Best Capitol Watchdog (2007)

Ron Binz

Back in the early '80s, Ron Binz became the first head of the Office of Consumer Counsel, a consumer-advocacy agency that represented consumers before the Public Utilities Commission -- and regularly pissed off not just major utilities, which had previously had the PUC almost all to themselves, but legislators plugged into those utilities. In fact, when Binz was later nominated to a slot on the PUC, legislators shot him down not once, but twice. But two decades later, Governor Bill Ritter named Binz -- by then a utilities consultant who ran a vineyard in his spare time -- to chair the PUC, and the nomination passed with just one "no" vote. Mr. Binz, please be seated -- and keep watching out for the consumer.

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