Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Governor VETOS Video Bill!!

Hallelujah!!

Governor Blanco has vetoed HB 699, BellSouth's state-wide video franchising bill.

John Hill, writing for the Gannett papers confirms what an anonymous commenter at this site said this morning: Governor Blanco vetoed the bill late last night. Apparently this took place at at 11:35 last night. From the article:
House Speaker Joe Salter, D-Florien, said following a telephone conversation with the governor at mid-morning that she mentioned scratching four special appropriations and the cable competition bill that proponents said would lead to cheaper television services.
The house sponsor, Montgomery, says he was informed around 11:00 this morning (so our anonymous informant had the news before he did).

This is very good thing--as regular readers will no doubt recall Lafayette Pro Fiber has taken a hard stand against this bill and encouraged others to do the same. It was a bad bill that gave away local options to corporations that had demonstrated that they did not have the best interests of Lousiana communities at heart. The Governor's veto means that the state will have avoided embarrassing itself by making red-lining state policy. Local governments, the ones that actually maintain and own the property that BellSouth wanted free reign to use as they please can still make any sorts of bargains with BellSouth (soon to be AT&T) that are in the best interests of their citizens. And they may decide to enter into contracts that resembles the clauses of the late HB 699--but that will be their choice and not a one-size-fits-all choice dictated by the state that clearly served only the interests of a monolithic phone monopoly.

It's a good day for Louisiana. Congratulations go out to all who worked on this issue! It was a long shot from the beginning and what turned it around was that the people who saw how unjust the law would be refused to back down or give up.

8 comments:

Raphy said...

This is great news! Hopefully other states will see this and follow suit. Literally at almost the last minute, Governor Blanco came through and did the right thing. She should be an ambassador for anti-discrimination rules.

John said...

I agree...I'm very happy.

But rest assured that Blanco will pay at least a short-term politcal price for this.

Let Governor Blanco know you're grateful for her courage. Write at:

contact@gov.state.la.us

Anonymous said...

For those of us who said "please", don't forget to say "thank you"...

-Kevin

Anonymous said...

I noticed Cox increased their rates in Lafayette and blamed it on the Hurricanes of 2005.
Lafayette wasn't even hit by a hurricane in 2005. Is this a way at sticking it to Joey Durel?
This announcement came out the day the Governor vetoed the Bill. Cox had to know that the bill was vetoed the day before the announcement was made. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? IS THERE ANY INSIDE REALTIONS WITH COX AND THE GOVERNOR?

Thank You Kevin, for contributing to an increase in cable rates.

John said...

The corporate anono poster is back at his anonymous mouthings folks. This would be entertaining if it wasn't so pitiful.

Let's see....Anono needs to notice that Cox increased its rates in BOTH Baton Rouge in Lafayette. And it's only been a year since the increase in BR. So, if petulant anger is motivating rate increases Cox must be even madder at Kip Holden than Durel. Why? Its a (paranoid) mystery.

Anono thinks that Cox "had to know" about the Governor's veto on the basis that Cox's announcement (which incidently actually hit a day earlier than Blanco's) coincided with the veto. Hunh...? So Cox is now "sticking it to" the Governor? But Cox came late and weakly to supporting the bill. And Cox representives responded to the news of the veto supportively by asserting that they never thought there was any need for a change anyway. So where, exactly, in all that is a reason for Cox to go off on the Governor?

Look, I'm all for being attentive to cosy connections between govt. and corporations that are bad for regular folks...lord knows there's too much of that already. But to be credible you have to make sense.

Shad Price said...

John - I have to compliment you on your patience sir. You deserve a medal for putting up with all the anon BS and continually refuting them point-by-point in a respectful manner that helps to expose the problems in their logic.

Really great news, and a nice solid victory for the State of Louisiana as a whole.

The downside to this is that we should more than likely expect the usual response to this, another lawsuit. Hey, at least it will be against the State this time right?

AT&T is busy suing over Franchise denials in other parts of the country. Since BellSouth is basically AT&T now, well I expect the same thing to happen here. No one should be surprised by this I guess. It's a typical response from an entity more concerned with it's bottom line and protecting it's own best interests than that of it's paying customers that actually help them to stay in business.

John said...

Hi Shad,

Thanks for the compliments...

I don't think that BS/ATT will be suing the state. Not that they wouldn't if they could but it'd be hard to find grounds. Not passing a law that a corporation wanted, no matter how much they wanted it, still isn't against the law (yet).

It's passing those laws that gets you in real trouble. The local government (un)Fair Competition Act is a good example of a law whose main purpose, it is now clear, isn't to regulate LUS (bad enough) but to provide fertile ground for endless lawsuit.

Lesson; compromise laws with these guys just aren't worth price they extract. It's war to the final vote and then war until repeal if you lose. It's the only reasonable way to act vis-a-vis bullies.

Shad Price said...

John-

I sure hope you are right about them not being able to sue! Sure would be nice to see some light at the end of the tunnel. :)

I hadn't thought about the fact that even they can't make up something good enough to sue for. :)