Thursday, March 03, 2011

How Things Work: AT&T and the Jindals

It's not like we really need to have the New York Times tell us about Louisiana politics.

It really is not all that complicated:
Louisiana’s biggest corporate players, many with long agendas before the state government, are restricted in making campaign contributions to Gov. Bobby Jindal. But they can give whatever they like to the foundation set up by his wife months after he took office.

AT&T, which needed Mr. Jindal, a Republican, to sign off on legislation allowing the company to sell cable television services without having to negotiate with individual parishes, has pledged at least $250,000 to the Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children.
Supra Jindal's foundation has attracted a surprisingly fervent following among those corporations that are regulated by the state but are unhappy that they can only give 5000 dollars as corporations to support their governor. Chief among them is AT&T who, as the story notes, was thrilled to get Jindal to sign off on the so-called "Consumer Choice for Television Act."

That law was touted by AT&T who wanted the state to take control of the local rights of way away from the communities that own and maintain them and move that control to the state which basically promised to provide no oversight. The whole campaign to pass this law  was pretty sordid and resulted in outrage from and lawsuits by Louisiana municipalities—You can check out Lafayette Pro Fiber's ongoing coverage at the keyword label "state video franchise." Start at the bottom of that long page.

Nobody in Louisiana is fooled by such "generous donations" but the New York Times, after noting that Jindal's top fund raiser is listed as the treasurer for Supra's foundation—just in case a generous donor wanted to be sure that the "right" people knew about their donation— closed the story with the following paragraph:
“Foundations tied to politicians see their donations dry up when the politician is no longer in power,” Ms. Sloan said. “That demonstrates the real reason the charities get the donations is their political position, not because of the good works they do.”
While the focus in these pages is on local telecom issues and policy Lafayette readers will want to link into the story. The list of oil companies and a local ambulance firm are also of interest.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

HOW IS THE VIDEO BUSINESS GOING FOR THE CITY?