Now we know why things turned out so badly for WV rate payers in the last legislative session. The Senate Judiciary Committee is where Chairman Corey Palumbo killed the least cost planning bill, and where an extra bonus was added to AEP’s bond bailout bill.
Now we know why Sen. Palumbo was so helpful to the power companies. There was a story in yesterday’s Charleston Gazette (The Gazette will kill this link in a week.) pointing out that although Sen. Palumbo is running unopposed in both the Democratic primary and the general election this year, he has raised more money than any other WV legislator.
And guess where a good sized chunk of that money came from?
In the 17th District, Sen. Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, is running unopposed in both the primary and general elections.
Ironically, he has the largest war chest of any Kanawha County legislative candidate, at $57,358. That includes a balance of $38,715 carried over from his 2008 campaign, and he has raised $18,270 for the 2012 election.
He has received $1,000 contributions from Charleston lawyer/lobbyist Tom Heywood, from BrickStreet Insurance Vice President Thomas Obrokta Jr., and from political action committees representing American Electric Power, West Virginia Dental Association, West Virginia Car (auto dealers), J&K Legislative PAC (lawyers) HUB PAC (construction) and FirstEnergy. [emphasis mine]
Yup, $1,000 from each of the Ohio power companies that sell almost all of WV’s electricity. They are the constituents Sen. Palumbo was listening to a few months ago, because we know that when money talks, politicians listen.
The next time you see electric rates rise, remember that Sen. Palumbo could have done something about it, but he chose to do what his corporate clients wanted. And he didn’t care, because he is running unopposed. He is accountable to no one but the executives in the office buildings in Columbus and Akron.