Sunday, July 5, 2015

Bobghazi Update: Arizona Corporation Commission refuses to subpoena content of Stump messages

Here is an update on the matter of former Chair (and current member) of the ACC, Bob Stump's texting to GOP candidates for ACC and dark money operatives.

The latest news is that the ACC won't issue a subpoena to Verizon for the content of those messages because ACC does not believe the content is available. Really? As Mike Wallace used to say, "Oh, come on."

Here are snippets from The Republic/azcentral.com report.

One of the main points of contention in the Arizona Corporation Commission dispute with a government watchdog group is whether the utility regulators have tried hard enough to get deleted text messages from Verizon Wireless.

The commission asked for the date and time of each text Stump sent and the number to which messages were sent. This is the information the commission eventually released. It showed a pattern of texts that raised suspicion Stump was working with a dark-money group during the 2014 election, but only the full text of those messages can definitively answer that question. [More on that below.]

"The Commission's Legal Division and the Commission's Business Office (the department that handles the service contracts and payments for Commission-issued cell phones) had several conversations with Verizon representatives making multiple requests for the content of the text messages from Commissioner Stump's cellphone," Executive Director Jodi Jerich said.

Checks and Balances has repeatedly suggested the commission subpoena Verizon for the records to determine whether the wireless company could provide the messages if compelled to do so.

Jerich said the commission hasn't done that because officials don't believe the records are available.

"We did not issue a subpoena to obtain text message content because Verizon told us that they do not have the text message content," Jerich said. "Verizon did provide us the text log."

OK, granted the full content of the messages would be definitive, but consider the pattern of messaging.

Here is the Cast (from CBP post, June 30)

  • Bob Stump, then Chair of the ACC
  • Doug Little, GOP candidate (now commissioner)
  • Tom Foresee, GOP candidate (now commissioner)
  • Scot Mussi, the head of the dark money electoral group, Arizona Free Enterprise Club.
  • Barbara Lockwood, APS’s general manager of regulatory affairs and compliance . Arizona Public Service (APS) is widely believed to have funded much of the dark money election scheme.
  • Sean Noble, executive director and president of American Encore, a 501(c) 4 nonprofit reported to be a conduit for the Koch Brothers donor network.

And embedded here is the summary table from CBP showing the overlap of Stumps messaging to the various players in the cast.

Stump is on record saying that his messaging with Mussi was about going to the symphony. Perhaps his messaging to the rest was all about getting a burger for lunch and taking in a play at the theater.

If you believe the pattern of messaging was coincidence, I have a bridge to nowhere to sell you.

 

 

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