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APS is polluting Arizona’s politics and governance

APS electric power lightbulb

Arizona Public Service, the largest utility in Arizona, is a regulated monopoly with 1.2 million customers. By state law, the energy giant is shielded from competition and guaranteed a profit. In return, government regulators — in theory — protect consumers and our state from price gouging, environmental devastation, and other misbehavior. Sadly for all of us, last week offered another reminder that even its sweetheart deal with the state is not good enough for APS’s executives. Instead APS has decided that its pathway to maximum profits requires polluting our politics and governance as much as it requires polluting our air.

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Trump blames victims of immigration policy, arrests them

President Donald Trump reacts to the cheering crowd as he leaves a rally at the Four Seasons Arena at Montana ExpoPark, Thursday, July 5, 2018, in Great Falls, Mont., in support of Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., and GOP Senate candidate Matt Rosendale. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

As the senior writer at the National Crime Prevention Council in Washington, DC, I acquired an intimate knowledge of the principle that you never blame the victim of a crime. Despite the occasional rulings of rogue judges and the bizarre utterances of lawmakers and candidates emboldened by what they hear on talk radio or see on cable TV, it’s pretty much accepted in public discourse that a woman is not to blame for her rape because her skirt was too short or she had too much to drink. Similarly, a victim of domestic abuse is not to blame for reuniting with the violent partner (although that takes a moment to explain). A homeowner is not to blame for a theft because an alarm hadn’t been installed. A robbery victim isn’t to blame because the street was dark. The perpetrator is held to account for these crimes, not the victim.

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Ballot measure sets Arizona on wrong energy course

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As for APS, we are on course to provide customers with clean energy, now and for the long-term. We will continue to plan a future that responsibly supports clean energy in our state, while maintaining the reliable service that customers expect. A growing number of distinguished Arizona business and community leaders agree this constitutional amendment is bad for Arizona and formally oppose the initiative.

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Let’s not pretend there is no K-12 funding hole

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The fact is that we are not providing adequate funding for our public schools and our students. Moving to an adequate funding level for K-12 public schools in Arizona will be a long trip. Arizona has started that trip, so let’s not allow the train to get off track because we have a long uphill route that will need us all onboard.

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Simple facts about public school funding, not rhetoric or fake news

In Arizona, we face societal and economic challenges that must be addressed. Scapegoating education funding reinforces the status quo and doesn’t move us forward as a state. If we desire safe communities and a strong economy, we will need to cease the numbers game and senseless rhetoric, and focus all our efforts on ensuring a prosperous Arizona by investing in our children.

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