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Corruption at the PSC

By Chris Peeks June 21, 2023


A few days ago, I wrote an article about Twinkle Cavanaugh receiving money from EDUPAC. I didn't think much of it at the time other than they had donated to many Democratic candidates and Yellowhammer News hypocrisy for not reporting on this. But what else do you expect from a pig other than a grunt? I soon found out there is much more to this story.

A chance phone call I received a few days after I posted this article told me I was on to something and informed me where to look. So I did. EDUPAC, or Education PAC, supports candidates that promote a strong education system in Alabama. So why would they be interested in the PSC race?

Well, for starters, the Chairperson of the PAC is Bill Jones. Who is Bill Jones? There is a Bill Jones listed as marketing director and a Bill Jones listed as the Senior Real Estate analyst for wait for It, wait for It. None other than Alabama Power. What are the chances that this is only a coincidence? Well, to say I was speechless is an understatement. The next step was for me to locate who donated to the PAC. You'll be amazed at what I found next.

The number one donor to EDUPAC is Viva Health. Of the 2. 7 million dollars they have received since 2017, 2.5 million have come from the insurance company. Things that make you go, hmmm. Why is Viva Health donating to an education pac? Well, Viva Health is the insurance provider for all Alabama Powers employees and retired personnel. So let me tie this in.

Starting in 2018, when Twinkle received her first EDUPAC donation in her race for Lieutenant Governor Alabama, Power rates have increased yearly. 2023 saw the most significant jump as bills rose an average of $22.81 per household.

To make sure you're following. Commissioner Cavanaugh is receiving donations from a political action committee that is headed by an Alabama Power executive, (?)which is funded by a company that provides insurance to all of its employees. This directly links the Commissioner's campaign funds to Alabama Power which is supposed to have no involvement in PSC races. If only that were the end of the story.

That's not the half of it. The treasure of EDUPAC is Carl Jamison. Who is Carl Jamison? Well, for starters, he sits on the Alabama Seaport Authority. On their website, what is the number one cargo export they have listed? Coal, and the first article on their website is about how much coal is exported from the port each year. The Public Service Commissioners never miss an opportunity to discuss how much they protect the coal industry. Along with coal, the other thing mentioned on the Seaport Authority website is their close access to the state's railroad system, another thing regulated by the Alabama Public Service Commission.

Now if this information is all I had, it would be a lot, but I'm just getting started. Not only is Carl Jamison sitting on the Port Authority Board, but he is also a former President of the Alabama Business Council and is still on the board. He is also a member of the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce. When I examined who sat on their board of directors, the name of one member stuck out in particular. That is the owner of Express Employment Professionals, Elizabeth Beeker, wife of Chris Beeker, son of Public Service Commissioner Chip Beeker.

This directly links Alabama Power and the Business Council to Commissioners Twinkle Cavanaugh and Chip Beeker. So Is money being funneled by Alabama Power and the Business Council of Alabama through Viva Health to EDUPAC to Twinkle Cavanaugh? Is she being bribed with campaign donations in exchange for rate increases? Is this not what Governor Siegelman went to prison for? Commissioner Cavanaugh, you owe us an explanation.

By Chris Peeks

Reporter and Columnist

Alabama Political Contributor

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Post: Political Blog
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