Michigan: Governor appoints utility lobbyist to state utility regulation agency

Black is white. Up is down. “Public service” is now defined as serving the corporate sector while in a government position, and taxpayers (the public) pays the salary.

How many Smart Meter and energy complaints made it through Chief of Staff Saari to his bosses, Cotter and Bolger?

How many industry officials work as District Directors and Chiefs of Staff for governors and elected officials?

“Government affairs offices” — the actual title of these corporate departments — is very accurate.

From Detroit News

Political insider: New gig for ex-lobbyist Norm Saari
July 23, 2015

Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday appointed former Consumers Energy lobbyist Norm Saari to the Michigan Public Service Commission, the state’s utility regulation agency.

For the past two years, Saari has been chief of staff to Republican House Speaker Kevin Cotter and former Speaker Jase Bolger. He succeeded Suzanne Miller-Allen as Bolger’s chief of staff (and once worked for Miller-Allen’s husband, former state Sen. Jason Allen).

Saari spent most of his career though working in the Lansing and Washington government affairs offices of Jackson-based Consumers Energy.

“Norm has had a distinguished career in the utility industry as well as in public service, and he brings decades of experience to the Michigan Public Service Commission,” Snyder said in a statement.

Saari replaces retiring commissioner Greg White on the three-person panel. Pending approval by the state Senate, Saari’s six-year term will expire in July 2021.

Moments after the governor’s office announced Saari’s appointment mid-day Wednesday, Cotter’s office announced that House general counsel Brock Swartzle will be promoted to chief of staff.

Contributors: Chad Livengood and Melissa Nann Burke


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