Friday, January 22, 2016

StumpGate UpDate: Is Bob Stump vindicated?

He thinks so. Remember Stump is the guy at the AZ Corporation Commission who sent all those text messages to folks involved not only with the election of Commissioners in 2014 but also to folks at APS, the public utility regulated by ACC. Here is the list and other snippets from Laurie Roberts at azcentral.com.

According to a log of Stump’s text messages, obtained via public records request by Checks and Balances, Stump sent 56 text messages to Barbara Lockwood, the general manager for regulatory policy at APS, between June and September 2014. He sent another 46 to Scot Mussi, head of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, and 180 to Forese and Little.

So, given that evidence of (at the leaset) impropriety, why is Stump smiling?

Retired Judge David Cole – asked by a sitting judge to cull through the texts as part of Checks and Balances’ lawsuit to obtain them -- has determined that none of the tens of thousands of Stump’s texts, sent from July 2013 to March 2015, are public record.

Not a single one.

Cole didn’t elaborate on why the public isn’t allowed to see so much as a single message sent on Stump’s state-issued phone. I can only conclude that he decided that they aren’t public business, subject to the state’s Public Records Law.

Which leads to me wonder two things:

Why are we paying for this guy’s personal cell phone if he isn’t using it to conduct state business?

And perhaps the most important question of all, why is a guy who sets the size of our monthly utility bills – one who has a big role in determining the size of that utility’s profits -- sending what must be personal messages to a top executive with that utility?

The texts that Stump sent are just half the story. To get the full picture, absent access to the content of the messages, we need to know what was sent by the recipients of Stump's messages - when and to whom. That was never in the cards nor even suggested as far as I know. But now that matter seems moot give Judge Cole's incomprehensible ruling.

BTW: my guess is that Laurie Roberts would answer the headline question in the negative.

Welcome to the fourth branch of Arizona government known henceforth as the Arizona Corruption Commission.

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