Make us your home page
Instagram

PSC's Nancy Argenziano resigns, endorses Alex Sink, bashes Rick Scott

TALLAHASSEE — Public Service Commission Chairwoman Nancy Argenziano resigned from the board Tuesday and endorsed Democrat Alex Sink, saying she had to speak out to prevent the "noxious mix" of a Republican-led Legislature with GOP candidate Rick Scott as governor.

Argenziano, a Republican and former state senator from Crystal River, launched into a tirade against the lawmakers whom she accused of currying favor with the "$43 billion regulated industry."

"I'm terrified if Rick Scott becomes governor of this state because there is no balance," said Argenziano, an outspoken critic of the Legislature's influence on the state's utility board.

Appointed to the PSC by Gov. Charlie Crist in 2007, she was scheduled to lose her job in January when the legislatively controlled PSC nominating council refused to consider her for another term.

Argenziano said she had not spoken with Sink or Scott, but Scott's business plan calls for less regulation of electric companies, which means lower rates for commercial businesses and "higher rates for the residential customer."

Argenziano was one of five commissioners who voted against the two largest utility rate increases in state history earlier this year. Four of the five have been rejected by legislators for reappointment, and Argenziano pins the blame on the power of the utility companies.

She commended former Commissioners Benjamin "Steve" Stevens and David Klement for working relentlessly to get up to speed on the rate cases when they were appointed last fall. "And they got jerked around by little pip-squeaks who think they own the Florida Legislature," she said.

During the last year, Argenziano was targeted by Florida Power & Light and its lobbyists, which called her out for writing text messages to her aide about other commissioners during PSC meetings. An ethics complaint against Argenziano was repealed when the woman listed as the person filing it said her name had been forged.

Argenziano accused the PSC of corruption and for operating with a "bought and sold nature." She called the Legislature "clowns, cowboys and crooks," and said that its move to the right under incoming Senate President Mike Haridopolos would be a "noxious mix of government" if "Rick, the Fifth Amendment, Scott" were elected. "There is not sufficient resilience in Florida to recover from the pit into which this case of self-indulgent politicians would consign us," she said.

Argenziano said she will forgo her $11,000-a-month salary for the next three months in exchange for having the opportunity to speak out. Commissioners are prohibited from endorsing candidates.

"If I don't say something now, then I'm going to feel like I didn't do my part," she said.

Sink campaign spokesman, Kyra Jennings, welcomed Argenziano's endorsement.

"Alex Sink is proud to receive the endorsement of a proven consumer champion with a record of standing up for Floridians," Jennings said.

Scott's campaign did not respond for a call for comment.

Argenziano said she has not spoken to Sink and has "not been promised one thing."

PSC's Nancy Argenziano resigns, endorses Alex Sink, bashes Rick Scott 10/12/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 10:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst

    Business

    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
  2. Three-hour police standoff ends, thanks to a cigarette

    News

    TAMPA — A man threatening to harm himself was arrested by Tampa police on Tuesday after a three-hour standoff.

  3. Another Hollywood nursing home resident dies. It's the 9th in post-Irma tragedy.

    State Roundup

    The Broward County Medical Examiner's office is investigating another death of a resident of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills — the ninth blamed on the failure of a cooling system that became a stifling deathtrap three days after Irma hit.

    Carlos Canal, pictured at 47 years old, came to Miami from Cuba in 1960. Above is his citizenship photo. [Courtesy of Lily Schwartz]
  4. Despite Hurricane Irma, Hillsborough remains on pace to unlock hotel tax that could pay for Rays ballpark

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Despite the threat of a catastrophic storm, it was business as usual at many Hillsborough County hotels in the days before Hurricane Irma bore down on the Tampa Bay region.

    The Grand Hyatt near TIA closed during Hurricane Irma, but many other Hillsborough hotels were open and saw an influx.
  5. New Graham-Cassidy health care plan stumbles under opposition from governors

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — The suddenly resurgent Republican effort to undo the Affordable Care Act was dealt a blow on Tuesday when a bipartisan group of governors came out against a proposal gaining steam in the Senate.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined by, from left, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks to reporters as he pushes a last-ditch effort to uproot former President Barack Obama's health care law, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. To win, 50 of the 52 GOP senators must back it -- a margin they failed to reach when the chamber rejected the effort in July. [/J. Scott Applewhite | Associated Press]