Beach-goers walk on the sand near the San Onofre nuclear power plant in San Clemente. A report from Consumer Watchdog alleges that Southern California Edison, which operated the plant before it was shuttered, donated $130,000 to the California Democratic Party on the same day a Public Utilities Commission official cut a deal to make ratepayers — not shareholders — cover 70 percent of the $4.7 billion cost to close the fatally flawed facility. (AP Photo, Lenny Ignelzi)
By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 08/10/16 – 10:54 AM PDT |
Twenty-six energy companies with business before the state donated nearly $10 million to Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Democratic Party over the past eight years — donations that often were made within days or weeks of winning favors.
That’s the contention of “Brown’s Dirty Hands” a report released Wednesday by the Santa Monica-based public interest group Consumer Watchdog.
Those 26 companies included California’s three major investor-owned utilities — Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and Sempra Energy, the parent of Southern California Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric — which collectively contributed nearly $6 million of the more than $9.8 million that was donated.
Liza Tucker, who authored the report, said the information raises “troubling questions about whether quid pro quos are routine for this administration.”
An extensive review of campaign records, publicly released emails and other documents at PUCPapers.org, court filings and media reports shows that Brown allegedly intervened in regulatory decisions favoring companies in the energy industry, Consumer Watchdog said.
The report alleges that Brown and his operatives have used the California Democratic Party as “a political slush fund” to receive contributions from unpopular energy companies in amounts greater than permitted to his candidate committee. The group has logged its report as an official complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission.
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