Reach Out and Misuse Someone's Name

PhoneAs mentioned in a previous Spin, a Wisconsin branch of the AT&T astroturf group TV4US is "backing a bill to deregulate the state's cable TV franchise system." TV4US recently gave all 132 Wisconsin state legislators thick binders filled with names of state residents who it claims support the cable franchise bill. However, the list includes two lawmakers who voted against the bill in the state Assembly. "Apparently I couldn't convince myself," joked state Rep. Joe Parisi. The other legislator, state Rep. Sondy Pope Roberts, "said she made the discovery after a constituent called to say her husband's name was also erroneously included. ... Pope Roberts said she is now skeptical of the entire binder." Parisi questions the "piles of letters that all look alike that are generated by a large lobby group spending thousands and thousands of dollars." TV4US Wisconsin's Thad Nation (a PR professional and political consultant) couldn't explain why Pope Roberts was listed, but said Parisi's name might have been included because he signed up for email updates on the group's website.


This bill claims that there are serious obstacles to competition in providing service. That claim is bogus on its face. Any provider is welcome to offer service provided they negotiate with the city to insure reimbursement for use of our infrastructure, which was paid for by our tax dollars. There are other aspects such as customer service standards that must be met.
What this bill would do is remove local control, reduce revenues to the city, which will raise property taxes to cover the loss of revenue. It does NOT guarantee when a competitor might come into an area, it reduces customer service standards, and the picture quality is not guaranteed.
Interestingly, AT&T has stated that it may be YEARS before they might come to our area.
As info, I serve on the board of our local Public Access Center, and also serve as a volunteer in a variety of capacities.