Consolidated Government and LUS began speaking truth to cowards on Tuesday afternoon.
Citing public statements and a national op-ed piece by the president of BellSouth Louisiana, Mayor-President Joey Durel and LUS Director Terry Huval all but called BellSouth and their Fiber 411 lackeys liars for their pronounced inability to honestly declare their true intentions with their petition which calls for a referendum on the LUS plan to construct a fiber to the home project in Lafayette.
In a Tuesday afternoon press conference at City Hall, Durel and Huval said what Bill Oliver of BellSouth could not bring himself to write in his op-ed piece in Tuesday's USAToday, namely that BellSouth has actively opposed the LUS plan since its inception and the company's support of the referendum petition started by Fiber 411 is but the latest and most overt form of that opposition.
Huval and Durel said the purpose of the petition is to put the LUS project at play in an arena where BellSouth and Cox can leverage their substantial economic muscle into a massive disinformation campaign around the fiber issue. They both cited the successful effort led by Comcast and SBC to defeat a fiber to the premises initiative in the Tri-Cities area of Illinois last year.
Lafayette's Quislings at Fiber 411 also cannot bring themselves to admit the nature of their gambit. Having allied themselves openly with BellSouth ('ignore that monopolist behind the petition'), the boys at DULL (Delusional United Luddites of Lafayette) have the temerity to say that signing the petition does not indicate opposition to the LUS plan.
Huval and Durel are calling BellSouth and their pawns out on this and, in their press conference, tried to make it clear to citizens that anyone who considers signing the petition should do so only if they intend to kill the LUS plan.
That BellSouth has become openly involved in the opposition should come as no surprise -- Christmas came wrapped in a Fiber 411 box for Bill Oliver and his local lobbying legacy John Williams. But, as Huval and Durel declared Tuesday, it is difficult to imagine that local citizens would be willing to leave the economic future of this community in the hands of corporate decision makers in Atlanta.
There are, according to Huval and Durel, two certainties at this point: 1) the attempt to force a referendum on the LUS plan is an attempt to kill it; and 2) if LUS doesn't build this infrastructure no one else will not Cox and not BellSouth.
BS and DULL can try to deny it. They can try to spin it. They can torture the English language in ways that would make Bill Clinton proud. But, when you get right down to it, Durel and Huval are exactly right. The petition effort is their attempt to kill this project.
Recent developments are consistent with the pattern that has become well-established throughout this fray: the opposition to this project has been consistently hobbled by the lack of credibility of the various players in its ranks. This inability to own up to the intent of the petition is but the latest manifestation of this credibility gap.
There appears to be no reason to expect a change in this situation anytime soon.