Crist picks Graham and Brise to the PSC
Gov. Charlie Crist reached into the list of eight applicants he received to replace his ousted appointees to the Public Service Commission and Wedneday choose Jacksonville City Councilman Arthur Graham, a Republican, and Rep. Ron Brise, a Democrat from Miami.
Both give him immediate political punch for his U.S. Senate campaign as he taps a popular Jacksonville Republican and a Haitian American Democrat. Both also come from two large media markets with broad appeal as Crist faces the prospect of running against African American U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Miami, in the general election.The decision means he also rejects former state Sen. Curt Kiser, who is now serving as PSC general counsel, and Sen. Lee Constantine, R-Altamonte Springs, who withdrew as chairman of the PSC nominating council so he could apply for the job, and Mary Bane, the former executive director of the PSC who served at the agency for 30 years.
Both Graham and Brise have utility connections. Brise is a former official with IPIP Telecommunications, a company that sells phone cards to customers in developing nations and Graham is a former executive at Georgia Pacific, who worked in selling waste energy. As a city councilman, he oversaw the city-owned municipal utility.
Brise, however, was a strong favorite of Florida Power & Light. He said he consulted with FPL Lobbyist Paul Hamilton when he was considering applying for the job. Here's the gov's release:
“Ron is known for his willingness to fight for Floridians, which is exactly what the Public Service Commission should do,” Governor Crist said. “He is dedicated to serving the people of
Representative Brisé, 36, has been the chief executive officer of Strategic Partner Consulting since 2009 and has served in the Florida House of Representatives since 2006, where he was vice chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus since 2009. He has also been the chief operating officer of IPIP Corp since 2005. From 2003 to 2005, he was the director of development, marketing and recruitment for
The Public Service Commission is responsible for regulating the rates, services and safety of privately owned public utilities. The commission is charged with adopting energy efficiency goals and providing competitive market oversight. The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.
# # #