On 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Former New Orleans Resident Questions African-American Leaders Siding With Climate Deniers

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New Orleans has many nicknames: The Crescent City, The Birthplace of Jazz, and The Big Easy. It’s also my hometown but Hurricane Katrina cast me out. In 2005, I was an investigator for the New Orleans district attorney’s office who was invested in making a great city even better. Along with hundreds of thousands of others,… Read more »

Checks and Balances Project Launches Investigation of Nevada PUC Commissioner David Noble

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My colleague Evlondo Cooper and I just returned from a six-day fact-finding visit to Nevada, where we met with reporters and editors, civic leaders, and others. Our trip to Carson City, Reno, and Las Vegas was designed to give us a better understanding of the dynamic between the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and the… Read more »

Top Headline, August 24

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Excerpt from KJZZ (8/24/15): “Utility Regulator’s Business Ties Called Into Question” : Bitter Smith, a Republican, is a registered lobbyist for Cox Communications, a status she’s held long before her 2012 election to the commission. Cox is regulated for cable by the Federal Communications Commission and local municipalities. But because it also offers telephone services, Cox… Read more »

Top Headline, August 18th, 2015

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Excerpt from The Arizona Republic (8/17/15): “Our View: Can commissioners be bought? Here’s a test”  The moment of truth — consideration of a fee increase for rooftop-solar customers of Arizona Public Service — is upon Arizona’s all-Republican Corporation Commission. The moment is an uncomfortable one. Two of the sitting commissioners are widely believed to have… Read more »

Top Headlines, August 17, 2015

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Excerpt from The Sierra Vista Herald (8/13/15): “Utility regulator wants change in public records law” State utility regulator Bob Burns wants lawmakers to tighten up the state’s Public Records Law, possibly setting up a “gatekeeper” who would have to approve — and could deny — requests. Burns, a former state Senate president, said his concerns… Read more »

Top Headline, August 14th, 2015

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Excerpt from The Arizona Republic (8/13/15): “How utterly fitting. Corporation Commissioner wants to limit public’s access to public’s business” For months, the Checks and Balances Project has been trying to get a look at Commissioner Bob Stump’s text messages sent on his commission-supplied phone during the 2014 campaign season. Specifically, it’s interested in what Stump was… Read more »

Why Was Barrett Marson Hired as Spokesman for the Arizona Corporation Commission?

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Why Was Barrett Marson Hired as Spokesman for the Arizona Corporation Commission? No competitive bid process, no conflict vetting, association with checkered efforts – all at considerable expense to Arizona Taxpayers On June 19, the day that our attorney, Dan Barr, sent a letter to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) demanding access to former Chairman Bob Stump’s cell phone, ACC Executive Director Jodi Jerich fired long-time Commission… Read more »

Watchdog group narrows list of Stump text requests – Arizona Republic

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Excerpt from The Arizona Republic (8/7/15): “Watchdog group narrows list of Stump text requests”: The updated request from Checks and Balances “identified the text messages it most wants to review. It includes phone numbers tied to current members of the commission and key figures who have worked with APS or “dark money” groups that have worked… Read more »