By Buck Williams, Tea Party Tribune Contributor
The Sermon on the Mount is my favorite passage of the Bible. Of all that Jesus preached, one passage, in particular, has always stood out to me. I’m referring to Matthew 7:3, to wit:
Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
Jesus’ words came back to me as I read this recent post from The Espresso Pundit (aka Greg Patterson), Arizona’s indispensable political gadfly. He is one of us, a true conservative through and through.. And he is, above all, fair and balanced.
That’s why he took Arizona Public Service (APS) to task for trying to fix the election to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). You should definitely read the entire piece (Patterson is that good), but here’s an excerpt:
It was bad enough that APS used some of its (essentially unlimited) corporate funds in order to push two candidates for the Corporation Commission. But here the company is [also] funding a smear campaign against a specific candidate using anonymous corporate money and relying on discredited charges and allegations in order to affect the election of the body that regulates them.
That’s too much.
APS is not only funding two candidates to sit on the regulatory body that oversees its own business, but they’re also apparently (according to Patterson) smearing a black candidate for being, well, black (he’s conservative like us us, so I have no idea what APS’ beef with him is). While Patterson points out that it’s not illegal, there’s no question that it’s disgusting and vile.
And APS is going all in to get these people elected, from financial sources that, as Patterson refers to them, are “dark money.”For those of you not familiar with the term, “dark money” is a term that refers to funds used to pay for an election campaign that are not disclosed to voters prior to voting. Funds can be spent on behalf of a candidate running in an election, or to influence voting on a ballot question.
Why is that so bad? It becomes impossible for you and me to know if there are conflicts of interest there. And given that APS is a government-sponsored monopoly (I’ve discussed that travesty before), that makes anonymous spending all the more dangerous.
I’m not against spending money on political campaigns —I do it myself. But I stand behind the candidates with my name. I don’t hide behind a cloak of secrecy to hide where I stand.
But Patterson, who answers the questions of his APS-supporting friends, hits it out of the park with these words (question comes first):
Don’t other companies (for example solar companies) spend money in ACC elections?
Yes. But APS is a monopoly and is 100% regulated by the ACC. APS doesn’t make a dime that isn’t approved by the ACC. Other entities are only marginally affected by the ACC and those contributions are similar to the contributions that APS makes in Legislative races. No one is going to say that APS can’t make legislative or Gubernatorial contributions. They are affected by the outcome of those races, but not much more than other companies are affected by the outcome of Legislative races. Here, however, APS is REGULATED by the ACC. The ACC sets the very rates that allow APS to survive. The company is using its massive corporate resources in order to hand pick the regulators who will set the company’s rates.
There is also a scale issue. It looks like APS is going to spend more money than all of the other candidates combined.
And therein lies the rub: If we’re going to insist solar compete on a level playing field, we can’t fix the game. And APS certainly should not fix the game to attack our personal property rights, and the choice to generate our own electricity. What APS is doing is wrong, and kudos to Patterson for telling them to take the log out of its own eye.
(I should also mention that Patterson has an excellent follow-up piece in which he says APS’ attempts to elect the son of a commissioner as Secretary of State. The takeaway:
APS has no interest in this race and they are going to spend a couple hundred thousand dollars getting a sitting Commissioner’s son elected to the Secretary of State’s office? I simply don’t see how that’s legal.
My take? The APS is full of corrupt, amoral midgets who should all be thrown out of office. It’s issues like this that prove why patriots like Patterson are indispensable. Read the whole thing — you won’t want to miss it.)