Tree’d by a Chihuahua: TEP Loses an Election that Should Have Never Happened


Canadian-owned Tucson Electric Power (TEP) lost a mail-in election (Prop 412) this week, one it foolishly financed 100%, in order to curry favor with the City’s Woklitburo of Uber-Lib politicos.

This whole sordid affair was another Sunday-school object lesson in Liberal scatter-brained thinking.  On what should have been a straight-up, quick business negotiation between 2 capable parties, to build an expensive, major overhead powerline segment along their precious downtown perimeter, vs. an even more expensive [similar] underground route.   

But Noooooo, …as with all Libs who profess otherwise, but eschew process simplicity, things had to get complicated.  And TEP fell for it.  They let the City muddy the $$$ waters, with an increased tax, errrr ‘climate (virtue signaling) ratepayer plan’ to stick the Dirty T’s [gullible?] voters with the bill

All this despite Tucson having a [recently revealed] $150 million surplus squirreled away. [the May 16th vote failed 55-45, with a ~21% turnout]   

Naïve TEP negotiators should have known it would boil-over into a 3-ringed circus, complete with enviro-acrobats, Old Pueblo barnacles incensed they have to actually pay for electricity, and Mouseketeers from the 1960’s Ready-Kilowatt Fan Club proffering their learned opinions.  The newspaper gleefully stirred the pity-pot, and the Neo-Druids over at Tucson’s lawsuit-Godzilla, the Center for Bio-Diversity (CBD), supplied the clandestine heat (Boss Lady Regina is a CBD alumni). 

Season & tenderize with the usual cadre of [sinecured] UA wisenheimer-purists……  and voila!  For TEP execs, it’s a scene right out of the 1978 movie, Animal House.

And one knew the minute downtown Councilor, Saint Stefan of Ward Kozachikstan, started channeling the late NY governor, ‘Mario-the-Pious’ Cuomo, with that confessional routine Cuomo was infamous for….well, it rapidly devolved into the classic Tucson dumpster fire.

The clever TEP guys over-thought who they were dealing with, plain & simple.  Trying to be cool & Woke Canadian sophisticates (eh?), they simply swallowed the standard City of Tucson kool-aid, while worrying mightily their power provider franchise, up for renegotiation in ~2 years, might be held hostage by these feckless borderland ideologues.  (Hint: it still will)

Surprise! Surprise!  But that’s exactly what you (TEP) got, and there’s now a bonus!  The Wokies at City Hall plan to seriously study the idea of creating and running their own captive municipal power company.  Oh goodie!  More City ‘gubbmint’ employees, for a gang who can barely run a C-store.  Gimmeabreak!

Aside from its value as an object lesson to non-City residents (mostly unincorp’d Pima County gullibles); the lesson’s real recipient should be TEP-Corporate.  Stop trying to curry favor with these people, and get back to basics, especially the basic paradigm of who has real power in this tussle.   You have high cards in your hand you’re not playing; dispense with being nice, it never pays with the Hard-Left anyway, they’re too schitzo.  

With their municipal reputation unraveling like a cheap Soviet suit, Tucson needs you more than you need them.  Sometimes you have to play hard-ball.

Sellers is a Southpark Republican living in incorporated Oro Valley; his background is federal technology commercialization


About Bill Sellers 110 Articles
Sellers is a South Park Republican who lives in incorporated Oro Valley. His background is federal tech-transfer commercialization. Contact him at Sellers is also a grad of Clemson's Architecture School and the University of NC School of Business. He was a founding member of the Albuquerque Friday Morning Breakfast Group which elected numerous conservatives. He has lived in the SouthWest & PacNorthWest more than 40 yrs.