Angela Speir endorses Jim Powell for PSC

From the Fresh Loaf:

Angela Speir, the Public Service Commissioner who’s stepping down after her current term ends and is widely considered an advocate for everyday Georgians, is endorsing Democratic candidate Jim Powell for her soon-to-be-open seat.

“In this time of skyrocketing energy costs and with the elimination of the Consumers Utility Counsel, it’s more important than ever to elect a good person to the Public Service Commission,” Speir said. “Jim Powell has my vote,  endorsement, and prayers for his success.”

They’ve got more.

22 comments

  1. envirodawg says:

    What does everyone think this endorsement means for Powell’s campaign? Do you think that some Republicans will cross party lines to support him because of this?

  2. atlantaman says:

    GOPeach- your post has done nothing to disprove my original statement.

    Obama / McCain will have 10 times the effect on the PSC race than Speir’s endorsement. I think all of the Democrats she endorsed lost.

  3. Romegaguy says:

    I dont think it is personal, I just think she wants her replacement to not be so supportive of the industries he is to regulate

  4. atlantaman says:

    I was surprised when Speir announced her retirement that she hadn’t tried to recruit a replacement. She had done a lot of good work at the PSC and it’s a shame no thought was put into the continuation of her legacy. I’ve been told she left everybody with the impression she was running for reelection, even raising money, and then announced her retirement during qualifying week. It’s a statewide campaign, with a lot of work, and you’re eliminating a lot of potentially great candidates by forcing them to make a decision overnight.

    I think with Bubba it’s personal, this grudge goes back a longtime and you can count of an endorsement of ABB (anyone but Bubba).

  5. atlantaman says:

    It’s hard to remember the shock and surprise of the retirement. You even had Mike Evans wanting to throw his hat in the ring.

  6. North Ga Indy says:

    What the Hell, Speir(R) is endorsing Powell(D). What;s next, Gov. Perdue(R) endorsing Powell(D). I am supporting MacDonald if anyone cares. Jeez, Powell is a nutcase.

  7. Pappy says:

    Is anyone even going to bother disputing the charge that Bubba McDonald is a puppet of the industries he seeks to regulate? It’s sad that for republicans in this state, it is enough to write off her criticisms as resulting from some “personal” beef, without actually having to address the substance of what she is saying.

  8. mariettamauler says:

    Here’s my main problem with Bubba:

    He’s really just a GA Power puppet and gives the party a bad name. This is what sealed it for me:

    ” In a 2001 Georgia Power rate case, a lawyer for the Southern Co.-owned subsidiary e-mailed a proposed settlement to McDonald, who then sat on the commission. He printed it and read it as if it were his own idea, she said, and what followed was “theater.” The commission ultimately approved the settlement.”

    I am going to have to vote with my wallet on this one because I have feeling that Bubba will, as he did previously, vote in favor of EVERY rate increase that comes before the PSC.

  9. GreenAllTheWay says:

    Everyone knows that Angela Spears is a moron. Her endorsing anyone should only ensure their opponents win. Bubba McDonald is dancing in the street I bet!

  10. North Ga Indy says:

    Ah, I know why she endorsed Powell. In 2002 when MacDonald was a Democratic PSC Commissioner and she beat him by 0.4%, or by 7,168 votes. She does not want her former opponent, a Democrat turned Republican, to Re-win his seat.

  11. GreenAllTheWay says:

    Angela never made any sense. Behind closed doors she tells everyone one thing then in public completely states something else. More than once she agreed to rate increases in private then vote agaisnt them, even when they were required/alloed by law, stating she would rather vote against standing law so she would earn the rep as never having voted for one. And the AJC published this mess as something wonderful and the public bought her drama hook line and sinker…

  12. atlantaman says:

    I remember when ol’ Billy Lovett was elected to the PSC on a pledge to never vote for a rate increase. If you always going to vote a certain way, then why have the elected office to begin with? Just have a monkey always press the no button.

    The populist approach is always a fairly simplistic, but effective formula. I suppose somebody could get elected to the PSC, by pledging to give away free electricity. Of course if you give it away or don’t charge enough you end up like California, but leave that for the chump that gets elected behind you.

    Perhaps base your electric fee on income, like the Fed income tax. Make the rich pay!!!

  13. atlantaman says:

    I understand the argument that she doesn’t want a utility patsy to take over for her, but something tells me David Radcliff himself could be running and she would endorse him over Bubba.

  14. GreenAllTheWay says:

    Angela was so transparant. She just wanted a job. SHe never cared about the PSC or the people. The first week she was to report to work, she had to call and ask when and where to go! Then, since you guys all believe what the AJC prints, you will remember hr quote upon her retirement…that she had no idea how mucg work there was to do on a PSC. GO ANGELA! Recommend McCain too!

  15. atlantaman says:

    I think Powell is a lifelong bureaucrat with the Federal Government. Just who we need to make sure GA stays agile and nimble when it comes to low energy prices. He’ll have so many “efficiency” rules and regulations slapped on the utility companies, that the bureaucracy alone will give us the energy prices and performance of California.

  16. Romegaguy says:

    instead of hiring a monkey to push the button, why not just let GA Power approve their own rate increases? Isnt that the same thing as electing Bubba?

  17. lonestar says:

    I’ve done work at the PSC for almost two decades and have seen Commissioners come and go. Currently we’ve got the most populist Commission in a long time and Speir is the worst offender.

    Speir is a Democrat through and through, so endorsing Powell is not a surprise. Sure she gives a few obligatory GOP talking points here and there, but her spirit is with the bleeding hearts. Ever since she was elected 5 years ago she’s done nothing but try and turn the regulatory agency into a social welfare organization. She’s always passing rules to get money extracted from the industrial users and ratepayers who pay their bills on time; which is just a hidden tax. They all seem like worthwhile causes: make industrial users pay for poor people’s natural gas in the winter, make the ratepayers pay extra for folks who don’t pay their electric bills in the summer so they won’t get shut-off, etc… You get the picture, it all sounds great, take gold from the evil businesses and give to the poor and helpless; Robin Hood at its finest. The real problem is it’s a far cry from the original mission of the PSC, as a regulatory agency, and I get the impression these hidden taxes end up in a lot of government agencies depending on which group of voters the director wants to help at the moment (or whoever the AJC views as favorable.)

    Populism platforms at the PSC initially sound great, vote for low rates and screw the fat cat utility companies. The problem is, as many business owners know, you have to reinvest capital to remain efficient in the future.

    Georgia has had a history of pro-business thoughtful regulators; representatives who really thought about the long-term ramifications of things, not short-term tricks with the voters and the media. These are people who allowed the power company to make the right investments in capacity like nuclear. Because of that foresight, Georgia is now reaping the benefits. We pay 15% less than the national average for our electricity.

    Some people seem really concerned over how much the power company makes; within reason who cares? Our residential electric rates our well below the national average and we’ve never had a brownout or blackout due to capacity issues. Talk about not being able to see the forest through the trees! There are a bunch of other states, like California, that have not had the willpower to allow for needed capital investment in new capacity.

    For the record I do not represent power companies at the PSC, but am familiar with their proceedings.

    The PSC has some big decisions ahead of it – mainly nuclear. In my opinion, Speir is leaving at the right time, as these decisions are too big to allow someone who is more worried about her reviews in Creative Loafing and the AJC than making the tough (sometimes unpopular) decisions that the PSC faces in the midst of skyrocketing worldwide energy prices. The question is will the rest of the members have the backbone to allow nuclear to be built, and the subsequent increases in rates that will be required for that investment, or will they be weak and depend on short-term solutions screwing the ratepayers and Georgia’s ability to recruit business in the future.

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