VOTE NO on Amendment #1 in NOvember!

[FACT SHEET]

Excerpt published by a recent article in the Tampa Bay Times:


The $200,000 from Let’s Preserve the American Dream is the largest donation yet. But who that group is shrouded in mystery. Consumers for Smart Solar, initially in campaign finance documents, identified that the group is a political action committee based at a mail box at a UPS Store two miles from the Florida State Capitol Building. 

But FPL and Duke Energy like the rules the way they are because the utilities control the solar market.

So FPL and Duke are supporting a different campaign: Consumers for Smart Solar.

A spokeswoman for Smart Solar said there is no attempt to confuse voters.

But why else would the Smart Solar campaign have included the words "solar energy choice" in its amendment title?

There are growing numbers of reports of people who say they mistakenly signed the wrong solar energy petition.


​To read the full article, click here.

​​Excerpt published in a recent Miami Herald article:


Becky Van Horn of Hollywood says she “was duped” into signing a utility-backed Consumers for Smart Solar petition by being told it would make it easier for people to switch to solar power in Florida.

“I didn’t realize there were two petitions going around,” said Van Horn, a senior at Florida International University who signed a petition on the Biscayne Bay campus after talking to a “very knowledgeable” pro-solar petition gatherer. “I think a lot of people do that. They don’t really read what they’re signing.”

The PAC’s chairman is Ryan D. Tyson, a Tallahassee lobbyist who also works as the vice president of Associated Industries of Florida – which is partly supported by state utility companies. But according to campaign finance reports, Tyson’s PAC did not report giving any money to Consumers for Smart Solar, despite their assertion it did. According to the Florida Division of Elections, Let’s Preserve the American Dream gave no campaign donations in September. But Consumers For Smart Solar reported getting the check for $200,000 on Sept. 30.

But after the discrepancy was pointed out by the Times/Herald, Tyson called Consumers for Smart Solar and instructed them to change their report to reflect the money came from a different group with a similar name: Let’s Preserve the American Dream Inc., which has no record of donating money in Florida before.

Tyson said Consumers for Smart Solar made a mistake in the way the reported the donation.

Consumers for Smart Solar unfortunately reported the contribution from Let's Preserve the American Dream as coming from a PAC,” Tyson said. “That is incorrect.”

He said the donation came from a tax-exempt company he created with a similar name: Let’s Preserve the American Dream Inc. While the names are nearly identical, he said insisted the new company, which was officially named in February, is a “social welfare” organization that has a 501(c)4 designation, which allows it to not disclose who any of its donors are. If it were a political action committee, it would have to disclose the names.

To read the full article, click here.

“Wolf in sheep’s clothing” amendment headed to November 2016 ballot - VOTE NO!

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Supreme Court approved placement on the November 2016 ballot for the utility-backed “sham solar” petition sponsored by Consumers for Smart Solar, despite strong opposition from a number of organizations, newspaper editorial boards, and Floridians.  The opposition argued that the utility-backed petition is misleading to voters by maintaining the status quo and falsely stating that it creates new “rights” and offering “choice” for solar power – when no such choice or new rights exist. The utility-bankrolled petition was launched in July to derail the citizen-led solar initiative sponsored by Floridians for Solar Choice. 

Tory Perfetti, Chairman of Floridians for Solar Choice, issued this statement: “We are disappointed that the court let through an amendment that was clearly designed to enshrine the status quo in this state. The Consumers for Smart Solar amendment is more of the same and continues the pattern of doing nothing to help Florida move into the 21st century regarding how we create, distribute, and use energy.”

Excerpt published in recent Rolling Stone article:


The solar industry in Florida has been boxed out by investor-owned utilities (IOUs) that reap massive profits from natural gas and coal. These IOUs wield outsize political power in the state capital of Tallahassee, and flex it to protect their absolute monopoly on electricity sales. "We live in the Stone Age in regard to renewable power," says state Rep. Dwight Dudley, the ranking Democrat on the energy subcommittee in the Florida House. "The power companies hold sway here, and the consumers are at their mercy."

The full political might of Florida's IOUs was on display in December, when a deceptive campaign, funded by the state's electric utilities, crushed a citizen-led effort to open Florida to solar competition through the 2016 ballot. "When your opponents have no ethical foundation, have unlimited resources and are willing to say and do anything to defeat you," says Stephen Smith, director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, which led the pro-solar effort, "it's a tough hurdle to overcome."

Source: http://dos.elections.myflorida.com/committees/

Updated August 2016

Excerpt from a recent article published by Orlando Weekly:


"If you follow the money, it’s pretty clear who’s who. Consumers for Smart Solar has received its funding from 44 contributors, including: Duke Energy, for $160,000; Florida Power & Light for $175,000; Gulf Power for $180,000; and Tampa Electric, for $175,000. Another $150,000 was provided by the 60 Plus Association, an organization supported by the Koch brothers, and $200,000 from Let’s Preserve the American Dream, a PAC which lists its registered agent as Foley & Lardner law firm partner and business lawyer Charles V. Hedrick."

​To read the full article click, here.

Floridians for Solar Choice supports the freedom to develop solar power in the Sunshine State and is bringing people together to take solar power choice to the 2016 ballot. We are a diverse coalition of over 70 real businesses, industry associations, conservative groups, faith communities, clean energy advocates and environmental organizations working together to give Floridians a voice and a choice on energy in the Sunshine State. Learn more at www.flsolarchoice.org.

Excerpt from Saint Peters Blog:


Consumers for Smart Solar has raised more than $18.8 million since it began operations in July 2015, mainly through massive support from the utility industry. As of Aug. 5, the committee has about $3.1 million of that money on hand.

Between July 30 and Aug. 5, Smart Solar took in eight contributions, including six-figure sums from Florida Power and Light, Tampa Electric Company and Gulf Power Company.Duke Energy also came in with a $1.5 million check July 30.

​Full article here.

Donna Redish of Tampa says she “was scammed” into signing the same petition because it was described as the “revised, updated version” of the competing Floridians for Solar Choice initiative she had already signed.


To read the full article, click here.

Excerpt published in a recent Orlando Sentinel article:


Floridians for Solar Choice is all about making it easier for homeowners and businesses to generate their own solar power by leasing solar panels and buying power from a solar energy company.

That would mean competition for big utilities, such as Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy.