The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and business organizations across the state submitted the following response to Corporation Commissioners Susan Bitter Smith and Bob Burns’ proposal to encourage public service companies and unregulated companies not to engage in the the support or opposition of candidates seeking election to the Corporation Commission.
On behalf of business organizations across Arizona, we strongly encourage the Arizona Corporation Commission (“Commission”) not to formally request regulated and unregulated entities that appear before the Commission to voluntarily abstain from participating in Arizona’s political process. The United States Supreme Court has made clear that these entities have a First Amendment right to contribute to electoral campaigns subject to the restrictions of validly enacted state and federal laws. It is well beyond the Commission’s constitutional and statutory mandate to coerce these entities to forego their rights or face public scrutiny of their private financial records.
More of our response here.