Sunday, July 16, 2006

Who Done It? On Elizabeth Naquin and Matthew Eastin

In one of two related stories, The Advertiser this morning asks, but doesn't answer, the question that comes up first when people in Lafayette discuss the fiber issue: who are Naquin and Eastin. We've discussed on these pages (Elizabeth Naquin and Matthew Eastin--Why?) how hard it is to come up with any explanation that leaves them in an honorable light.

This morning's story asks questions I've been hearing around town and puts them into the mouths of the city's leaders:
"It's strange that you have a lawsuit holding up the city and nobody's ever seen the plaintiffs," Huval said. "Nobody knows anything about these folks. Who's putting these people up to this?"

...
Durel on Friday wondered what is the motivation and the incentive for Naquin and Eastin since their lawsuit claiming LUS is overcharging customers cannot reap them a refund. There is no monetary award if they were to win, he said.

"An out-of-town attorney that's got two people who, as far as I know, don't exist. There's somebody and some organization behind this," Durel said. "One day the truth will come out that these people are pawns."

"....What's really frustrating is this could bring tremendous benefits to the city, and just a couple of people apparently are trying to block this," said Lafayette resident Mike Stagg. "This is obstructionism in the worst sense."

He said one day he hopes Naquin and Eastin "have the courage to come forward and apologize for the cost they've inflicted on us all."

It's not just people who were directly involved in the fight for fiber here that are frustrated. People want to know what is going on--who contacted these two very obscure people who were otherwise uninvolved in this (or any other) political fight and recruited them to the role of class-action plaintiffs? Why did they agree? What do they hope to gain?

While this article reveals more about the principals in this suit than any previous story it is also clear that the reporter didn't go beyond the most easily available public records--all that was necessary to establish the basic points of the story that Eastin and Naquin had not had a previous record of public involvement with fiber or much of any other cause but were real people who actually lived in Lafayette.

Should reporters decide to go into full "investigative" mode on this we'd all get a lot more information. Let's hope they do.

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