Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Supreme Court Fight: Media Roundup

A series of articles have hit in the last two days concerning Lafayette's appeal to the Supreme Court and the Louisiana Municipal Association's friend of the court brief in favor of Lafayette's position. We noted an article in the Advertiser yesterday and today we find articles in the Advocate, the Independent, Bayou Buzz, a Lafayette press release, and (turning up in the search) a lagniappe reference to an earlier editorial calling for an end to all such delaying lawsuits.

The most interesting is Advocate's article. The news there is contained between the lines...it seems that the LCG and LUS have decided to go back to the trenches. A new battle line is being drawn and Lafayette's leadership seems to be hunkering down for a long fight. Early in the article we are told that Huval provided some of the information for the aticle in a meeting of the Advocate editorial board in Baton Rouge. Durel is on tour as well, according to the Indpendent's account. That almost certainly means that other major newspapers across the state are also being visited. That's not behavior that we've seen very often--it's a long way across the basin and the Mississippi.

More evidence for a renewed fight is in the argument that is laid out n the press release and recent stories: the story is that the third circuit's rulings, and by extension the lawsuits themselves, are doing damage to the state's bonding laws; not just to Lafayette. Once you take that position and gather up the allies necessary to support it there is little room for further compromise--which is probably why this approach was avoided earlier. That's good--compromise has worked out poorly for Lafayette; compromising with bullies just invites further abuse.Down that path lies repeal or partial repeal of the (un)Fair Competition Act.

Final evidence is a willingness to say the hard truths that have always accompanied the "fighting mode" of Durel and Huval. (Recall "greedy out of state corporations" and "gormandise?") Huval makes it plain that legislators who put the interests of corporations ahead of the interests of the people of the state can't expect the solicitous free ride we've seen before:

Another option would be to return to the Legislature in the spring and try to have the law amended, Huval said.

But telecommunications companies have a lot of pull in the Legislature, Huval said.

“There’s a lot of hunting camps and a lot of golf tournaments and a lot of campaign contributions,” Huval said.

Huval is right; big money and big corporations have far too much influence in our legislature and the first step toward fixing it is to say it out loud.

Let's hope the Supreme Court takes the case and returns a sensible ruling.

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