Monopoly Manipulation – How Florida’s Power Companies Are Misleading Citizens About Solar

power company monopolies are spending millions of dollars on deception and dirty tricks to keep solar choice from making it onto the ballot but we are fighting back we are asking that everyone signed the solar choice petition and get others to sign it as well but also we thought it was important to shed some light on the deception that has been going on behind the scenes of this campaign On January 14 2015 a diverse coalition of businesses and citizens from across the political spectrum launched the Floridians for solar choice ballot initiative to open up the solar market in the Sunshine State and give more Floridians access to affordable solar power the initiative was focused on removing a long-standing barrier that prevented third parties from selling electricity directly to Electric Power customers initially Florida's major monopoly power companies FPN Oh Duke Energy Tampa Electric and Gulf Power did not comment on this grassroots effort but continued their facade of acting Pro solar as long as that solar was owned and controlled by them the power company monopolies support for the Floridians for solar choice coalition surged and within 90 days the solar choice ballot had gained enough signatures more than 68,000 to qualify for review by the Florida Supreme Court caught off guard by Floridians tremendous response to solar choice the power companies began to conspire to do whatever they could to stop the citizen-led initiative using deception and confusion they first coordinated with front groups largely funded by fossil fuel interests and the Koch brothers their gold confusion lies to maintain their monopoly control and stop solar choice next the monopoly power companies led by FPL begin to call in political favors first Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi delayed sending the solar choice petition to the Florida Supreme Court for the maximum allowable time of 30 days thus giving her office and the proxy groups time to file 11 opposition briefs in a feeble effort to stop the solar choice effort while the solar choice campaign waited all summer for its day in court the coalition continued to grow and gain volunteers dozens of new member groups and endorsements and tremendous editorial support from more than a dozen outlets from around the state showed the momentum building alarmed by the overwhelming public support for solar choice and realizing that their efforts in the court were unlikely to stop the very popular solar choice campaign the monopoly utilities led by FPL begins spending big bucks on PR experts John Solinsky and Sarah Bascom to develop a deception campaign to confuse Florida citizens cywinski and Bascom hatched the idea of a phony campaign called consumers for smart solar and paid former Florida representative dick bachelor and other high-priced frontmen tens of thousands of dollars to become the face of the campaign of deception all designed to stop solar choice and confuse Florida citizens on July 14th consumers for smart solar was announced as a broad coalition of grassroots groups opposing the solar choice campaign media immediately exposed the Sham solar as a power company backed effort within a week but millions of dollars had already begun to flow into a campaign designed to deceive voters and create confusion the monopoly power companies backing the phony solar amendment then hired two out-of-state professional signature-gathering come first national voter outreach in the oh and then a company called Silver Bullet the goal was to confuse voters the power company backed group doubled and even tripled the price paid for signatures in their attempt to stop solar choice many times signatures gatherers working for the utilities would actually tell people that they were signing the solar choice ballot effort when they were actually signing the phony effort led by the utilities despite the deception and the obstacles created by the power companies and their special interest groups Floridians for solar choice gained the Florida Supreme Court approval on October 22nd and begin ramping up the campaign efforts to quickly gather the remaining signatures needed the power companies and their special interests responded in kind with a record-breaking month of 2.3 million dollars in pooled funds in October these millions were used to deploy an army of paid signature gathers and to confuse Florida citizens into thinking that they had signed the solar choice ballot when they had really signed the power companies deceptive solar ballot all meant to stop solar choice in Florida as a citizens coalition we cannot match the millions of dollars the power companies have to fuel their campaign of deception but we do have something more powerful people power and we can fight back we need your help to expose the power companies lies and end their unethical and unacceptable practices and dirty tricks it's honest simple and very powerful go to FL solar choice org today fill out and download our petition and send it in and then send this video to five of your friends in Florida and ask them to do the same yes you are powerful want to do more consider a donation to solar choice together we can give Floridians a voice and a choice on energy in the Sunshine State just do it thank you you

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