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The Arizona Corporation Commission is Critical to Arizona's Future
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The Arizona Corporation Commission is Critical to Arizona’s Future

In a sense, America is a nation of political junkies. There is nothing like a presidential election to sharpen our awareness  that a democracy forces us to make choices about our future.  Over the final days of this year’s campaign, we will become fixated on every word and every image (good or bad; with or without lipstick) as the candidates describe how they will govern over the next four years.

In danger of becoming lost in the high drama of this year’s presidential election, is the race for three seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission -- a state office that will have an immediate and lasting impact on the economic well-being of Arizona.

The Corporation Commission is not well understood by the public, yet exerts tremendous power over our economy and our daily lives. It controls the prices consumers pay for utility services from utility companies, enforces laws to protect us against fraudulent sales of securities, oversees the safe operation of railroads and pipelines, approves the placement of transmission lines across Arizona, and maintains records of Arizona corporations.

The ACC will play an important role in what kinds of power plants get built and where the transmission lines will go so we can be assured of an adequate and safe supply of energy to our homes and businesses. The ACC also establishes prices for water supplied by private providers and oversees the safe and adequate delivery of water to many Arizona communities.

As Arizona’s population grows, there is real concern that we, as a state, make the necessary investments in our infrastructure to power our economy, heat and cool our homes and provide sufficient safe drinking water. Arizona’s utility companies must compete with companies in other states to attract capital at the best rates. Given the central role the ACC plays in this endeavor, the future of Arizona’s economy and high quality of life depends on the right kind of regulatory stewardship by the ACC.

To raise public awareness of this important and powerful state agency, the Arizona Investment Council this year embarked on an initiative to inform voters. The initiative involved launching a speaker bureau, sponsoring candidate debates, and publishing information about the ACC and the candidates in brochures and postings on our Web site ( www.ArizonaIC.org). To learn more about the candidates’ qualifications and regulatory perspectives, voters can also view the archived Web cast of the debate held on September 15, sponsored by the Clean Elections Commission (www.tucsonlink.org/ACCdebates2008).

November’s general election features six candidates for the three ACC seats – three Republicans (Bob Stump, Marian McClure, Barry Wong) and three Democrats (Paul Newman, Sandra Kennedy, Sam George). The ballot will direct you to select no more than three from the list of six and votes may be split between parties.

Individuals not currently registered to vote may do so until October 6. Early voting begins on October 2nd and the election is November 4th.  Every vote counts.


Gary Yaquinto, AIC President