Wednesday, September 4, 2019

NEW: APS Sends $150,000 To Republican Governors In 2019, As Corporation Commissioners Also Look To Future

As APS prepares to handle questions from Arizona Corporation Commissioners today regarding its past - and, future - political spending, Arizona's Politics can report that APS has already contributed at least $150,000 this year to the Republican Governors Association.

The Corporation Commission meets with APS/Pinnacle West CEO Don Brandt this morning, and added the utility's political spending to the agenda late last week. As the AZ Mirror reported yesterday, at least two of the Commissioners are also looking toward the monopoly's future spending and not just the millions plowed into the 2012, 2014 and 2016 elections.

Bob Burns is one of the Commissioners who added the political spending to the agenda, and he told reporter Jeremy Duda that "“My focus is the commission. The past is gone. We need to know what’s going to happen in the future.”

It appears that APS is also looking to the future. In an RGA filing with the IRS one month ago, it was disclosed that Pinn West (APS' parent company) already donated $150,000 in 2019 (January 3). (Filing is posted below.) The RGA's primary objective is to elect Republican Governors, and it was a primary source of outside funding for Governor Doug Ducey's campaigns in 2014 and 2018. Arizona's Politics has long documented the APS contributions to the RGA; last year - an election year - APS sent $200,000 to the RGA.

With the Governor term-limited, the funds are likely intended to help the RGA bolster Ducey's popularity, with the added benefit of boosting the next GOP candidate in 2022. (APS/PinnWest does not donate to the Democratic counterweight, although it claims to support "broad political participation".)

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