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.”
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