Florida's Amendment 1, a statewide constitutional ballot measure, is purposely deceptive, according to an anti-solar lobbyist revealed to be working closely with the state fossil fuel utility companies that spent millions to place the measure on the Sunshine State ballot this year. According to comments caught on tape during a recent conference of corporate groups funded by, among others, the Koch Brothers, the think-tank shill is heard admitting that "political jujitsu" and the deceptive use of "language promoting solar" — even as the measure would actually restrict the use of rooftop solar — is how the utility company sponsored measure was able to qualify for the state ballot in the first place. The effort also helped to keep an actual pro-solar Amendment from qualifying and may end up scamming enough Florida voters into approving the confusing, if decidedly anti-solar constitutional measure.
David Pomerantz, Executive Director of the Energy and Policy Institute, one of the groups which initially obtained and published the audio admissions by Sal Nuzzo of the James Madison Institute, joins us to explain those admissions and the facts behind the fossil fueled scam that the monopoly utility company opponents of rooftop solar hope to use to confuse voters in Florida, as well as other states around the nation.
"It's confusing by design," Pomerantz says about the language of the initiative which sounds as if it's pro-solar. "That's really what these big electric power utilities in Florida were aiming for. They wanted to confuse and deceive voters. They knew if they had to fight this battle over solar power and its future in Florida on the merits, they would probably lose. So they've gone for a strategy of trying to trick people."
Indeed, a competing pro-solar measure, which even Nuzzo admitted was wildly popular and supported by environmentalists and conservatives from the so-called Green Tea coalition, failed to make the ballot this year, in no small part due to the tens of millions of dollars that Florida Power and Light, Gulf Power, Duke Energy and ExxonMobil poured into their shady campaign called "Consumers for Smart Solar".
"They have nothing to do with consumers and they are not for solar. This is a utility-backed group. Out of the 22 million they've received to run this ballot initiative, the total amount that they've received from actual consumers is ten bucks. The other 22 million came from utilities," Pomeranz explains, adding this warning: "These kinds of deceptive tactics, of trying to convince people that the utilities are pro-solar when in fact they are attacking it, that's something that's happening not just in Florida. For your listeners who are not in Florida, this type of battle is coming to them soon if it's not already there."
There's lots to make sense of in today's conversation with Pomerantz, especially for voters right now in Florida! Also on today's BradCast: Voting rights advocates report widespread violations of the court-ordered agreement to soften Texas' discriminatory Photo ID voting law; New polling shows Trump taking back the lead from Clinton in battleground Florida; and Tom Hanks assures an anxious nation that we'll all be okay.
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