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State Senator Admits Cable Industry Helped Write Pro-Industry Legislation 426

Posted by Soulskill
from the at-least-he's-honest dept.
jamie sends in news of comments by David Hoyle, a State Senator in North Carolina, about recently defeated legislation he sponsored that would have limited the ability of government to develop municipal broadband. Hoyle readily admitted that the cable industry had a hand in writing the bill. We discussed the cable industry's extensive lobbying efforts in that region last year. From the article: "The veteran state senator says cities should leave broadband to the cable companies. 'It's not fair for any government unit to compete with private enterprise,' he says. In the last legislative session Sen. Hoyle tried to put a moratorium on any more local governments expanding into municipal broadband. When the I-Team asked him if the cable industry drew up the bill, Senator Hoyle responded, 'Yes, along with my help.' When asked about criticism that he was 'carrying water' for the cable companies, Hoyle replied, 'I've carried more water than Gunga Din for the business community — the people who pay the taxes.'"
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State Senator Admits Cable Industry Helped Write Pro-Industry Legislation

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:04PM (#33395296)

    The veteran state senator says cities should leave broadband to the cable companies. 'It's not fair for any government unit to compete with private enterprise,' he says.

    Yeah, just look at how the Post Office drove UPS and FedEx out of business.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by clarkkent09 (1104833)
      It certainly drove them out of letter delivery business which is illegal for anybody other than the Post Office to do: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Postal_Service#Universal_Service_Obligation_and_monopoly_status [wikipedia.org]
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by DJRumpy (1345787)

        Although I agree with what your saying in principal, the post office delivers a message thousands of miles for a few cents. It's also one of the few self-sufficient government organizations. There are times when the end does seem to justify the means.

        Were the government found to be gouging the taxpayer with unfair costs, then I would have an issue with this. Were the post office horribly inefficient, I would have issue with this.

        I don't think either of those describes the post office.

        It certainly drove them

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          It's "self-sufficient" in the sense that they do not get direct taxpayer dollars to pay for operation like other departments. It is not "self-sufficient" in the sense that it runs at a massive deficit and has to borrow money from the US Treasury like crazy to stay afloat. For the last 3 years, the post office has borrowed the maximum $3B from the Treasury, and is expected to lose $238B in the next 10 years.

        • by anglico (1232406) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:43PM (#33396692)

          Other than the first class mail monopoly, the USPS also enjoys government 'protection' from having to pay gasoline taxes, parking tickets, vehicle registrations. and any other tax or fine that is imposed on a private sector business.

          When the USPS decided to push into the package business around 1995 IIRC, UPS and FedEx started letter writing campaigns to alert Congress to the unfair advantage they would have with the ability to subsidize their losses with their first class mail monopoly. I haven't worked for UPS for a while now, but I do remember that was something management talked to us about, a lot!

      • by shentino (1139071) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:41PM (#33396676)

        That's a valid quid pro quo to compensate for the fact that mail service in the US is done for everyone, no matter how unprofitable a particular place might be.

        If it were left up to the free market, they'd welch out on the boonies and stay in the cities where it's profitable.

        Which would leave the USPS with nothing but losses as they get stuck with all the sucky spots.

  • Who pays taxes? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:05PM (#33395308)

    'I've carried more water than Gunga Din for the business community -- the people who pay the taxes.'"

    So much for the idea, hugely popular with the 'business community,' that taxes are always just passed through to the consumer.
    I guess he must be a democrat, right?

    PS - it isn't this David Hoyle [wikimedia.org] in case anyone else was wondering...

    • Re:Who pays taxes? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:15PM (#33395458)

      'I've carried more water than Gunga Din for the business community -- the people who pay the taxes.'"

      So much for the idea, hugely popular with the 'business community,' that taxes are always just passed through to the consumer.
      I guess he must be a democrat, right?

      PS - it isn't this David Hoyle [wikimedia.org] in case anyone else was wondering...

      Translation: I am bought and paid for so screw you.

    • Re:Who pays taxes? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SpaceLifeForm (228190) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:23PM (#33395570)

      Does not matter if Republican or Democrat, he is an
      idiot. A corrupted brain, he needs to be removed from office.

    • I guess as a public employee, I don't have to pay taxes. I'll take my refund in twenties and hundreds, please.
    • Re:Who pays taxes? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by icebike (68054) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:24PM (#33395596)

      He quite possibly believes that businesses actually do pay taxes.

      But more likely he probably understands he would get no bribes or campaign contributions from cities.

      As to the issue at hand

      I'm not convinced that community broadband wouldn't turn into an unmaintainable wasteland of governmental mismanagement, but I'd be willing to give it a try.

      It would be great to have it around as a price anchor, to keep the big providers honest, but with no monopoly mandate.

      If nothing else we would have worst case pricing data of how much it really costs to run such a system on a city wide scale, something we never get from the big boys.

      In much of the US, you have very little choice in broadband providers. Who ever wired your neighborhood pretty much owns you.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cgenman (325138)

        So far, community broadband seems to have evolved in communities that traditional network providers refuse to service. As far as I know, no community simply decided that Comcast was too expensive, and tossed up their own solution. They've all been communities that couldn't get modern networking, until they threatened to put up their own.

        Really, the question is should communities have a right to service markets themselves that the free market simply chooses not to. Framed in that way, the cable industry a

    • Re:Who pays taxes? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tthomas48 (180798) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:43PM (#33395834) Homepage

      I like the fact that you're making this into a partisan issue, rather than pointing out that he's completely out of touch with who pays taxes in his state. According to this website (http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/topic/47.html) while corporations may pay a lot in North Carolina, individuals are taxed at some of the highest rates in the US.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      The business community pays most taxes? Odd, Kodak and IBM haven't paid any federal income tax in decades. Most corporations get off scott-free when it comes to taxes. This guy's probably a Republican, who thinks "the company pays the employees who pay the taxes, therefore the employee's taxes are baid by the company". It's bullshit, but that's how right wingers think.

  • I'm not sure..... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by moeluv (1785142)
    If I were one of his constituents if I would be impressed with his candor or outraged at being sold out. That and I'm fairly certain citizens pay taxes as well.......
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by idontgno (624372)
      Apparently, his constituents aren't individual human beings capable of forming opinions. His constituency seems to be made up entirely of corporate persons, amoral and unemotional money-making machines. Kinda like Terminators, but not as cuddly.
    • by boristdog (133725) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:14PM (#33395450)

      I'll give him +1 for honesty, but -10 for jackassery.

  • Wohoo! (Score:5, Funny)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:06PM (#33395324)

    It's not fair for any government unit to compete with private enterprise.

    I'm going to start my own mercenary company, and the U.S. Army won't be allowed to compete for national defense!

    • I know I would trust General Jim's Defense System and Admiral Bob's National Security to keep my family safe at night.

      • Re:Wohoo! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by timeOday (582209) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:39PM (#33395796)
        Just don't fall behind on your protection money!

        Stories like this remind us that representative democracy (a form of government), isn't particularly tied to capitalism (an economic system). In fact, the pairing is counter-intuitive and occurred only relatively recently in history. Honestly, what self-respecting captain of industry believes they should share political power equally with the underclass! Even the authors of the Constitution lacked [history.org] this vision; "in the eighteenth century, the right to cast a vote belonged largely to white, male property holders. Even John Adams, in 1776, opposed broadening the franchise." So, it is only something that has come about over time.

        The type of government most similar to capitalism is not democracy but plutocracy, since that's what private companies are. It turns out that democracy and capitalism, though conflicted in some ways, are a very powerful combination. But if we neglect to uphold the separations between them, democracy will be lost.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        I prefer Lone Star, myself. I hear that if you pay extra, then when someone breaks into your house, they'll send MAGES after him!
    • Everything else is small potatoes.
       

  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:07PM (#33395338)

    When the I-Team asked him if the cable industry drew up the bill, Senator Hoyle responded, 'Yes, along with my help.' When asked about criticism that he was 'carrying water' for the cable companies, Hoyle replied, 'I've carried more water than Gunga Din for the business community — the people who pay the taxes.'"

    Apparently it's business that pays all the taxes in this country and not the citizens!

    Wooohoo! All that tax I've been paying every year around April 15 is an error! There has been some huge oversight and I've been being billed incorrectly.

    I'll take a check for the balance Senator. Pay me when you can.

    • by jd (1658)

      And since most businesses have their central office (usually totaling a coke machine and a janitor) located in States with no corporate State tax - or have even off-shored said office to tax havens and pay no Federal taxes either (ie: virtually all the top 10% of companies that are nominally American*), these "tax" things the Senator collects aren't taxes the IRS knows anything about.

      *In all fairness, most countries are like this. Which is why most are reviewing tax codes and/or threatening to invade Switze

      • by Red Flayer (890720) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:59PM (#33396062) Journal

        And since most businesses have their central office (usually totaling a coke machine and a janitor) located in States with no corporate State tax

        They still pay state tax where they do business. The reason corporations headquarter in Delaware is because (1) the franchise tax is low and (2) Delaware has really [strong privacy protections|lax reporting standards].

        or have even off-shored said office to tax havens and pay no Federal taxes either (ie: virtually all the top 10% of companies that are nominally American*), these "tax" things the Senator collects aren't taxes the IRS knows anything about.

        This is a problem. But not as big as you'd make it out to be; we could institute mandatory withholding on transfers out of the country (like Argentina does). This would be a good way to fix the problem -- file an auditable return, and you can get any overpayment refunded to you. A problem is that it would required a central bank processing system, which is not gonna happen. And off course, the people who really have the influence are those who prefer the status quo. And then there's the tax treaties we have that would prevent this, although we could make withholding mandatory only for countries that operate as tax havens.

    • I'll take a check for the balance Senator. Pay me when you can.

      Fuck that. He better pay promptly to avoid fines, fees, garnishment, and prison, motherfucker.

  • by RichMan (8097) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:07PM (#33395340)

    It is a great US myth that corporations fund the government. The actual facts are that the people pay more.
    Also the citizens vote. So why are the politicals doing the behest of the corporations ?

    http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/yearrev2009_0.html

    2009 Income Taxes
    Individual: $915.3B
    Corporate: $138.2B

    • by GungaDan (195739) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:23PM (#33395576) Homepage

      This is not a mystery: the corporations fund the election ads for the parasite class that makes our laws. Problem is that the modern Democratic party has now shown us quite convincingly that even when campaigns are funded mostly by small individual citizen donations, they still rule for the benefit of corporations once they get into office (I'm looking squarely at you, Mr. Obama - you fucking disgrace). It's a win/win for business and a no-win for citizens. The only solution is to take money out of elections entirely by mandating public financing for all elections and forbidding any private money at all to be used in campaigning.

      • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:11PM (#33396258) Homepage

        Problem is that the modern Democratic party has now shown us quite convincingly that even when campaigns are funded mostly by small individual citizen donations, they still rule for the benefit of corporations once they get into office (I'm looking squarely at you, Mr. Obama - you fucking disgrace).

        Yes and no. Obama's campaign started out funded significantly by small individual citizen donations, and more funded by smaller donations than either the Clinton or McCain campaigns, but as soon as it became clear he was going to win a lot of the big corporate donor types jumped in to fund him as well and effectively bought him off somewhere between the NH primary and the Democratic convention.

        Howard Dean's 2004 campaign, by contrast, was mostly funded by small individual citizen donations, but as soon as it became clear he was actually going to try to implement his policy proposals (like health care reform not written by insurance companies) his campaign was derailed by carefully applying sound editing to a campaign speech he made in Iowa to make it look like he was some sort of wild crazy man.

    • by N1AK (864906)

      Also the citizens vote. So why are the politicals doing the behest of the corporations ?

      I imagine that if you look at the campaign donations for major Senate and Congressional candidates business donations make up considerably more than citizens. Citizens vote. There decision is driver by party ideology and the candidates campaign. Candidates can't change ideology. They can fund an impressive campaign by scratching a couple of companies backs.

    • by drumcat (1659893)
      Given that corporations are rather WELL represented, it's amazing that people have to be taxed 7x more than corporations. Considering that corporations have no limit to their contributions (through party PACs), it's no wonder people are constantly getting rolled.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MrHyd3 (19709)

      As a business owner, I can say, in the end, companies don't "pay" taxes, we just raise our rates and make the consumer pay it. That's how it works. So every time, the GOV passes a stupid law or regulation, a company has to raise their rates to compensate the hiring of someone to manage the new law, equipment, new rules to abide, paperwork, etc for the hike.

      In the end, consumer is always the one that's screwed. So to you people who FEEL good when you hear politicians talking about taxing, regulating busin

      • by rjstanford (69735) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:55PM (#33395998) Homepage Journal

        And as a small business owner myself, I'd say that if corporations really weren't taxed at all that the number of not-really-a-company private-contractor corporations would balloon like crazy... and they're already pretty crazy. Of course, those aren't generally accessible to those at the lower end of the food chain (so to speak), so the rate at which the top few percent left the bottom 50% of the country behind would just grow even faster.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The soundbite "corporations fund the government" is probably better expressed as "corporations contribute more than individuals to political campaigns"-- and with the Citizens United decision, corporations are poised to dump millions of dollars into campaigns this year, such as the recent $1 million donation by NewsCorp to the Republican gubernatorial fund. This gets the politicians' interests, not tax money-- taxes are what they use to piss off voters and get themselves re-elected, so they can cut more off

    • No matter how you slice it, taxes are money taken out of private hands by the government. As such, private citizens are the ones who ultimately pay those taxes. If you tax a company, well that tax is then a part of their cost and will be structured in as such. It will manifest as increased prices, decreased compensation, etc. If you don't tax the company but instead tax the purchase, again it shows as a higher price to the consumer. Maybe it is listed on a separate line, but the consumer still pays. If you

  • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@ ... a - h u dson.com> on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:08PM (#33395352) Journal

    Hoyle replied, 'I've carried more water than Gunga Din for the business community -- the people who pay the taxes.'"

    Business can only pay tax on income from spending. Consumer spending is direct from citizens. Government spending is indirectly from citizens.

    This guy needs to be reminded as to who pays his pay-check - especially since business pays proportionately a lot LESS tax than they did a generation ago, and the soon-to-disappear middle class a lot more!

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:09PM (#33395368)

    It's not fair for any government unit to compete with private enterprise.

    At least he's puting his money where his mouth is, by handing the legislative process over to the private sector.

    • by anyGould (1295481)

      Agreed. Although it is a bit disturbing that he doesn't feel the need to give any lip-service at all to the electorate, at least he's honest. (Maybe that's why he gets in - you know exactly how he's going to screw you.)

  • Where I live in Western Mass, I live in a city with municipal run power and our bill is always cheaper than the cities around us with the "business" run power.

    I'm very tempted to write up a proposal to have:

    1. City run cable business instead of Charter.
    2. City run municipal broadband.

    Wouldn't it be tons cheaper and better for the people of my town if the city could provide the sorta service this would require ? And new jobs would be created IN THE CITY...

    What a concept, huh ?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Americano (920576)

      What city, specifically? Are they paying subisidies to the power companies to provide citizens with "cheap" energy?

  • What's new? (Score:5, Informative)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:11PM (#33395402)
    Hardly a secret that industry basically writes policy and law at both the state and federal level. As expensive as Congressional campaigns are, and with free reign [usatoday.com] to donate to (aka "bribe") any politician they choose, is it any real surprise that they're calling all the shots? Hell, Dick Cheney even gave the oil companies their own secret task force [wikipedia.org] to write U.S. energy policy.
  • David Hoyle is... a Democrat [state.nc.us]

    Somehow I suspect that if he was a Republican that would have been mentioned once or twice in the /. Story.

    • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:20PM (#33395530)

      The source article doesn't mention his party, which is odd, but that's a perfectly non-conspiracy-theory explanation for why it's not in the summary if you'd like one.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Americano (920576)

        The source article is a local news outlet in Charlotte, and the article is posted in the "Local News" section - I would guess, to bolster your point, that the people of Salisbury, NC, have a passing familiarity with who David Hoyle is, and so the party was deemed irrelevant to the story.

    • by tekrat (242117)

      I've given up with "Party affiliation" as if *that* matters anymore. They are all crooks, regardless of which side they claim to be on. There is only one "side" in Washington DC, the side that represents yourself, and how much you can take from the country.

      There's no politician actually representing "the people", without fail, all these guys are elite, wealthy, went-to-the-right-school, skull and bones club, lawyers or businessmen who only wanted to get elected so they could become part of the corruption pr

    • Because politicians are not really living breathing people, they are just automatons that do exactly what their party platforms tell them to do?

    • by rbrander (73222) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:38PM (#33395774) Homepage

      As Kurt Vonnegut once put it, the real two parties in the USA are "Winners" and "Losers".

      Ralph Nader would be your classic Loser. Stands always for a set of principles, never wins a thing. Ron Paul also very principled, despite having won at one level, despite having a crowd of fanatics that love his every utterance ("Nader's Raiders" could probably exchange some notes with them) has no better chance at a presidential run than Nader, and so is another Loser.

      The "rightward shift" of recent decades has basically been both parties wanting to be Winners, because corporate lobbying, corporate personnel going through revolving-doors into government and vice-versa, and regulatory capture of government agencies like the FCC and the MMS, and other forms of influence, have clarified for them all that anti-corporate laws and regulations will make you a Loser.

      Why nobody ever seems to do a kamikaze political career, a one-term deal where he does all the damage to the system he can and goes back to his law practice, mystifies me. Unless that's what Alan Grayson's plan is. (No plan is actually visible at present.)

      So both parties now claim to champion the Regular Little Guy while emphatically not doing so. The only difference I can spot is that Republicans openly claim that What's Good For Business IS Good For Everybody, and Democrats claim to be restraining business while putting only the most superficial and ineffective limits and controls on them, for show.

      Please, I'm not taking sides on that. It's possible that letting telecoms do anything they want with the airwaves and internet is a good thing, letting Wall Street make any deals is wants is a good thing, letting oil companies drill and frac anywhere they want (not "frack", that would be obscene) is a good thing. I'm just saying that one party says that and does it, the other ALSO does it while saying something different.

      It's getting ever-harder to stand for Party rather than principles, and much of Mr. Paul's appeal is he actually does so, breaking with is party, diametrically, and often. I happen to think his principles are frequently batshit crazy, but hey, I'm Canadian and can safely be dismissed from Serious Discussion.

  • FTFY (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "I've carried more water than Gunga Din for the business community — the people who pay for my reelection campaign."
  • Contradiction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ukab the Great (87152) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:16PM (#33395470)

    Whenever there's a discussion about privatizing municipal services, private industry's selling point is always that they can do a far better job than government because government is so inept and inefficient.

    If this is indeed the case, then shouldn't a municipal broadband should be no threat at all to private industry, and therefore there should be nothing at all for them to worry about.

    • If this is indeed the case, then shouldn't a municipal broadband should be no threat at all to private industry, and therefore there should be nothing at all for them to worry about.

      I suspect it's so expensive to lay the wires that most communities can't afford to have redundant cable/internet wiring just for the sake of breaking monopolies.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by 0123456 (636235)

      If this is indeed the case, then shouldn't a municipal broadband should be no threat at all to private industry, and therefore there should be nothing at all for them to worry about.

      Except the govermnent-run system can run at a loss forever and drive the competition out of the market. You really don't think that free government broadband might be a slight problem if you're trying to sell broadband access to people?

      • Re:Contradiction (Score:5, Informative)

        by cowscows (103644) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:12PM (#33396270) Journal

        Most local and state governments cannot just decide to run deficits in the way that the federal government does. That's one of the reasons why state and local governments are having to severely cut services and get rid of employees over the course of this economic turmoil.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Red Flayer (890720)

        Except the govermnent-run system can run at a loss forever and drive the competition out of the market.

        No, they can't. Their operating cash must come from somewhere... whether it's some combination of public funding via taxes or from consumer charges for service. It's a question a community can answer for itself, I think -- should we, as a municipality, band together to eliminate an extra cost (corporate salaries/profits) from cable service most of us want?

        If anything, massive corporations are far more

    • by rwv (1636355)

      There's a tipping point where the technology becomes mature enough for the Congress to understand. I'm not familiar with the energy business, but I'd assume that before it was as tightly regulated as it is today, that it was the wild west. Something similar happened with land-line telephones in 1984, and it's probably for the best that Congress split up AT&T in the process of regulating those systems.

      Now, we've got the Internet. Multiple companies (Comcast or Cox?) operate multiple technologies (Ca

  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:16PM (#33395478) Homepage

    Only one problem: most municipalities contemplating running their own broadband Internet service are doing it precisely because the cable and phone companies aren't providing the service. It's time to stop thinking about Internet access as a service and start thinking about it as a utility, with the changes in mindset that implies (eg. you don't want parts of your city to be without water or electricity just because the utility companies think it won't be cost-effective to serve them).

  • by tekrat (242117) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:18PM (#33395500) Homepage Journal

    Apparently this guy has never heard of Exxon!

    Once any business gets large enough, they do creative accounting or move all their "official" offices offshore (do you kow how many businesses are incorporated in Bermuda as a tax haven?) to avoid taxes.

    http://blogs.forbes.com/energysource/2010/04/07/exxon-says-it-does-pay-u-s-income-taxes/ [forbes.com]

    If the USA could actually collect what it is owed by big business, we wouldn't *have* a national debt!

  • by moeluv (1785142) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:19PM (#33395518)
    in letting Senator hoyle know exactly what they think of his ideas. Office: 300-A Legislative Office Building Phone: (919) 733-5734 Email: David.Hoyle@ncleg.net Legislative Mailing Address: NC Senate 300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 300-A Raleigh, NC 27603-5925 Terms in Senate: 9 (0 in House) District: 43 Counties Represented: Gaston Occupation: Real Estate Developer/Investor Address: P.O. Box 2567, Gastonia, NC 28053 Phone: (704) 867-0822
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by PacketShaper (917017)
      Line breaks are your friend...

      Office: 300-A Legislative Office Building
      Phone: (919) 733-5734
      Email: David.Hoyle@ncleg.net

      Legislative Mailing Address:
      NC Senate 300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 300-A
      Raleigh, NC 27603-5925

      Terms in Senate: 9 (0 in House) District: 43
      Counties Represented: Gaston
      Occupation: Real Estate Developer/Investor

      Address:
      P.O. Box 2567, Gastonia, NC 28053
      Phone: (704) 867-0822
  • by blair1q (305137) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:23PM (#33395566) Journal

    Politicians serve the money.

    America has died.

    You probably voted for it, too.

    • by Rivalz (1431453)

      I didn't realize their was a Option C

      A) Canidate 1 (He'll screw you and hide it from you)
      B) Canidate 2 (He'll screw you and lie to you about it)

      I'm pretty sure in the candidate vetting process (Honor, Duty, and non affiliation with lobbyists) anyone I would want to vote for throws up red flags.

  • Yay for Shills! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:34PM (#33395722) Journal

    , 'I've carried more water than Gunga Din for the business community -- the people who pay the taxes.'"

    Translation: I get lots of great kickbacks from these guys, so fuck you, consumer!!!!

    Hopefully his constituents aren't asleep and give him the appropriate treatment when his name shows up on the ballot. Business may pay the taxes, but it's the voter that gets to mark the ballot.

  • by Kristian T. (3958) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:37PM (#33395754)

    This senator for some reason seems to have forgotten that the sole reason privately owned services are often preferable to public ones is competition. In every instance that I've seen, a private monopoly is always a disaster. Given that private telco's stop at nothing to avoid competing - a public monopoly is the lesser evil. Free market fans like this guy should spend their energy ensuring that private industry keeps competing rather that trying to raise legal fences around markets that are no longer free because they have degenerated into monopolies. Granted there are many telco's - but if it's anything like here (in Denmark), their broadband cable networks are meticulously dug into the ground without any overlap at all, efectively leaving each customer without any choice. And when a municipal broadband appears - the previous local monopoly is always suddenly able to sell a much better product.

  • by DarthBender (1071972) on Friday August 27, 2010 @02:54PM (#33395972)
    Where is the 'Democrats' tag? Where is the party affiliation in the summary? And where is the donkey icon? If he was a Republican can anyone here seriously say that there would not be a 'Republicans' tag, the word 'republican' in the summary and the elephant icon?
  • by VojakSvejk (315965) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:23PM (#33396434) Homepage

    I just can't get over the fact that a state senator (or a US one, really) knows that Gunga Din was a water bearer. Maybe US education is better than I thought.

  • by jfoust2 (43840) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:38PM (#33396636) Homepage

    Here in Wisconsin, two years ago ATT came to the Capitol with more than a dozen lobbyists and started handing out campaign contributions. They picked a conservative Democrat and a Republican from the Senate and Assembly who would play ball. They handed them a "bill mill" draft of how they'd like to revamp Wisconsin's cable television laws. They did not invite anyone else to the meetings. They didn't invite the over-the-air broadcasters, they didn't invite the cable industry, they didn't invite the community television stations. They listened to ATT. They removed local city control and oversight of cable franchises and replaced it with a state-level franchise system with little to no oversight. They assigned minimal regulatory powers to the department of financial institutions - not the existing Public Service Commission that handles all other telecom. The only powers they assigned were to accept the annual $5,000 franchise application. They were not given any powers to reject any applications. They sunset the ability of cities to assign a surcharge on bills to fund their community television operations. All this, in the name of allowing ATT to be able to cherry-pick which neighborhoods would get U-Verse, without having to offer it to entire communities.

  • Bullshit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by b4upoo (166390) on Friday August 27, 2010 @06:01PM (#33398498)

    Cities and counties often give exclusives to cable companies causing death off all competition. Since cities will not allow dozens of companies to be available to every address it is fair enough that cities provide free net services.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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