PUF in The New York Times

From “The Education of Elizabeth Warren,” by Stephanie Saul, in The New York Times on Sunday, August 25:

“Indeed, on this morning in 1981, Ms. Warren [presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren] again wanted to debate, this time arguing on the side of giant utilities over their customers.

Her position was ‘savagely anti-consumer,’ Mr. Johnson [a colleague at the University of Texas School of Law, Calvin Johnson] recalled recently, adding it wasn’t unusual for her to espouse similar pro-business views on technical legal issues…

Several articles Ms. Warren wrote during that period, on utility regulation, promote a pro-industry position, experts said.

A 1978 article in the Rutgers Law Review — which would inspire some of her early debates with Mr. Johnson — argued in favor of a utility rate-setting model that Mr. Johnson said would allow utilities to charge customers for taxes that hadn’t yet been paid. A piece in 1980 for Public Utilities Fortnightly, an industry magazine, took a similar position, according to its editor, Steven Mitnick [yours truly], who added, ‘It’s quite surprising that this was written by the person we know as Elizabeth Warren.’

But Mr. [John] Price, the former University of Washington dean who became friends with Ms. Warren in Key Biscayne [a summer retreat of the pro-business and libertarian Law and Economics Center at the University of Miami] and is a supporter and contributor to her presidential campaign, sees nothing unusual in what he describes as Ms. Warren’s ‘reasonable evolution from what they were espousing’ at the retreat.

Reflecting on his own shift from ‘Rockefeller Republican’ to Democrat, he added, ‘I believe we just go through an educational process.’”