Friday, March 17, 2006

Advertiser Favors Repeal

The Daily Advertiser endorsed repeal of the Local Government Fair Competition Act in its editorial this morning. From the closing paragraph:
We have chosen to support the Robideaux legislation for one primary reason: Lafayette citizens have gone on record as favoring the LUS telecommunications plan, but BellSouth maneuvering, based partly on provisions of the act, has thwarted the will of the people. We urge local and area legislators to vigorously support the Robideaux package.
Kudos to the Advertiser.

It's good for the local newspaper to endorse the fiber repeal bills and to urge our representatives to give the bills vigorous support.

Even better would be for citizens to do the same.

Repeal of this unfair law is exactly the sort of issue in which an aroused citizenry has the most effect. It is a pretty nearly pure case of the desires of the voters of a community being opposed by the interests of a corporation who hopes to thwart those desires. The people of Lafayette voted, 62 to 38%, to build a fiber optic network. BellSouth has moved aggressively to thwart that vote. You can do something about that by supporting repeal in letters or calls to your legislators. Political influence in our system is driven by two factors: votes and the money needed to win votes during elections.

In the end it all comes down to winning votes. Special interests have so much influence only because legislators believe--with some good reason--that only corporation and some special interests care to have an opinion about most issues.

You can make it clear that repeal of the Local Government Fair Competition Act is one of those issues about which voters care. You can make it clear that your vote will be influenced by your legislator's support, or failure to support repeal.

Write early; write often--you can make a real difference. Ask your friends to do the same. Aside from requesting a vote for Repeal you can also ask that your Representatives and Senators co-sponsor the bills. Co-sponsorship puts their name on the bill and signals their colleagues that this is something they will fight for.

The state of Louisiana offers up a plain but efficient page that helps find your legislators' addresses. Have at it.

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