I mentioned Senators Cravins' and Romero's passionate speeches in an earlier post and quoted a few bits from them at that point. They were offered up in opposition to HB 699, the so-called "Competitive Cable and Video Services Act," whose real purpose was to strip local governments of their control of community-owned rights of way in order to benefit BellSouth, soon to be AT&T.
The speeches really deserve to be heard in their fullness. We live in times when there's not much respect given to anger. But anger-- when controlled, righteous, and well-directed--can be a noble emotion. These are angry speeches. But the outrage they convey is entirely appropriate.
There's something old school about the defense of the little guy and local leaders. It rings of another era to be angry at soulless conglomerates, to be shocked at the suggestion by proponents of the bill that state senators understand the import of this law better than the local leaders whose contracts with outsiders the state is destroying. It rings of another era to hear men speak who assume that constituents are citizens instead of consumers and whose stance makes it clear that they understand that the real interests of multinational corporations and local citizens diverge. It makes one nostalgic to hear the repetitions, pauses, and cadences of classic rhetorical delivery. I think it no accident that the two most passionate defenders of the people and localism come from senators who speak in the accents of and and represent the heartlands of Creole and Cajun culture in Louisiana.
Worth the the time it takes to listen...
Both speeches can be accessed via the Lafayette Pro Fiber audio download page.