- Republicans Vernon Parker and Lucy Mason running for the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) wrote to Arizona Public Service CEO Don Brandt asking if the state’s dominant electricity provider is donating to their opponents’ campaigns, perhaps because Parker and Mason differ from APS on rooftop solar.
- Parker and Mason asked Brandt to say if APS or parent company Pinnacle West Capital Corp. is supporting Arizona 2014, a reportedly independent group, which recently solicited donations through an email blast for Republicans Tom Forese's and Doug Little's candidacies for the two open seats on the five-member commission.
- APS corporate policy prohibits participation in ACC elections because the commission determines rates and governs policy decisions made by the utility but investigations uncovered APS and Southwest Gas Corp. donations in 2012 to the campaigns of ACC Chair Bob Stump and Commissioners Susan Bitter Smith and Bob Burns through an independent committee.
Parker and Mason oppose property taxes on leased rooftop solar installations while APS, Forese, and Little are on record supporting the taxes.
Under Arizona’s election laws, it would be illegal for Forese and Little to work with any independent committee, though such committees can campaign for them or against others. The Forese and Little campaigns have so far declined comment.
Another recent investigation revealed Pinnacle West donated $5,000 to Connie Wilhelm’s campaign for municipal utility Salt River Project’s board of directors and APS executives Daniel Froetscher and Mark Schiavoni also donated to Wilhelm’s campaign.
The winners of the current four-way primary race for the ACC will face Democrats Sandra Kennedy and Jim Holway in the general election.