Utility company boss declines to detail political donations

Utility company boss declines to detail political donations

PHOENIX (AP) – The leader of Arizona’s largest utility is declining to disclose to a state regulator the company’s political donations, saying that requiring the company to do so would be a violation of its constitutional rights.

On Nov. 30, Arizona Corporation Commission member Robert Burns asked the Arizona Public Service Co. to disclose within 30 days its direct and indirect contributions to political candidates in the 2014 elections. The Arizona Republic reports that APS is widely believed to have contributed about $3.2 million last year to independent political groups that campaigned for two of Burns’ fellow commission members, Tom Forese and Doug Little.

APS President and CEO Donald Brandt says in a letter sent Tuesday to Arizona Corporation Commission member Robert Burns: “Compelled disclosure about political contributions that APS or its affiliates may have made out of shareholder profits would go beyond what is required of all corporations under Arizona campaign finance law, and would impinge on APS’s First Amendment rights.”

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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