Corporation Commission candidate gets endorsement

Friday, October 15th 2004, 5:57 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Ed Apple, a former Republican member of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, has endorsed Democrat John Wylie, who is running against Apple's former GOP colleague, Commission Chairwoman Denise Bode.

Apple, who retired in January 2003 after eight years on the commission, said he supports Wylie, a weekly newspaper publisher from Oologah, in next month's general election because they share the same views about public service and the role of a corporation commissioner. The commission regulates utilities.

``A commissioner has a role of being an equater in the process, not an advocate,'' Apple said.

Wylie said commissioners should advocate public participation in the utility ratemaking process, but added:

``Commissioners cannot be advocates for the public.''

Apple, chairman of the commission between 1997 and 1999, was frequently at odds with Bode on ratemaking issues. Aside from regulating utilities, the Corporation Commission oversees the oil and gas industry.

``There's no question I had differences,'' said Apple, of Duncan. ``I had strong differences in the way I think it should function.''

Wylie, 51, is a former energy and environment writer for the Kansas City Star. Wylie and his wife, Faith, purchased the weekly Oologah Lake Leader in 1984.