Throughout this election cycle we’ve heard over and over again from Democrats how Public Service Commissioners Brian Kalk and Kevin Cramer (the latter the Republican House candidate facing Democrat Pam Gulleson) have acted unethically in taking contributions from people working in the industries the PSC regulates. They allege that these contributions are about buying influence.
In fact, during yesterday’s House debate, Gulleson’s communications staffer Hillary Price sent out this tweet accusing Cramer of using his PSC office to “fill campaign coffers.”
North Dakotans deserves a regulator who puts our interests first, not someone who uses the office to fill campaign coffers #NDAL
— Hillary Price (@pricehillary) September 5, 2012
Something strange happened during that debate, though, which Democrats are probably anxious to overlook. You see, one of the industries Cramer is supposedly beholden to because of these campaign contributions is the wind industry. “Not only are these contributions improper and unethical, they may well be illegal, and even criminal,” said Democrat PSC candidate Brad Crabtree in a press release detailing thousands of dollars in contributions from wind industry players like Next Era Energy and Florida Power and Light.
But during the debate, Kevin Cramer came out against wind power subsidies. “We have a $16 trillion debt,” Cramer told the debate audience. “Let’s see if the free market supports it.” Later, he asked “If wind power is doing so well, why can’t it live without a subsidy?”
Ironically enough, Democrats were quick to lash out against Cramer for his principled stand on wind power energy, meaning that even as our friends on the left accuse Cramer of being in the pocket of wind energy they’re also bashing him for not supporting cushy subsidies for the industry as well.
Not only is Cramer clearly not the bought-and-paid-for politician Democrats are making him out to be, but they look a little silly to boot.
Here’s audio of the debate in case you missed it: