Why has Governor Jerry Brown refused to fire CPUC Chairman Michael Peevey, formerly President of Southern California Edison?
The San Bruno explosion and ongoing investigations have brought many of the longstanding issues and internal problems at the CPUC into the open. The cozy relationship between Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and the CPUC was further documented this week with the release of emails obtained by the city of San Bruno.[i]
However, to date, Governor Jerry Brown has ignored the substantial evidence of Chairman Peevey’s autocratic rule, mismanagement, and conflict of interest. His office said in 2012:
“We have confidence that the PUC will faithfully discharge their duties to zealously guard the public interest and get to the bottom of any injustice raised by the San Bruno pipeline explosion.”
Mothers of San Bruno PG&E blast victims urge Gov. Jerry Brown to fire state’s top utility regulator, 10-22-12
Because Gov. Jerry Brown himself has a very, very close relationship with PG&E, and that conflict of interest doesn’t bother him at all.
There are four people at the top of Brown’s administration: Jerry Brown, his wife Anne Gust Brown, and former PG&E executives Nancy McFadden and Dana Williamson.
Brown appointed both these execs in 2011. Nancy McFadden was Senior Vice President and Senior Advisor to the Chairman and CEO of PG&E Corp. Prior to that, she was Senior Vice President for Public Affairs for PG&E Corp. and Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
Dana Williamson was Director of Public Affairs for PG&E.
Dana Williamson was hired as his senior adviser for cabinet and external affairs, and to oversee the governor’s external affairs operation and the administration’s Washington, D.C., office. Last summer, she was officially named as his cabinet secretary, “a job that has traditionally been the second-most-powerful staff position in a gubernatorial administration.”
Nancy McFadden is his executive secretary/chief of staff, his gatekeeper. [ii]
It is incredible that any corporation should have such visible power over a government.
On top of that, when Brown was elected in 2011, San Bruno had just happened. The newspapers were full of the tragedy and the growing scandal over PG&E and the PUC. That continues to this day.
Furthermore, California voters had just defeated PG&E’s Proposition 16 in June 2010. PG&E mounted a campaign, via this proposition, to stop the formation of locally-owned municipal utilities which were cutting into its monopoly.
Who ran that campaign at PG&E? Nancy McFadden.
McFadden also previously worked for Gov. Gray Davis.
Gov. Brown’s connection with utility companies runs deep into his policy initiatives. For example, the high speed rail project he’s pushing will benefit PG&E and Southern California Edison enormously because of the huge amount of electricity it would use.
So, don’t expect Jerry Brown to take any real interest or action on the problems at the PUC. The problems with PG&E and other special interests start at the top in California – in the governor’s office.
When are Californians voters going to fire Jerry Brown?
Indispensable insider looks out for Gov. Jerry Brown’s interests/As the governor’s gatekeeper and chief liaison to the Legislature, Nancy McFadden is the longest-serving loyalist in Brown’s inner circle.
March 29, 2014
Speaker Biography — Miliken Conference: Shaping the Future, April 26-28, 2010
Jerry Brown names PG&E official as his senior adviser, November 3, 2011
Pacific Gas & Cronyism, March 14, 2012
Cronyism at Any Speed: California utilities, in search of taxpayer windfall, lobby for high speed rail, March 19, 2012
BREAKING: BrightSource Energy Political Influence and Their $1.6 Billion DOE Loan, May 16, 2012
Anne Gust Brown: Much more than California’s first lady
As special advisor to her husband, Gov. Jerry Brown, she’s a power in her own right.
June 06, 2012
Jerry Brown staff exodus continues, March 21, 2013
Jerry Brown fills cabinet secretary post, after all, August 15, 2013
Jerry Brown names new senior staff positions, 8-15-13
[ii] “James M. Humes, who was Brown’s top aide as attorney general, will be one of the most powerful officials in the new administration, along with Nancy McFadden, a former PG&E executive
…Humes, 51, will be Brown’s executive secretary for administration, legal affairs and policy. Humes was Brown’s top deputy in the attorney general’s office and for the last four years has worked closely with Brown and his wife, Anne Gust Brown.
Gust Brown played a major part in her husband’s gubernatorial campaign and will have an integral role in the new administration. Brown appointed her special counsel.
McFadden, a former advisor to Davis, will be the new governor’s executive secretary for legislation, appointments and policy — Brown’s top liaison with the Legislature. She and Humes are splitting a job traditionally held by a chief of staff.” http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan/06/local/la-me-jerry-brown-20110106
“Unlike past governors, Brown has no chief of staff. He initially split the job between two aides — Jim Humes and Nancy McFadden — when he took office in 2011. Humes left the administration for a seat on the state appelate court last year, leaving McFadden as the de facto chief of staff but working without the title.” http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-pc-jerry-brown-names-dana-williamson-as-cabinet-secretary-20130814-story.html
Jerry Brown names new senior staff positions
“As the governor’s gatekeeper and chief liaison to the Legislature, Nancy McFadden is the longest-serving loyalist in Brown’s inner circle.”
Indispensable insider looks out for Gov. Jerry Brown’s interests