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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Nancy Argenziano resigns abruptly from PSC to campaign for Alex Sink, against Rick Scott

12

October

Public Service Commission Chairwoman Nancy Argenziano stepped down voluntarily from the Public Service Commission on Tuesday, 2 1/2 months before her term expires, so that she can work for the election of Democrat Alex Sink, and against Republican Rick Scott.

Argenziano, a former Republican state senator from Citrus County who was appointed to the utility board by Gov. Charlie Crist, made the surprise announcement, because, she said, "I am terrified if Rick Scott becomes governor, there is no check on the Legislature." Download Argenziano Resignation - 10.12.2010[1]

Argenziano, who has been a harsh critic of the Legislature and what she considers its corrupt manipulation of decisionmaking on the state's utility board, is out of a job because the legislatively controlled PSC nominating council refused to reappoint her for a second term. She said she has no faith that Scott will stand up to the Legislature and, judging by the "house cleaning" that has taken place under incoming Senate President Mike Haridopolos, she said she fears that the state's largest utility companies will run the regulatory board.

Argenziano said she doesn't trust Scott to pursue policies that will keep utility rates for residential customers low because his business plan calls for less regulation of electric companies which, Argenziano said, means lower rates for commercial businesses and "higher rates for the residential customer."

"I don't think somebody who has de-frauded Medicare has integrity,'' Argenziano said of Scott. The former chief executive of Columbia/HCA was never accused of fraud, although his company paid a record $1.7 billion federal fine for Medicare fraud after he resigned. Download Argenziano Resignation Speech

Argenziano, who has earned a reputation both in the Legislature and on the commission as a maverick with a colorful tongue, said she has not spoken to Sink. "I hope she likes my supporting her -- she may not," she said. Argenziano has no immediate plans for what she plans to do.

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[Last modified: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 6:46am]

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