Michael Aguirre and Jerry Brown
  • Michael Aguirre and Jerry Brown
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San Diego lawyer Michael Aguirre yesterday (May 5) sued governor Edmund G. Brown for not turning over critical public records regarding alleged corruption at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The suit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court.

Mike Peevey

Mike Peevey

The suit cites examples of dubious commission moves that have already been made public. One example: the suit mentions how, in 2011, California's investor-owned utilities were getting threats of lower ratings from Wall Street. The investment community "pressured Governor Brown to appoint an investment banker to the CPUC in order to keep the pro-Wall Street CPUC President [Michael Peevey] in power." Shortly, longtime investment banker Mark Ferron was appointed to the commission by Brown.

California Democratic attorney general Kamala Harris

California Democratic attorney general Kamala Harris

The attorney general, Kamala Harris (now running for U.S. Senate), learned of a secret meeting between Peevey and Edison in Warsaw, Poland. In that meeting, a scheme to stick ratepayers with more than $3 billion of costs in the failure of the San Onofre nuclear plant was plotted. But she let the investigation of the critical Warsaw meeting lapse "and is now representing the governor in resisting and denying the public access" to certain documents, says the suit, drawn up by Aguirre and his law partner Maria Severson.

The attorney general's office refused to turn over important documents, citing an exemption from disclosure.

(corrected 5/6, 1:45 p.m.)

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Comments

Cassander May 6, 2016 @ 10:03 a.m.

Finally! I don't care what good Brown has done to 'turn around' California; the cost to us for his crony coddling will be his real legacy.

In a perfect world, the Feds would have come in long ago and got them all under RICO. But in ours, at least we have Aguirre.

And we can only hope this keeps Harris from getting to the Senate.

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Don Bauder May 6, 2016 @ 10:37 a.m.

Cassander: Brown's support for his old buddy, Peevey, is a big negative and slur on the governor's record. Also, Brown's vetoing of the measures to reform the CPUC should mar his legacy. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 6, 2016 @ 10:39 a.m.

Ern Batavia: Brown's record with the CPUC is as shady as can be. Yes, Democrats can be crooked, too. You don't have to tell me. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago when Daley was mayor and Democratic Party boss. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 6, 2016 @ 11:27 a.m.

MEA MAXIMA CULPA. In the first sentence of this blog item I said that yesterday was April 5. Obviously, it was May 5. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh May 6, 2016 @ 5:11 p.m.

It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. I'll bet that Brown is out of office before there is any resolution. Too bad Aguirre couldn't sue Harris. She's running for Senate, and the fallout could cost her the nomination.

Why anyone expected good things fro Brown is a mystery to me. I remember his first pair of terms as governor. They should have disqualified him from any further public office. It didn't work out that way.

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Don Bauder May 9, 2016 @ 7:10 a.m.

Visduh: The name Brown in California is like the name La Follette in Wisconsin. Best, Don Bauder

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CaptD May 6, 2016 @ 6:34 p.m.

Don — Salute to Aguirre & Severson for keeping the heat on Gov. Brown and the AG, if they are not careful we might see some surprises in November, since this will sure to be a major topic since it deals with PUBLIC TRUST.

Aguirre & Severson might also consider that many of us have also sent the AG lots of detailed SanO info, (with copies sent to the CPUC, Senator Boxer, the NRC and the Public/Media) which are also email dated.

Together they illustrate that upon receipt, they were ignored, never answered and/or therefore never investigated properly!

An investigation about how the AG dealt with all the information that has been submitted would be very telling since I predict that it will show how the AG "picks & chooses" instead of doing what is best for CA ratepayers!

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Don Bauder May 6, 2016 @ 7:35 p.m.

CaptD: Yes, others such as yourself have requested records, particularly related to San Onofre. Keep the pressure on. Best, Don Bauder

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CaptD May 7, 2016 @ 3:09 a.m.

Don — It is one thing to request records but quite another to PROVIDE technical documentation to the AG/investigators which should have allowed them to identify exactly where and when SCE, the CPUC and the NRC failed the public's trust, yet what we get is nothing in return.

+

If AG Harris's office is really working on SanO (vs sitting this one out), then it is time to provide an update to the public; otherwise what is happening is unacceptable, since it furthers her personally (since she is running for Senators Boxers Office and needs Governor Browns endorsement)!

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Don Bauder May 7, 2016 @ 2:09 p.m.

CaptD: Many suspected from the outset that the AG's office would do nothing, despite the mountain of evidence and the blatant lies both the CPUC and Edison have been telling. The legislature's hands are tied: it passed reform legislation and Brown simply vetoed it.

So the three investor-owned utilities in the state -- Sempra, Edison, PG&E -- have rates that are among the highest in the nation, if not THE highest. But nothing can be done, it appears. The CPUC is a thoroughly corrupt organization that is shielded by the governor and bows and scrapes every day to Wall Street. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 6, 2016 @ 7:37 p.m.

San Diego Highwayman: I agree with you. Also, I know Severson and Aguirre very well. They are not the kind to give up on a vital consumer mission. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 6, 2016 @ 7:39 p.m.

Joe Holtzman: It is so obvious that the CPUC and Edison have worked together to screw the ratepayers and cover up past crimes. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK May 7, 2016 @ 7:24 a.m.

makes one wonder what they instilled in Brown at the Jesuit seminary

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Don Bauder May 7, 2016 @ 2:12 p.m.

Murphyjunk: Seminaries focus on meaningless dogma from centuries past. That way, it can look the other way on what is going on today. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill May 7, 2016 @ 7:49 a.m.

Thank goodness for Aguirre - at least one brave soul is trying to shine a light on deception.

Since there is strong evidence that the deception rises to the level of the governor's office, there should be federal investigations.

But based on how long it's taken the US government to get involved in the Flint water case I wonder if the feds don't like to get involved in local utility issues if they can possibly avoid it.

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Don Bauder May 7, 2016 @ 2:16 p.m.

ImJustABill: Yes, the feds prefer to let utilities steal money from ratepayers. Oh, the Justice Department might stick its nose into what is going on in North Carolina rest rooms, but it will let companies and Wall Street fleece the public at will. Best, Don Bauder

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eastlaker May 7, 2016 @ 6:08 p.m.

Must make job hunting that much easier.

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ImJustABill May 8, 2016 @ 9:27 p.m.

To me it would seem more obvious for the Justice department to investigate clear-cut cases of wrong-doing than to investigate a controversial case like whatever is going on with NC bathrooms. But maybe the NC transgender bathroom issues make bigger headlines and offer a better opportunity for someone to make a name for themselves. I don't know.

Maybe Brown and Peevey have a lot of friends at the federal level.

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Don Bauder May 9, 2016 @ 7:14 a.m.

ImJustABill: Yes, the word "transgender" is big these days. That may be one reason the feds are looking into North Carolina. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 7, 2016 @ 8:38 p.m.

eastlaker: Yes, Justice Department lawyers are fishing for lucrative jobs in the private sector, just as SEC, FCC and other government lawyers are. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 8, 2016 @ 6:51 p.m.

Joe Holtzman: I agree. The CPUC/Edison cabal, filled with falsehoods, has been a disgrace to democracy. There has to be a better way to regulate utilities. As I showed the other day, Sempra stock has risen since the the Aliso Canyon leakage started last fall. Wall Street knows that California utilities won't be held to account. Ratepayers will continue to get the shaft. Best, Don Bauder

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