Yes, the use of the term "ratepayer money" is prejudicial and inflammatory as well as misleading. That's pretty typical with Slashdot and almost every other source on the internet. However, the primary objection expressed is that APS lied. I, and others, object that APS, Exxon, Koch brothers and others astroturf their positions, i.e. they set up phoney "citizen" organizations and sites to push their views so people will not be aware of their financial interests in the debate's outcome. That's dishonest and does not contribute to honest open discussion and debate or to science. It's O.K. to promote a position that you benefit from - whether its financial or biological (like health), but it's not O.K. to use deceit to hide your motivations. What they are afraid of, I think, is that people will more closely examine their scientific methods and conclusions if they know you have a vested interest in a particular outcome.
Just to be preemptive, advocates on any side of any position can have a vested interest in a particular outcome. We should always be skeptical.