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Public Service Commission candidates Q&A
by Caroline Young
October 31, 2012 01:56 PM | 2136 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chuck Eaton
Chuck Eaton
Steve Oppenheimer
Steve Oppenheimer
Brad Ploeger
Brad Ploeger

Editor's note: Incumbent Republican Chuck Eaton faces Democratic challenger Steve Oppenheimer and Libertarian challenger Brad Ploeger in the Nov. 6 general election for the Public Service Commission’s Metro Atlanta District 3 seat. The district includes Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton and Rockdale counties.

o Name, age: Chuck Eaton, 43

o Residence: Buckhead

o Occupation: worked as an account executive for a manufacturer in LaGrange before serving as commissioner

n Education: University of Alabama, bachelor’s degree in accounting, 1991, currently enrolled in night classes at Georgia State Law School

o Political experience: elected to first term as commissioner in 2006, served as commission chairman in 2008. Previously served as Congressman Phil Crane’s deputy campaign manager, managed campaigns for former Rep. Jeff Brown inTroupCounty, and graduated from the Coverdell Leadership Institute — a statewide organization founded by the late U.S. Sen. Paul Coverdell to strengthen leadership and political skills

o Family: wife, Erika; daughter, Lydia

o Why do you think you are the best choice? “I’m a common-sense conservative with a strong financial and legal background. I also have six years experience as a commissioner. I’m willing to stand up to the overly burdensome EPA out ofWashington and try to do what’s best for the consumers and job providers of Georgia.”

o Top three issues: keeping utility rates low for families and businesses, creating competitive and attractive environment for businesses to expand and relocate to create jobs, ensure Georgia has a diversified energy portfolio to ensure competitive rates for generations to come

o Net campaign funds: $56,218.18 through Sept. 30, according to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission website

o Website: www.chuckeaton.org

Name, age: Steve Oppenheimer, 57

o Residence:Sandy Springs

o Occupation: retired dentist

o Education: Indiana University, bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, 1977; Ohio State University College of Dentistry, doctor of dental surgery, 1981

o Political experience: serves as task force coordinator for Clean Cities-Atlanta and serves on the city of Atlanta’s Electric Vehicle Task Force, coalition member of Analysis of Global Security in Washington, as well as the Metro Atlanta Plug In Electric Vehicle Readiness Task Force

o Family: sons Matt, 27; Brad, 25; Eli, 21

o Why do you think you are the best choice? “I think it is important for whoever is in the role, to be an independent representative for people and not have a conflict of interest by taking nearly all campaign contributions from people related to the industries they regulate, which I will not do. … I have been involved with work on energy and energy security nationally and locally for eight years, I am a hard worker, and I have a record of getting things done for this community.”

o Top three issues: transparency, job growth and development, power production inGeorgia

o Net campaign funds: $90,528.29 through Sept. 30, according to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission website

o Website: www.steveforgeorgia.com

o Name, age: Brad Ploeger, 30

o Residence: Grant Park

o Occupation: founder and co-owner of Arkturis Inc., an information technology firm

o Education:VanderbiltUniversity, bachelor’s degree in human organizational development, 2004

o Political experience: active in Libertarian Party; serving on theAtlanta and state executive committees, completed two-year term on the Libertarian National Committee

o Family: Single

o Why do you think you are the best choice? “I’m not entrenched in one of the two major parties. I can be independent. I am also a small business owner who understands that PSC decisions affects rate payers, affects Georgians and affects our economy in the state.”

o Top three primary issues: consumers first, open ethical government, fiscal responsibility

o Net campaign funds: $677.33 through Sept. 30, according to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission website

o Website: www.BradPloeger.com

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