The oh-too-cozy connections in Minnesota are pushing my buttons today. Wind on the Wires’ death-of-wind-as-we-know-it comments to the Public Utilities Commission  arguing a “this will affect all of Minnesota” were given way too much weight for an entity that wasn’t even a party, and given their tight and close connections to the Dept. of Commerce Energy Division head, it seemed undue influence.  But it got worse today… and suddenly, HOG PILE, lots of things came to light.

So what else happened?   Well, it’s a full moon.  I was looking for a document in my Goodhue Wind Truth file and my cursor passed over a WOW filing, Comments they’d filed in the record that I’d downloaded and filed with the rest, and as my cursor passed over it it said and I cursed:

Author: Alan Mitchell

Say what?!?!?!  Alan Mitchell, author of Wind on the Wires filings?


So I open it up and check the document properties directly, and sure enough, it says “Author: Alan Mitchell.”  Open it up and see for yourself:

Author: Alan Mitchell – Wind on Wires Comments November 15, 2010

Who is Alan Mitchell and why should anyone care if he authored comments?


Alan Mitchell is an attorney working on energy issues — he worked as the Asst. A.G. on utility siting at the EQB forever, during Nuclear Daze, I almost thumped him on the head when he made a DUH! admission we’d been fighting about for years.  He was there (Dwight Wagenius too) during Arrowhead and Chisago transmission, and retired I think in the Pawlenty administration exodous, around 2006? and went to Lindquist & Vennum, to work on energy issues, and then jumped to Fredrickson & Byron, at the same time Todd Guerrero did.

And there’s the rub.

Todd Guerrero represents AWA Goodhue Wind (community based wind my ass — can anyone spell “T. Boone Pickens” the owner of this project?  Last I checked, Anywhere Texas is NOT in Minnesota)  in the AWA Goodhue Wind fracas at the Public Utilities Commission and Appellate Court.  To check those AWA Goodhue Wind dockets go to, click on the blue “Search eDockets” button, and search for dockets 08-1233 (siting), 09-1186 (Certificate of Need) and 09-1349 and 09-1350 (PPAs).

Todd representing AWA Goodhue and Alan for Wind on the Wires.  It’s too close folks — have you checked your “conflicts” file?  Oh, yes, that’s right, it’s not a conflict because their positions are in alignment, AWA Goodhue Wind and Wind on the Wires are both promoting this project, DUH!  So having Alan and Todd working on this together, well, it’s not a conflict, it’s not scumbaggery, it’s economies of scale, eh?  It’s something that we should know when presented with Wind on the Wires filngs, and their failure to disclose is something I’ll be mindful of, it shows their spots, not that the Commission give a rodent’s rump.

Not to worry, WOW has other pigs it’s also rolling around in the mud with.  There’s the matter of Bill Grant, former head of Izaak Walton League, who was appointed by Gov. Dayton to be the Deputy Commissioner of the Dept. of Commerce’s Energy Division and the Facilities Permitting shop.  And after all, Wind on the Wires is separate, eh?  Well, sort of, but wait, take a look at the first IRS 990 filing by WOW:

2009 Wind on the Wires IRS 990

Look closely, and take note that this IRS 990 was filed on November 12, 2010.  REMEMBER THAT DATE!  Just for yucks, let’s take a look.  The IRS 990 claims income of  and assets of:

$   706,500    Contributions and grants

45    Interest

$    201,524     Cash

$    505,000    Pledges and grants receivable

118 Prepaid expense and deferred charge


And expenses?  Put on your seat belt:

3expensesYes, that says $3. as in THREE DOLLARS.  EEEEHH?

Here is their lobbying report from Wisconsin — and then there’s Minnesota to consider too:

WOW – Lobbying Report – 2009-2010

And here’s the snippet from the Walton’s 990 reporting that expense:


Let’s see if I understand this — Izaak Walton League is reporting it as an expense on their IRS 990 and not registering with the state, and Wind on the Wires is registering their lobbyists with Wisconsin but reports nothing on their IRS 990.  OK, now for a closer look at that below!

Onward with the WOW 2009 IRS 990.  WOW says that 2009 was a “transitional year” and that:



Uh-huh… right.   “Majority of activity” with over $600k in expenses while at the Waltons, and $3 in expenses independently.  Uh-huh… uh-huh… As for $$$$, “The $423,442 capital contribution to Wind on the Wires is the IWLA’s “Project” net assets at the end of 2009.”  $432.442…

Sure, OK, let’s see what the Walton’s IRS 990 says about that.  Hmmmm, nothing about going independent, and this was filed August 27, 2010, almost 9 months after 2009 ended, you’d think they’d know what happened in 2009:

waltons2009wowprogramHere’s the full IRS 990 filing, see for yourself.  Wind on the Wires is the biggest program, income and expenses, that they’ve got going:

2009 Izaak Walton League IRS 990

And remember that Wind on the Wires claim of a “contribution of $423,442?  Here’s it’s $431,942:

duetowowThe Waltons had $8,500 more at year end, and more importantly, as of the Walton’s 8/27/2010 “year end” filing of their 2009 IRS 990, it was owed to WOW, it wasn’t outgoing money — it hadn’t been paid as of their year end…

We’re in a time warp here.

OK, now for Waltons’ lobbying — their 990 reports $102,000 lobbying expenses in Wisconsin, via Lee Cullen of Cullen Weston Pines & Bach:

cullenlobbyingAnd who else does Lee Cullen lobby for?  Let’s see… In addition to “Wind on the Wires” (and remember, prior to the 2010 filing, the 2009 501(c)(3) status and independent filing, it was but a program of the Izaak Walton League) Lee Cullen lobbied for Citizens Utility Board in past years, and while representing the Waltons… errrrrr… Wind on the Wires, throughout 2007 to the present session, he also represented RENEW Wisconsin and ATC Management, LLC … ATC Management, LLC?  You mean ATC?  ATC?!?!?!  Yes, that’s right, AMERICAN TRANSMISSION COMPANY.

Oh, it’s getting too cozy in here… but as above, there’s no conflict, nosiree, no conflict at all, because WOW is in bed with American Transmission Company, their interests are the same, there’s no conflict!


Anyway, back to the date of the Wind on the Wires IRS 990 — it was filed November 12, 2010, just a week after the election, the election where a governor was just elected who shortly thereafter appointed the Walton’s Bill Grant, head of the Midwest Izaak Walton League, to be the Deputy Commissioner of Commerce, Energy Division, in charge of energy facility permitting.  Uh-huh…

And then there’s that WOW  Board of Directors.  More on that tomorrow or Tuesday, but for sure before November 17, 2011,  when Howard “The Slow” of ELPC hosts another bogus “Transmission Strategy” meeting.  I wonder who’s paying for that?!?!

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