Efforts to protect Duke Energy from a surrogate campaign led by billionaire Paul Singer have recently taken two quiet steps.
Last month, singer hedge fund Elliott Management urged utilities to split the $ 78 billion electricity and gas empire into three companies.
But earlier this month, the trio of editorials went a little further — and they all seemed to handle issues that were significantly similar to each other.
American Thinker’s work Michael Basler Introduced on May 15th was a static Elliott from a public utility regulator in Kansas and Missouri in a previous deal with the local utility, Evergy Holdings, the former of which. The deal “has little benefit to payers,” he said.
Basler also accused Texas regulators of lying about Eniot’s position during the bankruptcy of Energy Future Holdings, calling Hess an “incredibly shrinking oil producer” after Elliott’s investment. Emphasized the media coverage that he called.
“Before Elliott invested, Hess had about 15,000 employees,” Basler wrote. “After the hedge funds interfered with the company, the number dropped to less than 1,800.”
Three weeks later, on June 8th, another editorial appeared. One is from Townhall.com, citing the turmoil in Kansas and Missouri, quoting the phrase “a little benefit for payers,” and also focusing on the situation in Hess. Almost the same language.
“Before the investment, Hess had about 15,000 employees,” writes town hall columnist George Landris. “After the hedge funds interfered with the company, the number dropped to less than 1,700.”
According to sources close to Elliott, the company has been in trouble with regulators and has vehemently disputed allegations that it caused thousands of shots. In May, according to insiders, Elliott’s complaint about the inaccuracy of American Thinker’s work persuaded him to remove the site shortly after it was released. Same as above for Town Hall works. American Thinker and Town Hall, like Basler and Landris, declined to comment.
Also on June 8th, the Tampa Bay Times released a work by Crisin Bram entitled “Florida doesn’t need a New York millionaire to mess with its utilities.” Still on the site as of Monday, the work introduced readers to the stories of Kansas, Missouri, and Texas.
“The author states that he has not been paid to write the column and disagrees with the reasoning drawn by hedge fund Elliott,” the Tampa Bay Times said in a statement. “There are similarities between his column and the previously published column, but it does not establish plagiarism.”
According to sources close to the situation, the editorial was coordinated by Washington-based public relations firm TDS. Attracted attention from Buzzfeed For what the site called a “stealth corporate promotion campaign”[s]”.
In a statement to the post, Duke said: “We are not hiring them and we are not affiliated with TDS.” A Duke spokesman could have been hired by an external law firm that TDS is working with Duke. I declined to comment further.
TDS did not respond to the request for comment.
Duke Energy’s Failed Word War
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