Forum for Candidates for AZ Corporation Commission – League of Women Voters – Oct 4

at Temple Emanu-El, 225 N Country Club Road, Tucson AZ

Sustainable Tucson October Meeting

Please note special time and location for this month’s
Sustainable Tucson meeting,

Temple Emanu-El, 225 N Country Club Road, Tucson AZ
Thursday, October 4, 2012, 6:30 PM

Doors open at 6:15 pm

Forum for Candidates
for AZ Corporation Commission

All Candidates Have Been Invited

Utility Regulation • Power Lines
Business Regulation • Investment Fraud
Railway Safety • Energy Generation

Your questions for the candidates may also be submitted online here!
Please comment on this post before October 4.

Sponsored by
the League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson,
AAUW (American Association of University Women),
Temple Emanu-El, and Sustainable Tucson

About the Arizona Corporation Commission and its roles and responsibilities

The Arizona Corporation Commission is a key independent arm of state government presided over by five elected commissioners. Only 7 states have constitutionally formed Commissions. Arizona is one of only 13 states with elected Commissioners. In the 37 other states, Commissioners are appointed by either the governor or the legislature.

In most states, the Commission is known as the Public Service Commission or the Public Utility Commission. The Arizona Commission, however, has responsibilities that go beyond traditional public utilities regulation. These additional roles include facilitating the incorporation of businesses and organizations, securities regulation and railroad/pipeline safety.

Regulation of public service utilities including electricity, gas, sewer, water, and telephone remains the most important role, especially in the case of electricity and Arizona’s efforts to transition away from fossil-fuel burning power plants to clean, renewable energy sources. Republicans are attempting to reverse course on these efforts while Democrats are in favor of expanding the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard which applies to regulated power companies.

3 comments on “Forum for Candidates for AZ Corporation Commission – League of Women Voters – Oct 4

  1. Hello. I’m contacting Sustainable Tucson on behalf of the Solar Team, the Democrats Marcia Busching, Sandra Kennedy and Paul Newman who are running for seats on the AZ Corporation Commission (ACC) this fall.

    I was happy to see that your organization is featuring information about the ACC at the top of your web site. This upcoming election will be extremely important in determining the future of renewable energy in Arizona over the next 4 years.

    The Solar team is highly committed to maximizing renewable energy development in Arizona, especially solar, so we will have a cleaner, safer environment for all Arizonans.

    In July 2011, the three Republicans on the ACC outvoted the two Democrats to allow one of the state utilities a waiver so it could substitute a 13-megawatt trash-to-power plant for solar to meet its RES (Renewable Energy Standard) obligations. This unsorted trash incinerator that all the GOP commissioners and GOP candidates STAND BEHIND will cost at least twice as much to build and 20 times as much to run than renewable energy operations like solar. The burned trash will emit air pollutants from plastics and other toxic wastes into the air of one of the most polluted cities in our country.

    The GOP candidates have said they would not have voted for the Renewable Energy Standard. Now that it’s established, they will keep it, but will not consider increasing it.

    Arizonans want clean energy. A 2011 poll done by the bipartisan polling team of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (D) and Public Opinion Strategies (R) showed that voters have more positive impressions of solar, wind and hydroelectric power than of other energy sources, such as nuclear or coal. Another poll by the Morrison Institute in 2011 showed that over 80% of Arizona Public Service customers supported increased use of solar energy in Arizona and a majority were willing to pay more for solar energy. The Solar Team has promised to commission studies that evaluate how Arizonan’s can best build their energy future in a way that is best for Arizonans.

    Would you please pass this on to your membership? It’s only 18 days until the election and there are many voters who know little to nothing about the importance of the ACC and the Solar Team’s commitment to a healthier, more sustainable Arizona.

    The Solar Team for the AZ Corporation Commission needs volunteers. We’re in need of more volunteers from now until elections. Are you or anyone you know available to volunteer? Our volunteers are working through the second and third congressional offices in Tucson and contacting voters by phone banking and door to door visits.

    Those interested in volunteering can contact Laila Amerman at Laila(at) or (623)850-1338

    Thank you!


    The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy. Yet in Maricopa County, and Arizona, this right is in question.

    Over 632,000 votes in Arizona have yet to be counted. 632,000!

    About 172,000 provisional ballots throughout the state are still outstanding, with 115,000 of these in Maricopa County alone. Many of these voters will be required to produce additional identification before their votes will count, yet the County Elections Department is not reaching out to these voters. 459,000 early vote mail-in ballots have yet to be counted—and a record 344,000 of these are in Maricopa County.

    At the same time, many candidates have already conceded their races, without understanding that hundreds of thousands of ballots—one-third of all votes cast in Arizona—have yet to be counted. This could change the outcome of many local and even Congressional races.

    We have to demand transparency and accountability in Arizona elections before it’s too late.

    Adding to the confusion, election officials are being deliberately opaque about how the provisional ballot verification process works, how many ballots are outstanding, and why so many ballots were cast provisionally. Further, this lack of transparency along with the state’s poor ability to execute the vote-by-mail process and ensure that all who signed up receive their ballots, has created mass confusion and threatens to undermine the perception of legitimacy for the entire election.

    That’s why I created a petition on to Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, which says:

    We demand that
    (1) all ballots be counted;
    (2) the county make an extraordinary effort to ensure that voters are helped through the provisional ballot verification process (voters must provide adequate ID by Wednesday 11/14);
    (3) no election in Arizona be certified until we can be assured that every vote has been counted; and
    (4) the US Department of Justice thoroughly investigate the multiple irregularities in the administration of this election, to ensure that no voter is ever again disenfranchised in Arizona.

    Please join me in insisting that EVERY VOTE COUNTS and that we need real reform, transparency, and accountability in the Arizona elections process. Our very democracy depends on it.

    Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.

    –Monica Sandschafer

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