Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Enough is Enough

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: enough is enough.

I'm told the city got formal notification late last week of BellSouth's filing an appeal of the recent lawsuit they lost. I, and a lot of others, have lost patience with this sort of thing.

BellSouth, Cox, and few scattered allies have tried to stand in the way of Lafayette for more than a year now. It needs to stop.

A review:

They first went to the state legislature and tried to take away our freedom to do for ourselves what we thought best for the community. They then attempted to convince us, through foolishness ranging faux "academic conferences" to push polls that we really didn't want what we wanted. They chickened out of the chamber forum when they couldn't get the format changed at the last minute to suit them. They tried to decieve us that an anti-LUS blog was written by a Lafayette resident and not a corporate official out of Tyler, Texas. They tried to browbeat the city-parish council and the people with vague threats about the Cingular call center. They failed to convince our neighbors to fear us. They stood against us during a bitter referendum fight which, in the end, served to unify the community against them and to overwhelmingly validate Lafayette's support for a locally-owned telecom utility. They tried through back-door lobbying to get the Public Service Commission to interpret legislation they had agreed to in ways that were clearly contrary to the words in law. Failing in the first try at the PSC they took another bite of the apple and failed again. They sued the city. They lost. Their allies sued the city. It was dismissed. You'd think by now they'd get the message: Leave us alone. Compete or get out. {Did I forgot your favorite sickening deception, petty behavior, or egregious lie? Let me know and I'll update this.}

So, where are we now?

They promise to sue the PSC in state courts. No doubt their class-action lawsuit buddies will do the same.

And now we hear that they've filed an appeal in the case that bears BellSouth's name.

Without any doubt they are trying delay and delay the bond sale the voters authorized on July 16th. Why? They want to frustrate the will of the people so that BellSouth can squeeze a little more out of the people of Lafayette. It is to their advantage to drive up the cost to Lafayette consumers, to allow themselves some more time to get their creaky technology cleaned up enough to use, and to keep our bonds from being sold until the legislature can come back into session and the state's largest phalanx of lobbyists can try again to cripple Lafayette in the legislature.

It's disgusting. It's greedy. It cannot be justified.

Cox has apparently decided that working the quiet influence/local PR game and (gasp!) actual competition might be a more honorable route--and one that doesn't make them outright enemies of the community. BellSouth would be well-served to do the same. It'd be great to see actual competition instead of bureaucratic maneuvering. That's what would be valuable for the people of Lafayette.

Remember these guy's previous slogan: "Let the People Vote"? Well, the people have decided.

Enough is enough.

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