By Associated Press - Tuesday, October 27, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - In response to calls from members of the Corporation Commission calling on utilities to stop electioneering, Arizona Public Service’s CEO says the company will not give up its right to spend commission elections.

CEO Don Brandt wrote a letter to the commission saying APS and its parent company, Pinnacle West, have used lawful means to engage in the political process, and that a request from regulators to stifle one of those means of expression is a serious matter.

Brandt says ultimately voters elect the commissioners, so election spending shouldn’t affect the commission’s integrity.

Commissioners Susan Bitter Smith and Bob Burns have asked regulated and unregulated entities that work with the commission to voluntarily stay out of commission elections.

Pinnacle West and APS were heavy contributors in the 2014 election for two Republican commissioners.

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