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Vote Trust & Transparency – not Trouble – Nov. 3

Joe Biden over Trump. Doug Jones over Tuberville. Laura Casey over Twinkle. Vote for Trust, Truth and Transparency and not for those whose names start with T. We will all be better for it!

Lately there are more and more Alabamians and other US citizens preoccupied with T.

I don’t just mean Trump, or his Tweets, Threats or Turmoil or even his Covid Tests.

I don’t mean Alabama Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville or Tigers or other Teams he coached before taking his football experience into politics where the main thing he knows how to do is have Trump’s back.

And I don’t mean a Trillion in excess profits that Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) allowed Alabama Power Company. Because, thankfully, it was only a Billion over 5 years out of customers’ pockets, not a Trillion. But it is about Twinkle, currently president of the regulatory body charged with balancing customer needs and those of our monopoly power provider.

Most important are Trust, Truth and Transparency in all three venues:

  • Joe Biden’s experience, much-needed capability and decency for leading our reeling country.
  • Doug Jones’ years of service, legal experience and bi-partisan bona fides to continue to represent Alabama in the US Senate.
  • Laura Casey’s bid to replace Twinkle Cavanaugh as a welcome newcomer to examine some regulatory practices that seem more like rule by the regulated at the Alabama Public Service Commission.

Let’s start with Twinkle. Profits for monopolies are set by regulators since they don’t have any competition. In most states there is a formal process called a rate case to hear and evaluate different evidence for how much utilities should be allowed to earn in the absence of competition.

In 2013, Alabama Power hadn’t had that kind of oversight in 30 years. One of the PSC commissioners said it was long overdue because utilities here were allowed a much higher profit than those in other states. However, that year under Twinkle’s leadership, the Alabama PSC instead concocted “informal public proceedings” – more like infomercials for the three utilities they regulate. The two gas companies were cut closer to the norm. But for Alabama Power, the PSC, with help, came up with a new formula unused anywhere else in the country. It disguised the higher profits the company kept earning.  

It made a difference in our pocketbooks! According to an analysis by the Energy and Policy Institute, from 2014 through 2018 the unusual new arrangement cost Alabama Power customers $1 billion more than the average for similar U.S. electric utilities.

Trust and transparency? There was supposed to be a review of the impacts of this unique new formula reward system in 2019, but there’s been no report. In late June 2020, the PSC Executive Director emailed “… the Staff’s report remains an ongoing work in progress, in that we have been rather occupied with higher priority items.  I do not have an estimated date of when the report will be completed.” [emphasis added].

Transparency obviously isn’t a high priority for the PSC under Twinkle. What have they got to hide? Don’t forget that Twinkle Cavanaugh stood by as Laura Casey and two others were evicted from a March solar policy hearing for attempting to record or live stream the process.

Trust, Truth and Transparency at the PSC? Choose Laura Casey over Twinkle for some much-needed housecleaning.

Choose Doug Jones over Tuberville! U.S. Senator Doug Jones is a thoughtful and well-informed leader who sides with those of either party when they have good policies for Alabama and our country.

Coach Tuberville has refused to debate Senator Jones, and has shown that he knows very little about policies he will be called upon to support or oppose. In his three years representing us, Doug Jones has already passed 21 bipartisan bills signed by the president and also earned trophies in the form of three U.S. Chamber of Commerce awards for bipartisan and business-friendly leadership. He has concrete and workable plans to benefit our One Alabama.

Choose Joe Biden over Trump. Trust is built on truthful transparency. The Biden campaign is built on his years of moderate pragmatism and he has a platform based on science and facts. It spells out ways to move the country through and past this triple threat of pandemic, protests and economic hardships, to protect health care and address climate change. There’s no Republican platform except to continue with the many untruths, misinformation and misleading examples of the Trump-driven administration. The Economist puts it this way: “Joe Biden would not remake America’s economy. He would improve its fortunes, though.”

Joe Biden over Trump. Doug Jones over Tuberville. Laura Casey over Twinkle. Vote for Trust, Truth and Transparency and not for those whose names start with T. We will all be better for it.