Saturday, September 12, 2015

New poll: Majority of AZ voters want Corporation Commission chair kicked out

What is surprising is: (1) that a huge majority want Susan Bitter Smith out, and (2) that so many voters seem to know about the Corporation Commission. Here is a story on the poll from ABC15.

Bitter Smith is a registered lobbyist for Cox Communications, she’s the leader of a telecom trade group, and she works as a public-relations consultant.

The complaint also accused Bitter Smith of being paid by Go-Daddy founder and billionaire Bob Parsons to move an APS substation so he could build a golf course in Scottsdale. The Corporation Commission regulates APS.

Nearly 86 percent of likely voters said they think she should be removed from office if these allegations are true.

Bitter Smith is one of five elected commissioners to the Corporation Commission, which regulates power companies, gas and water utilities in the state.

The poll, which as a 3.34 percent margin of error, was conducted via automated telephone survey by public affairs group MBQF Consulting. The group surveyed 863 voters.

[Bitter Smith] has not denied her employment as a lobbyist, but has said she lobbies for the cable arm of Cox, not the telephone arm that’s regulated by the Commission.

Michael Noble, whose firm conducted the poll, said the most surprising part of it to him was that 86 percent of voters said they’d heard of the Corporation Commission.

"Either people are suddenly thinking about utility regulation, or they have been watching nearly a year’s worth of news stories and allegations of serious problems," he said in a press release.

Either way, people seem to be finally waking up and recognizing the huge role the ACC plays in our lives. And having all five commissioners tainted by dark money is not in our best interests.

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