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Stephen Smith

Solar choice advocates like Stephen Smith and Debbie Dooley can’t come to grips

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Consumers for Smart Solar got their initiative on the 2016 ballot fair and square, and from the looks of it Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s Stephen Smith and Tea Party poser Debbie Dooley are having trouble coming to grips. The sour grapes were pretty apparent in a recent interview, where Dooley was identified as an orchestrator of the “Green Tea” movement that brought together tea partiers and environmentalists to help fight… what? Regular people who oppose the solar plan put forward by SACE? And…

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Consumers for Smart Solar spends nearly $268,000 in March

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The controversial solar-power ballot initiative that will go before Florida voters in November reported on Monday that it had spent nearly $268,000 last month, with much of that going to legal fees as it worked to win approval from the Florida Supreme Court. Two weeks ago, the high court ruled 4-3 that the wording of the initiative that is backed by many of the state’s major utilities met the legal standards to qualify for the statewide ballot this fall. Consumers for Smart Solar,…

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Floridians for Solar Choice to fight opposing solar initiative in court

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The people behind Floridians for Solar Choice, the group behind of one of two competing solar-power constitutional amendments, say they’re filing an opposition brief later Monday to oppose the other initiative, pushed by the utility-backed by Consumers for Smart Solar. The group held a news conference Monday at the Florida Press Center in Tallahassee. Among other hurdles, proposed amendments must be cleared by the Florida Supreme Court to make sure they cover only one subject and that their ballot title and summary aren’t misleading. The opposing amendment…

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Floridians for Solar Choice sues PCI Consulting in signature petition battle

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(UPDATED) Less than a week after acknowledging that a dispute with their signature-gathering vendor would severely imperil their chances of getting on the 2016 ballot, Floridians for Solar Choice (FSC) has sued PCI Consulting in federal court claiming breach of contract. The group — formed to advance a constitutional amendment to expand solar power rights for consumers and businesses in Florida — filed the suit Dec. 23 in the U.S. Southern District of Florida. It came six days after FloridaPolitics.com reported that PCI…

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Dispute with signature gathering firm all but dooms solar power amendment from getting on 2016 ballot

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The group behind one of two competing solar-power constitutional amendments is throwing in the towel on 2016 and “exploring options for a 2018 campaign,” according to a spokeswoman. As FloridaPolitics.com reported Thursday, a payment dispute with a signature-gathering firm made it unlikely that Floridians for Solar Choice would garner enough signatures to get on the ballot next year. The deadline to submit the requisite 683,149 signatures is Feb. 1. “All petitions gathered in Florida are valid for a full 24 months from the date of signing,…

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Solar Choice reports strongest fundraising numbers to date

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Backers of an amendment that would expand consumer access to solar energy announced Thursday that they bounced back from a slow August to raise nearly $450,000 in last month. The Floridians for Solar Choice (FSC) finance report is not yet available through the state division of elections, though committee officials said the $446,670 they brought in last month put them at $211,701 cash on-hand at the end of the reporting period. The September report easily bests the cumulative $412,000 total…

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Solar amendment advocates to plead their case before Supreme Court

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Advocates for a Florida constitutional amendment to promote solar-generated electricity on Monday said they are confident the proposed language will pass Supreme Court review. Members of Floridians for Solar Choice talked to reporters at Tallahassee’s Florida Press Center. The state Supreme court will hear arguments Tuesday morning to determine whether the amendment’s wording and ballot summary passes legal muster to be placed on the 2016 ballot. Richard Turner, general counsel for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, said “21st-century technology is clashing with 20th-century rules…

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