports it because APS wants him to. Even the leading Republican gubernatorial candidates oppose this tax.
This is not a candidate our party needs on the Corporation Commission. We need watch dogs not lap dogs. We need people who will look after the ratepayer and Republican principles, not the utility monopolies and tax hikes.
If Little somehow wins the Republican primary on Aug. 26, he will also provide Democrats their best chance of picking up a seat on the regulatory body, which is now all Republican.
Mr. Little may very well be a fine man. But he is just too wrong on too many issues to be a Republican nominee next month. Besides, being against solar in Arizona is like being against the beach in California. It just makes no sense.
— Barry Goldwater Jr. is chairman of T.U.S.K. (Tell Utilities Solar won’t be Killed), a national Republican organization dedicated to energy choice and rooftop solar.