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Plan For Governor To Appoint Arizona Corporation Commissioners Advances

Arizona Corporation Commission building
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
Arizona Corporation Commission building in downtown Phoenix.

Members of the Arizona House Commerce Committee voted Thursday to let the governor directly appoint the state's five utility regulators on the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Rep. Ben Toma (R-Peoria) told members it would be an improvement over the current system. Members of the commission are popularly elected, but those who are heavily funded by utilities could have a conflict of interest in trying to regulate those organizations.

Rep. Isela Blanc (D-Tempe) says that's focusing on the wrong problem.

"The issue is not the process. The issue is money in politics," Blanc said. "The fact that we don't know who is donating, the fact that we have PACs that are donating into races and we don't know who those people are."

In 2014, Arizona Public Service spent more than $10 million ensuring the commission remained all-Republican. That remained a secret for nearly five years, until demands for disclosure led to the revelation.

The measure goes to the full House next. If it passes there and then in the full Senate, it would go before Arizona voters on the November ballot.

Holliday Moore is a native Arizonan and veteran journalist who joined KJZZ’s news team in January 2017.Moore graduated from Arizona State University after double majoring in mass communications and marketing/management. She spent her first two decades reporting for television news, beginning in small markets and working up to congressional correspondent in Washington, D.C., for a political news service.Family commitments in Arizona brought her back to the Southwest, where she covered legislative and court beats for Albuquerque’s KRQE-TV and the infamous Four Corner Manhunt as KREZ-TV’s managing editor.Back home in Phoenix, she developed ABC15’s “Democracy Project,” now instituted at all Scripps’ news stations nationwide. Her work garnered “Best Practices” recognition by the Poynter Institute and the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.Her television reports, from sports to cultural issues, earned her multiple Emmy and Associated Press nominations, including a Rocky Mountain Emmy for her Hopi Partition Land Act coverage.As she started a family, Moore started her own media production agency, producing magazine-style travel stories for the Emmy-winning Arizona Highways Television show while working part time for a Valley radio station. She is convinced radio is where visual, sound, and print are merging through deeper storytelling. In her relatively short time with radio network affiliates, she has won four Edward R. Murrow Awards and multiple nominations from other professional news societies.Moore now teaches advanced broadcast writing to the next generation of reporters at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where a high percentage have gone on to receive national awards for their work in her class. She enjoys being back home near childhood friends and sharing the beautiful Arizona desert with her husband and young son.