Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The other shoe drops: New push poll hits Lafayette

The period of unnatural quiet has ended and the first of BellSouth and Cox's dirty little tricks has begun. Starting last night a new push poll was debuted in Lafayette. Push polls, an ugly little way of trying to inject Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt into a community, were visited on us during last summer's period of nastiness. Cox was the worst offender last time but it appears that BellSouth is stepping forward this time.

Here's a first report on the poll as forwarded from Lafayette residents. According to one email, the push poll includes:
Questions like: The south side is more affluent than the north side, so it will get it first. How do you feel about that? Since there is an issue with separation of church and state. Therefore, you will possibly (probably?) lose your religious channels. How do you feel about that? Watering your lawn during summer months is rationed to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. How will you feel if you can only watch television on those days? Many more questions along those lines.
And in response to that the following email:
I didn’t get the call, but, interestingly enough, the wording below is identical in part to what I heard from a Bell South employee last night at a Neighborhood Watch meeting on the north side of town. We have a big group in our neighborhood, and at the end of the meeting I made a pitch for Lafayette Coming Together and the fiber initiative; immediately after that, a Bell South employee stood up and rattled off that same business about only being able to water your lawns on Monday-Wednesday-Friday and how we should expect the same from any phone and cable service provided by City-Parish government.

Sounds like talking points are being circulated and employees are being coached.
The purpose of this sort of stuff is to turn neighbor against neighbor with lies. It would be political suicide to serve only South Lafayette. AOC has church services now. Water conservation --that's just silly. But it's not that they hope any of these will stick. They hope they can bombard you with so much junk that all you'll recall is that "bad things are said about fiber."

Don't fall for. It's all Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. And, of course, outright lies, like the attempt to raise racial anger. These guys are shameless. And there is no reason to respect them. Remember: our future is in your hands. Don't let men of this character determine our future.

It's ugly. And it has begun.

Update 3:20: Apparently one person who received the call has traced it back to the number of a firm previously used by Cox. So maybe Cox paid for this one as well. Either way, what is clear is that the talking points are coordinated. These guys are in it together.

A second source says that the first question asked by the "pollster" is if the respondent is from LUS, LCG, or the news media. An honest "yes" earned a quick hang-up from the other end. I guess they don't really want to talk to anyone who is informed. My suggestion: say no and keep a tape recorder handy. Wouldn't it be fun to have an MP3 of this to email your friends?

Join the fight. Email: StandingUp@LafayetteProFiber.com to find out how.


GumboFilé said...

I don't endorse the push poll but they do raise one good point. It has occured to me that our government will either be broadcasting porn or practicing censorship or both.

John said...

Dear Mr. David Hayes of Grand Coteau,

Your government in fact won't have the chance.

If you honestly don't endorse these tactics you wouldn't repeat them.

I am very weary of people who hide behind anonymity in order to say things that would either embarass them to say in public or would be less credible if people knew who they were.

I repeat: Your government in fact won't have the chance. You'd DON'T speak as a citizen on this matter and should not assume the mantle. That your family pays taxes here doesn't excuse your doing so.

GumboFilé said...

so now you're telling me to shut up? even though I pay property taxes to LCG, collect sales taxes on behalf of the LCG, buy electricity and water from LUS, simply because I don't live in Lafayette and have no vote in Lafayette?

If this project goes forward I will be assuming the risk every bit as much as you will and my keyboard is the only vote I get.

If I abuse you I invite your correction but, sorry, I don't need an excuse and I don't need your permission and I'm not shutting up.

You have the power to ban me from your blog, and that's ok. Ban me and I'll have time to do other things.

BTW, there's no "e" in my last name, and, FYI, my middle name is Swayze.

GumboFilé said...

PS, in case you or any of your readers are interested in giving equal time to your opposition


You'll notice I have links to all the pro LUS FTTH sites. I'm not afraid of opposing arguments.

Josh said...

"Finally, BellSouth wants to get into the TV business and Cox wants to get into the phone business. The most likely effect of LUS’ entry into this market would be to discourage such future competition and expansion and instead possibly encourage existing providers to abandon this market."-www.gumbofile2.blogspot.com

I have to ask how the introduction of another provider discourages competition.

John said...


Notice the dates on this post and the comments...they are about 4 years old and date back to the period before the referendum was approved.

That noted, Hayes was using the shootgun approach in his missal and most pellets fell wide of the mark. This one in particular is odd. Most of the letter claimed that he feared LUS would be ineffective. But this indicates he feared it would be so effective that it would drive the current monopolists out. If there was any consistent message there is that there were plenty of reasons to be afraid. That message did not work for him or the incumbent.

And, of course, every hope of competition has been realized: Cox is trying to compete by giving Lafayette the fastest speed it has every given anyone at a price 1/3 off what it will supply elsewhere. (And still can't equal the symmetrical speed LUS is offering or match the price even with its introductory sale.)

Additional competition has worked. David Hayes was wrong.