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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bishop adds voice to PSC fight, accusing Crist and Fasano of interfering



Barney Bishop, head of Associated Industries of Florida, the business lobbying group which has intervened before the Public Service Commission to support Florida Power & Light's request for a 30 percent rate increase, wants all this bad-mouthing of the PSC to stop.

Late Monday, he issued a statement accusing state Sen. Mike Fasano, a New Port Richey Republican, of using his political might to interfere in the outcome of the pending cases before the PSC.

Fasano on Monday called for the resignation of Commissioner Lisa Edgar from the PSC, citing Gov. Charlie Crist's desire to bring fresh blood to the panel and Critst's request to have the commission postpone a decision on the FPL and Progress Energy rate cases. Fasano's letter to Edgar followed a surprise announcement from Commissioner Katrina McMurrian who said she resigned to honor Crist's request.

Here's Bishop's statement:

"Recent accusations, allegations and attacks on the Public Service Commission and its members have been detracting from the focus and mission of the appointed body.

“Associated Industries of Florida cannot idly sit by and watch the further deterioration of the Public Service Commission – a body that has a quasi-judicial status – and one that is tasked with making impartial decisions about Florida’s regulatory industry based on evidence and information brought before them. 
“When emotions are allowed to overrule rational thought it creates a very dangerous situation, which is what we are starting to see at the PSC. 

“Today only marks the resignation of one commissioner, a call for the resignation of another and an ethics complaint filed against yet another.

“In a letter released today, Senator Mike Fasano is calling for the resignation of Commissioner Lisa Edgar who was just recently confirmed by the Florida Senate.

“Political interference by any elected official who may pre-judge what the outcome may be of any case before the PSC only undermines the quasi-judicial process set forth by law.  Any attempt by anyone to influence “due process”, whether they are an elected official or not, is inappropriate.  What everybody needs to be focused on is the process and not the outcomes.”

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:21pm]


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