Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"Hearing slated today in LUS complaint" (Correction)

Mea Culpa: an earlier version of this post contained a major misinterpretation of the Advocate story. In it I was working from the mistaken reading that the hearing was before the Judge....not so, as the story clearly states. The hearing was before the LPUA. My apologies for spreading my poor reading far and wide.

The Advocate carries a story this morning about a new hearing slated for today in the class action lawsuit directed against LUS' fiber optic project.

The LPUA has expedited pleadings on the issue at the direction of Judge Rubin. Tomorrow's stories should be interesting.

Update 4:00: The Advertiser is running an brief on this hearing in preparation for a fuller story tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

While I to am not a supporter of this state wide franchise, the problem is that what happens in Lafayette without it. When LUS is in the retail business of selling TV programming, why on earth would they want to encourage competition through the use of its rights of ways to its competitors? The answer is they will not. No more then they encourage competition on electricity. Like all business, they will discourange competition, overtly or otherwise. It will not matter if they are democrates or republicans, for bell south or against bell south, good or evil. They will naturally try to increase the cities revenue to create funding of their projects and delivery of patronage to their districts so that they get reelected. Thats the results of a natural monoply. Look at Lafayette and LUS now, LUS is a monoply, natural or otherwise. If a neighborhhood wants to be incorporated into Lafayette they must accept LUS as the only provider. In other cities you have choice, but not here.

Now, look at the news posted today on this web site. A case is brought before the courts and LPUA on LUS overcharging for electric rates. The case is heard by LPUA, the very group who set the rates. Now does that make any sense? And what does LPUA rule:
# Deny plaintiffs’ request for a continuance of this morning’s hearing.
# Deny a motion to produce documents requested by plaintiffs.
# Deny plaintiffs request to subpoena people.
# Deny oppositions to rules adopted last week for conducting this morning’s hearing.
Have you ever seen the movie CATCH 22?
I hope that is not your idea of justice and due process. If it is, than I am saddened.


John said...

Mr. Supple,

I think this a version of the sort of logic we've seen around this site recently.

There is no reason to assume that because you believe "bad" and anti-competitive behavior is "natural" that it actually is. LUS is not BellSouth or Cox and the essential difference is nothing particularly noble; instead it is structural: LUS will do what's best for its owners. As will Cox and BS. The difference is that LUS' owners are its customers.

You want to condemn LUS' utilities for being public utilities--something they've never denied so the accusation creates a straw man. Utilities are made public exactly because the monopoly is natural and the community does not trust private enterprise to either provide the service or to provide it fairly. That's how we get public utilities. It's not new or bad.

On the other hand BellSouth and Cox both function as private monopolies in their core business (though BS' is crumbling). Distrust of private monopolies is traditional and well-founded. LUS entering the market does nothing more, and nothing less than provide direct competition which is motivated by something other than extracting the greatest possible profit for distant owners of monopolies. If monopolies actually disturb you, I can only suggest that you take solace in that fact.

(I don't know of any cities where you have a choice of who owns the electricity lines that come into your home. I think you are simply wrong in that assertion. There are states that have set-ups similar to the CLEC/ILEC relationship that BellSouth and the phone companies recently sqaushed, but not Louisiana)

On the LPUA--I don't see how finding against someone is evidence of injustice in and of itself. Happens all the time. LUS/LCG recently asked Judge Rubin for an immediate ruling, a ruling to which they felt entitled. He didn't do it. We don't thereby accuse the courts of injustice. (We might think them wrong...)

I've read Hellers' book...and the Catch was that to get excused from flying he had to be insane. But if Yossarian claimed to be crazy to get out of flying he was obviously showing a sane fear of death and wasn't qualified to get out of flying on the grounds of insanity. The funny part is that there are those who think that this sort of double bind is exactly what produces insanity. :-)

I don't see that sort of (il)logic at work here. Double binds require an irresolvable conflict which makes it impossible to reach a stable solution to an ongoing problem. The LPUA decided, you can believe them wrong... A conflict between community and corporation might fit better. When a conflict between the two arises people need to find a way to resolve the issue in favor of one or the other. If a person can't find a stable way to resolve it they could be said to be caught in a double bind.