Of PSC loggerheads and letterheads

Below is official evidence of the rift between Tim Echols, chairman of the state Public Service Commission, and Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, who also sits on the panel.

The PSC has five members. You’ll see that, on the commission’s newly printed, taxpayer-funded letterhead, only four commissioners are listed on the left. That’s because McDonald refuses to allow his name to appear anywhere near that of Echols:

pscstationery

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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48 comments Add your comment

[...] Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald’s name is not on the PSC letterhead. Jim Galloway has it all summed up: [...]

Question Man

February 6th, 2012
2:50 pm

Shouldn’t both of them be booted by the voters at the first chance?

Becky

February 6th, 2012
3:13 pm

How juvenile.

The Goobernator

February 6th, 2012
3:16 pm

Petty, Petty, Petty… take it outside ladies, after school – playground 4pm sharp!

Toes the Line

February 6th, 2012
3:24 pm

stupid is as stupid does. They don’t call him ‘Bubba” without a reason.

DJD

February 6th, 2012
3:24 pm

Does this mean that any “official” letter from the PSC cannot be official since all members of the PSC are not listed?

Bob

February 6th, 2012
3:32 pm

And we wonder why we’re rapidly gaining on Alabama and Mississippi for sole position of “bottom feeder” among states. Inbreeding will get you everytime.

Aquagirl

February 6th, 2012
3:33 pm

I believe that’s the same Echols who tried to shake down the Master’s for tickets.

http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-politics-elections/state-utility-commissioners-pursuit-1139795.html

I wouldn’t want my name anywhere near his either. Not that ‘ol Bubba is a saint, but at least he’s not stupid enough to use PSC letterhead for extortion. He probably does it the old-fashioned way.

retiredds

February 6th, 2012
3:33 pm

How childish! But, this is Georgia.

The General

February 6th, 2012
3:42 pm

Loogerheads, letterheads…and…knuckleheads

Charles

February 6th, 2012
3:49 pm

Ok, let’s start with the fact that a 70 something year old man goes by the name of “Bubba” except when he’s running for election and then he uses his given name of “Lauren”. There is nothing on the letterhead that even indicates his name is missing so to the average person they wouldn’t even know or really care. Does it change the fact that Echols is the Chairman? Of course not. This is petty and childish. Maybe Bubba should have Georgia Power print up some letterhead with just his name. That might make him happy.

tim

February 6th, 2012
3:49 pm

It will someday be toilet paper.

It’s actually should be called the Public Dis Service Commission.

Lynnbo

February 6th, 2012
3:59 pm

The 1987 deregulation of natural gas left a large number of Georgians in more than five counties still under the rule of city owned gas companies like Buford Gas. They mistreat us by keeping a $300 dollar deposit forever, not putting the cost of therms on our bills but some trumped up hard to read formula, and they charge each user a hugh monthly service fee no matter how much you use.
The PSC does not rule over them so they do and charge what they want.
Deregulation for all of Georgia! Say no to abuse of government run utilities.
Those runing for PSC could get thousands of votes helping us out with this unfairness. Before you buy a home check out whether your really in a deregulated area……………or you will be sorry.

RD

February 6th, 2012
4:05 pm

The PSC is the biggest waste of taxpayers money in the state of GA. The 5 members cave in to every known entity in the state that has a lobbying arm. With that said, why is the PSC necessary? The members simply go through the day-to-day activities and vote for EVERY increase that is presented to them. The relationship between the members and the utilities is worse than the relationships developed in the state legislature with our esteemed legislators who chew on every drumstick placed in front of them by a lobbyist. No one cares and no one listens….

Hillbilly D

February 6th, 2012
4:13 pm

PSC……Property of the Southern Company

DannyX

February 6th, 2012
4:25 pm

Lynnbo deregulation in Georgia has been a disaster for the consumer.

A Bureau of Labor Statistics report said metro Atlanta natural gas users pay 37 percent more than the US average for natural gas.

In fact the gas marketers had to appear before the PSC to explain why deregulated rates are so much higher than the average.

Hillbilly D

February 6th, 2012
4:34 pm

I’m no fan of McDonald but the fact he goes by the name Bubba doesn’t mean a thing to me. I have siblings that still call me Bubba (it usually starts with a younger sibling who can’t say brother). Hell, I know people in their 70’s and 80’s who still go by Junior. Could just be some people’s mindsets.

GaBlue

February 6th, 2012
4:49 pm

The commission is misnamed. It should be the Georgia Corporate Utility Service Commission. While they collect paychecks and order new stationary with our tax dollars, nothing they do serves the “public” interest. New motto: “Socializing Risks and Privatizing Profits since 1879.”

woodrow

February 6th, 2012
4:52 pm

I do not trust these people to represent my interests. Can we fire them?

Charles

February 6th, 2012
4:53 pm

HIllbilly I don’t have a problem with nick names with friends and families, but obviously he felt something wasn’t quite right about it when he used Lauren during the last election instead of Bubba, which is what he usually went by. Of course if you go to the PSC website there it is again. I guess he really didn’t care once he won election. Come to think of it, maybe he did them all a favor since he probably used “Bubba” on the letterhead.

Yachancia

February 6th, 2012
5:18 pm

I’ve been to a couple of funerals @ Bubba’s funeral home up in Cumming. The guy is as down home as they come. If requested he will even sing as part of the service, and he has a lovely voice. Like him or not, Bubba will still be on the PSC after Echols etal are long gone.

RD

February 6th, 2012
5:20 pm

Change the law and get rid of the PSC members. Let the Executive Director handle the affairs of the PSC without having 5 members “voting” in the public’s interest. Don’t forget the line item on power bills that was approved last year by this esteemed group of members……we pay now for nuclear reactors to be built in 20 years, if not 30 years. The customers of the utilities pay for these capital projects and the interest payable on these projects. Way to go PSC!! The members don’t lack for $$ to run a reelection campaign, that’s for sure.

Dave

February 6th, 2012
5:31 pm

This is totally off topic; but, is nothing of real consequence going on with the Legislature or is the AJC being lazy? I’ve been busy; but, I do at least try to scan what you guys print. Deal’s new scholarship plan is the first thing I’ve seen of any real interest. Nothing crazy, nothing significant. Is there a big surprise coming or are the political folks going to infight again this year and do not much of anything (not that I’m complaining)?

Hillbilly D

February 6th, 2012
5:40 pm

Charles @ 4:53

Point taken. Well, dropping the “Bubba”, which he’d had for many years, including when he ran for Governor, was sort of a cynical move, in my opinion. He wanted to distance himself from the Great Unwashed. Sort of uppity behavior, to my mind. We are what we are.

James

February 6th, 2012
5:51 pm

RD-

I believe it was the General Assembly that required the line item charge on the bill for the nuclear reactors, see SB 31.

yuzeyurbrane

February 6th, 2012
5:55 pm

Bubba’s suits are too too expensive for him to be a yahoo. The ironic thing is that there really isn’t that much policy difference between the 2—Echols is just too new to be totally corrupt like Bubba.

honested

February 6th, 2012
6:33 pm

Why don’t they just be honest and use this:

Georgia Proxy for the Southern Company

At least they would be honest.

honested

February 6th, 2012
6:40 pm

James,

Yes, SB 31, the gift that will keep on giving unless and until someday the bean counters at the Southern Company step forward and say ‘That’s enough, we have squeezed you for every penny that can ever be justified as part of the cost for Vogtle 3 and 4″

But think about it for a minute, if the same $14.00 per month per Ga Power customer were used to IMMEDIATELY install and deploy solar panels on every roof in GA, doesn’t it make sense that every roof could be covered long before the reactors (we have already been paying for over the last 14 months and will be forever) are on line?

Andy

February 6th, 2012
7:07 pm

Is Bubba still the town drunk?

Pic of What’s Wrong At The PSC:

February 6th, 2012
7:14 pm

[...] Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald’s name is not on the PSC letterhead. Jim Galloway has it all summed up: [...]

Old Dawg

February 6th, 2012
7:36 pm

Man, there are some real dumb comments here. I’ve known “Bubba” McDonald on a personal (not political) level for many years and he has always been an honorable man. Can’t blame him for not wanting to be associated in anyway with “Masters” Echols who is just another political puke with asperations to be govenor. Yeah, good luck with that.

cartoon

February 6th, 2012
8:32 pm

Hey don’t get me wrong, I don’t want my name anywhere near Echols either, and I think it’s stupid that McDonald is so transparent. But the truth is that I’m not concerned about the very stupid, after all, we can make things idiot proof. I’m not concerned about the nearly stupid, either, after all, there are instructions on shampoo bottles. I am concerned about the total numbskulls who populate the comment boards of all the blogs on the AJC. There is nothing that can be done for them, about them, or in spite of them. I suggest we erase all their names lest their names be juxtaposed too close to mine. New rule: If I comment, then all other comments must necessarily be erased from the blog, so that no amount of stupidity dillute my pearls and gems of wisdom and truth.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

February 6th, 2012
8:38 pm

You mean, Bubba ain’t his real name? Why, we been cheated! I wouldn’t vote for nobody named Lauren, but Bubba gets me every time. That, and names like Billy Bob and Jimmy Ray.

Centrist

February 6th, 2012
8:52 pm

We thoroughly went over this a while ago, so back to a more important subject. While Maureen Downey is certainly not a Republican, she actually gave some equal time in her blog. Mr. Jim Galloway should take note:

http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2012/02/05/gop-senate-democrats-have-a-plan-for-hope-its-called-bankruptcy/

Lynnbo

February 6th, 2012
10:45 pm

Has the PSC ever helped any citizen? Please just one story showing they helped one person.
The lights are growing dimmer……………………..

Lynnbo

February 6th, 2012
10:45 pm

Has the PSC ever helped any citizen? Please just one story showing they helped one person.
The lights are growing dimmer……………………..

Hillbilly D

February 6th, 2012
11:05 pm

Lynnbo

The PSC (not the actual Commission but people that work in their offices) actually did help me get the phone company off the dime once, when they told me it’d be two weeks before I got a phone.

Carl

February 7th, 2012
4:48 am

Lynnbo – It was the deregulation of natural gas statewide that led to prices jumping from about $40 a month to over $200+ a month. We were promised that the “market” would keep the prices low if not lower them, which was a complete lie. Deregulation is a joke, an expensive joke. Echols and Stan Wise have overseen the raising of Georgia Power’s rates several time over the past 10 years or so – often for such a flimsy reason as Ga. Power “might” think about starting to build another nuclear reactor. Get the GOPers out of office. Notice how when democrats were in office taxes and fees around the state were LOW? It’s only when the republican party started taking over that our fees and taxes everywhere went up, with no end in sight.

Attack Dog

February 7th, 2012
6:08 am

Dixiecrats voted them into office and complain, but they will not vote them out.

Ronnie Raygun

February 7th, 2012
6:57 am

Vote for GOPers to protect the public interest and keep power bills reasonable and you’re just asking to get shafted. Does anyone think they don’t ALWAYS side with the big corporations that out-and-out bribe them?
Georgians need to wake up and boot these corporate lickspittles out of office or be prepared to bend over for every rate increase Georgia Power desires.

Edward Ruffin

February 7th, 2012
7:07 am

Does anyone know how the PSC has actually helped the consumers? When Sonny Perdue and his band of do-gooders fixed the not broken natural gas situation it ended up costing us a lot of money. Where was the PSC? I think the year was 1997 when natural gas was “deregulated”. It didn’t need deregulating, it was working fine.

honested

February 7th, 2012
7:58 am

There will be two PSC members on the ballot this year.

Now that everyone is paying attention, it would be a good time to hold them accountable and send them back to whatever useful employment for which they are capable!

Macon Me Sick

February 7th, 2012
9:41 am

I’ll bet $100 that Tim Echols had some “Official” PSC event in Augusta on the day he endorsed Santorum just over the state line in South Carolina so that he could leave the taxpayers with the bill for his political stunt.

Anyone able to look into that?

frugal voter

February 7th, 2012
11:31 am

Slightly off subject: How does the advance payment, by consumers, toward a new reactor become fodder for a record profit at Georgia Southern? Is that not in escrow? How will that money be accounted for when the payments are eventually made?

Charles

February 7th, 2012
11:39 am

Frugal, you know your questions are far too intelligent to expect an honest answer.

Charles

February 7th, 2012
11:43 am

Bubba honorable, riiiiight. The same guy that Creative Loafing called Georgia Power’s b*tch during his first term in office. The same guy who says that he’s not in his Atlanta office most of the week because he works out of his other office closer to his house. But he graciously doesn’t charge the state for it. Is it because of nobility, or because he’d have to produce records to show that he’s really doing PSC work in that office?

Charles

February 7th, 2012
11:48 am

Carl
,,,Echols and Stan Wise have overseen the raising of Georgia Power’s rates several time over the past 10 years or so – often for such a flimsy reason as Ga. Power “might” think about starting to build another nuclear reactor. Get the GOPers out of office. Notice how when democrats were in office taxes and fees around the state were LOW? It’s only when the republican party started taking over that our fees and taxes everywhere went up, with no end in sight.

+++++++

While I have no love for either of these guys, Echols has only been there for a year. But this give Georgia Power everything they want has been going on for years. And when they can’t get it at the PSC they just head over to the Capitol and get it. They have to keep raising our rates so they can pay off the politicians.

Fred

February 7th, 2012
5:06 pm

“Slightly off subject: How does the advance payment, by consumers, toward a new reactor become fodder for a record profit at Georgia Southern? Is that not in escrow? How will that money be accounted for when the payments are eventually made?”

The advance payment does not go into escrow. The advance payment is for ongoing financing costs. Half of the financing is being done by Ga Power investing stockholder capitol. So, a large part of the financing cost is profit on that investment.