Update: Sadly, Catherine was not re-nominated by Governor Jerry Brown. A big loss for California’s consumers.
Catherine Sandoval is one of the most qualified commissioners to ever serve on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The first person of Latino descent to serve on the agency in its 100-year history, she has been a determined public interest advocate and fighter for real people against the massive corporate interests the agency regulates.
Immediately upon appointment, Sandoval convened a rulemaking workshop in 2011 to analyze the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile which would combine their customer base encompassing 47% of California’s mobile phone market. The CPUC’s investigation examined whether the merger would serve the public interest under California law in light of T-Mobile’s large market share in California. The merger was later rejected by the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, drawing partially on information uncovered in Sandoval’s process.
During her tenure, the CPUC was repeatedly called out on the carpet in a series of scandals, most prominently a 2014 email scandal that resulted in the resignation of President Michael Peevey. Sandoval was uninvolved in the scandal and has assembled an impressive record on the CPUC where she is one of the few commissioners with expertise in telecom law and policy.
Given her stellar record, it seems astonishing Governor Brown has not moved to re-appoint her to the scandal-plagued agency, which badly needs to restore its reputation as a watchdog for consumers. While we realize some big utility companies probably don’t want Sandoval on the commission, that’s exactly why she is so needed.
Let’s tell Governor Brown to reappoint her. Use this easy action alert to tell Governor Brown and Senate speaker Kevin De Leon cleaning up the PUC doesn’ mean cleaning out the consumer advocates.
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