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State Senator Admits Cable Industry Helped Write Pro-Industry Legislation

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the at-least-he's-honest dept.

Government 426

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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Govt. competing with private enterprise (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#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:Govt. competing with private enterprise (3, Informative)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395420)

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:Govt. competing with private enterprise (1)

spamking (967666) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395558)

UPS and Fedex can't deliver letters?

Re:Govt. competing with private enterprise (1)

DamienRBlack (1165691) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395634)

No, they can't deliver standard first-class main. They can deliver stuff with "special" priority like "overnight".

Re:Govt. competing with private enterprise (2, Informative)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395676)

Only at the mercy of the USPS which has an absolute monopoly over mail delivery in the US. At it's discretion USPS made an exception for "urgent" letters (costing minimum of $3 per letter) which can be done by UPS and FedEx. They cannot deliver the equivalent of regular first class mail. They are also not allowed to deliver to mail boxes.

Re:Govt. competing with private enterprise (0)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395692)

Pretty much. They can only deliver letters as an express service which is a different market than general mail (and of course they can't deliver them to mailboxes). This is an interesting read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Postal_Service#Universal_Service_Obligation_and_monopoly_status [wikipedia.org]

I am in favor of this USPS obligation/monopoly in principle, but it may be redundant now in practice anyway.

Re:Govt. competing with private enterprise (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395710)

UPS and Fedex can't deliver letters?

They can only deliver "urgent" letters.

Re:Govt. competing with private enterprise (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395742)

not to mailboxes.. they can deliver them to the door or a agreed delivery spot.. but only the USPS can pickup or deliver to a mailbox

Re:Govt. competing with private enterprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395564)

Only in the USA. There's letters/packages choices when I get a quote from their Canadian websites.

Re:Govt. competing with private enterprise (1, Interesting)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395606)

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 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] [wikipedia.org]

Re:Govt. competing with private enterprise (3, Insightful)

TheFlamingoKing (603674) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395832)

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.

Re:Govt. competing with private enterprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395838)

And seeing the cost and efficiency of their delivery service, their mail service would likely have been competed to the ground anyway...

System is rotten (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395304)

If you don't like corruption in politics, then why do you keep voting for politicians? In the end, they are all the same. Power corrupts. There is no caveat to that axiom.

If you want to get rid of the politicians, then check out what happens when you apply the principles of the free software movement to governance. [metagovernment.org]

Re:System is rotten (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395448)

The feeling is mutual. The politicians want to get rid of you.

Re:System is rotten (1)

wrf3 (314267) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395706)

The feeling is mutual. The politicians want to get rid of you.

Nothing like biting the hand that feeds you.

What's worse is that we keep voting for these idiots.

Who pays taxes? (3, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#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? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#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? (1)

iter8 (742854) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395880)

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

That's an honest politician - when he's bought, he stays bought.

Re:Who pays taxes? (3, Insightful)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395570)

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

Re:Who pays taxes? (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395580)

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? (0, Offtopic)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395584)

Well, at least Slashdot continues the tradition of not naming the party of a politician when it's a Democrat and making sure to note when the politician is a Republican.

Re:Who pays taxes? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395660)

what's your offtopic point? It doesn't matter if they're democratic or republican, if they're letting themselves be bought off by lobbyists they shouldn't be a politician period.

Re:Who pays taxes? (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395794)

Well, at least Slashdot continues the tradition of not naming the party of a politician when it's a Democrat and making sure to note when the politician is a Republican.

I guess by "Slashdot" you mean the submitters? Since we know the editors don't actually, you know, edit anything.... Also, I've seen this claim in the past, and observed that it's largely untrue; identity of the political party likely to be included in the summary regardless of party.

On a side note, the comment that it's the business community that pays the taxes seems as likely to be a Republican position as a Democratic position. The Republican party is not shy about pointing out impacts of the tax burden on US corporations.

There seems to be a desire by some folks to label one group as "anti-business" and the other as "pro-business", but the major political parties are both guilty of trying to hide taxes by removing tax costs from individuals and foisting them on businesses.

The problem is that politicians in both parties are trying to serve groups with some contradictory interests, and hide the fact that they're doing that.

Re:Who pays taxes? (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:Who pays taxes? (3, Insightful)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395834)

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.

I'm not sure..... (2, Interesting)

moeluv (1785142) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395316)

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:I'm not sure..... (2, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395356)

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.

Re:I'm not sure..... (3, Insightful)

boristdog (133725) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395450)

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

Re:I'm not sure..... (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395646)

"Jackassery", I kind of like that word. By your leave, I will utilize it, where appropriate, as much as possible.

Re:I'm not sure..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395850)

* Failure: Mark of Truth +1 burns Senator Hoyle! Hoyle writhes in pain!
* Failure: Testament of Falsehood -10 is twisted by Senator Hoyle's corrupt presence! Hoyle is infused with power!

Hoyle, Lich: "DIE, MORTALS!"

Re:I'm not sure..... (1)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395502)

Ask him how much his "business constituents" in the Research Triangle Park pay to NC in taxes...

Competition (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395320)

Cable companies should not be allowed to have a monopoly on anything. If you ever think that it's a good idea, look at the mess we have in Canada. There's only a handful of companies, none of them competing with the others. They all have their own territories, just like organized crime.

Re:Competition (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395538)

look close enough at any modern government and it will look a lot like organized crime.

if people only knew what was really going on (the old joke about 'sausages and laws: 2 things people should never see being made') they would not stand for it.

keep people thinking that government exists to help you and protect you. keep the lie alive!

(government is a conciousness onto itself; once it gets power, it never gives it back. we did a 'reset' about 200+ yrs ago and it seems time for one, again).

Re:Competition (1)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395878)

The reset you did was against the power of the mother of all megacorporations, too, just in case you're in the delusion that a corporation is not a form of government.

Wohoo! (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#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!

Re:Wohoo! (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395366)

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! (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:Wohoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395416)

.... never mind the fact that it is mandated by constitution (you know, the law) for the government to provide national defense. I can remember seeing any law, etc where the government is mandated to provide cable access.

Re:Wohoo! (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395468)

I can remember seeing any law, etc where the government is mandated to provide cable access.

The guy is a state senator, that particular issue doesn't apply here. But his statement about private industry vs. government roles was probably meant to pertain to both the state and federal goverments.

Re:Wohoo! (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395480)

Except this isn't about the Federal government. It's about local municipalities. Last time I checked, those were distinct governmental bodies.

Guys, your money is privatised (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395734)

Everything else is small potatoes.
 

Re:Wohoo! (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395842)

You mean, like Blackwater/Xe Services [wikipedia.org] ?

O RLY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395336)

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

So, time to shut down the postal service, public schools, state universities, libraries, utilities, city buses, ad nauseum...

Re:O RLY? (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395496)

Shutting down isn't required, but selling off seems like an awfully good idea for a number of reasons.

Re:O RLY? (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395616)

Most utilities are not run by the government but by private companies. As for city buses most are run by a public transportation agency which hires private contractors to actually run the buses so they are in a way run by private companies too. As for public education and postal service, does being the awful inefficient and expensive mess that they are, especially in comparison to private package delivery companies and private schools, make any case at all for privatizing them in your view?

Re:O RLY? (2, Interesting)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395808)

If you want to annoy a right winger, ask them why we don't privatize the military. They'll go on at length about all the horrible things government does, and how much better it would be if they didn't---except for the military. Funny how the idea of government educating people, or healing people, or employing people, or connecting people to the internet (in this case) is evil and wrong and immoral, but paying and arming a huge body of men and women for the express purposes of maiming, killing and/or oppressing people is perfectly ok by them.

They'll also fail to notice how, unlike education or health care, the military gets funded well, regularly and uniformly at the federal level rather than through some horrific, balkanized, hamstrung funding structure. It's interesting how they do a good job, then, that the military does considering it's so well funded.

I'm a full socialist, and I think the military does deserve the funding it gets, but I find the hypocrisy to be just a little bit galling.

This is great news! (5, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:This is great news! (1)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395556)

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 Switzerland.

Re:This is great news! (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395788)

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.

Re:This is great news! (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395800)

The vast, vast majority of taxes IS paid by corporations. And things are lining up to make is even more so with the "soak those greedy corporations" punitive taxes. That's why your cable bill is what it is.

US citizens pay more taxes than corporations (4, Informative)

RichMan (8097) | more than 4 years ago | (#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

Re:US citizens pay more taxes than corporations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395398)

Because those figures don't include the kickbacks and bribes, otherwise known as "lobbying," that companies pay to politicians directly.

Re:US citizens pay more taxes than corporations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395682)

Because those figures don't include the kickbacks and bribes, otherwise known as "lobbying," that companies pay to politicians directly.

Don't forget unions.

Or activist and issue groups.

Or anyone else exercising their Constitutional right to participate in government.

Re:US citizens pay more taxes than corporations (5, Insightful)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395576)

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.

Re:US citizens pay more taxes than corporations (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395622)

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.

Re:US citizens pay more taxes than corporations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395640)

Because Corporations fund the legislators.

I think you'll find the people pay senators and congressmen a lot less than businesses do.

Re:US citizens pay more taxes than corporations (1)

drumcat (1659893) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395642)

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:US citizens pay more taxes than corporations (3, Insightful)

MrHyd3 (19709) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395654)

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 businesses - YOU pay more. How does taxing a business help any individual? It doesn't....typical class warfare tactic and ignorant emotional people who put politicians there.

This applies to all political parties...

Re:US citizens pay more taxes than corporations (3, Interesting)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395762)

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 the top rates. Democrats are especially clumsy at handling this because (1) they're just as complicit as Republicans in accepting corporate money-- though the corps are starting to abandon them; (2) Democrats, unlike Republicans, have never had a cohesive tax message (it is hard to beat "NO MOAR TAXES!"), and can get themselves in very hot water if they screw up planning or communication (case in point: Japanese PM Kan talking about raising the VAT in the fortnight before the Councilors' election; yes, he's Japanese, but the DPJ is largely cut from the same ideological cloth as the Third Way Democrats in the USA).

Furthermore, the idea that individuals pay more than corporations can be a bit misleading, as there are many more individuals than corporations, and corporations pay a larger amount per return (at least, those who are honest). Still, the question of why government does the bidding of corporations when ordinary Joes pay more into the system is a valid one. This isn't a refutation of this part of your argument, by the way-- this is essentially what a pro-business conservative/libertarian would bring up.

Little hint, Senator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395344)

This is not something to be proud of.

Business pays the taxes? (3, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395352)

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!

Re:Business pays the taxes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395520)

And, where do citizens get their money? From businesses. Aren't circles fun?

My Hero (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395354)

David Hoyle is my hero.

At least he's consistent (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:At least he's consistent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395600)

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

Well then. Let's just make it a bit cheaper on the rest of us and cut out the middlemen here. It's not like we'd see that much of a difference.

(Note: I'm being sarcastic)

Re:At least he's consistent (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395726)

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.)

Re:At least he's consistent (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395862)

This. I'm always amused/disappointed at the dichotomous view that Third Way("Centrist")/Blue Dog Democrats and Republicans have of government vs. private enterprise. On the one hand, government is so big and powerful they'll crush private competitors (yeah, great job the USPS is doing crushing UPS and FedEx. /sarcasm); on the other hand, government is so clumsy and incompetent they'll screw up anything they touch (if that were the case, wouldn't we be in default by 2004?).

Bottom line is, every organization, be it a subsidiary of a corporation or a government-appointed body, is prone to corruption and greed given a certain threshold of power and money allocated to it. It is therefore the responsibility of the people to keep a close eye on such organizations, that they are using their power and funds for the intended purposes, and hold them accountable if they do not. The past decade demonstrates that we all failed in this regard, and therefore it is imperative that we step up efforts. The GAO has been outstanding in this regard, so IMO it falls to us to demand better journalism, better representation, and better policy.

So is he against municip run power and gas too ? (3, Interesting)

SirGeek (120712) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395400)

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:So is he against municip run power and gas too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395680)

Can't make a decision until we learn if/what subsidies are being paid to the municipal power arm.

What's new? (4, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

For those playing "Guess the Party" (2, Insightful)

DaHat (247651) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395408)

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.

Re:For those playing "Guess the Party" (5, Informative)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:For those playing "Guess the Party" (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395866)

What's the non-malicious reason his party affiliation isn't mentioned in the article? And for the general pattern of mentioning that it's a Republican if he done wrong, but not say he's a Democrat if he done wrong?

They're *all* crooks (2, Insightful)

tekrat (242117) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395732)

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 process.

And they will do or say whatever it takes to "get in", they will promise you the world, hawk wedge issues, and destroy their opponent, all so that they can get in and take as much of the pie as they can get their hands on. It's all a power game.

None of it is about doing anything for the American People.

For those playing "people are dumb automatons" (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395740)

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

Re:For those playing "Guess the Party" (1)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395750)

A North Carolina Democrat is almost duty-bound to be a corrupt fuckstick. It comes from the 5-decade monopoly they've had in state political power. I'm as liberal as they come, but voted for McCrory (the R candidate in the last Gubernatorial election here) because Bev Purdue is a product of the NC Democratic party, and has already shown herself to be very much in the party mold of corrupt politicians. This is a state that could use some non-R, non-D blood in its politics.

Re:For those playing "Guess the Party" (4, Insightful)

rbrander (73222) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395774)

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 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395414)

"I've carried more water than Gunga Din for the business community — the people who pay for my reelection campaign."

Stop the presses! (1)

wholestrawpenny (1809456) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395460)

You mean a business doesn't want itself legislated out of existence?

Contradiction (5, Insightful)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Contradiction (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395560)

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:Contradiction (1, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395746)

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 (1)

TheFlamingoKing (603674) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395756)

There's a limit. The municipality can offer 100% "free" service to users by taxing people to pay for it. The private corporation is dependent on people paying for service - they cannot use force to take money from people in order to pay for it.

Re:Contradiction (1)

rwv (1636355) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395768)

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 (Cable or FiOS?). I think Congress understands that they don't know what's best. Regional monopolies? Municipal Broadband? Free competition? It's possible that one clear "winner" would emerge if pure private competition were allowed, and it's possible that this "winner" would not be the company which us geeks would prefer. At the very least, we should be glad that Congress is preventing a single company with truly evil practices from taking control of the market.

My guess is that Congress will legislate Net Neutrality in the near future, and then real Internet Service Regulation will begin in the next decade. That would include price controls. If we're lucky, it will also hopefully mandate a level of "free" service (probably 1Mbps) so people who ditch their TVs can get local broadcasting, government information, communication services, and emergency notifications w/o a monthly bill.

Only one problem with his position (5, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395478)

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).

Businesses Pay Taxes? (4, Interesting)

tekrat (242117) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395500)

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!

Re:Businesses Pay Taxes? (1)

hierofalcon (1233282) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395766)

Because the respective prices those corporations would charge to maintain the same profit margin would go up, multiplied countless times as their products get used and reused in creating final end consumer products. Consumers would end up paying much more in cost of goods than they would if the personal tax rates were just adjusted up and the illusion of corporate taxes and outright giveaways in terms of tax credits were simply eliminated.

How many jobs would be returned to the US if we made the US a corporate tax haven and instituted some sane liability laws?

Re:Businesses Pay Taxes? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395846)

How many jobs would be returned to the US if we made the US a corporate tax haven and instituted some sane liability laws?

Lots, obviously, but the average voter would never support eliminating taxes on EVIL CORPORATIONS if it meant that their personal tax rates increased, even if it also meant that the price they paid for goods was reduced because corporations no longer had to offload their taxes onto the cost of their products.

So it would be sane and benefiical, but politically impossible without a catastrophic crisis to force economic change.

For those who are interested... (4, Informative)

moeluv (1785142) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:For those who are interested... (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395806)

I was going to write him and let him know that I am going to happily contribute to his competition's campaign in the next election (despite the fact that I do not live in NC), but he's supposedly retiring [newsobserver.com] after his current term anyway.

Re:For those who are interested... (3, Informative)

PacketShaper (917017) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395856)

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

Politicians are not serving you (2, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395566)

Politicians serve the money.

America has died.

You probably voted for it, too.

Re:Politicians are not serving you (1)

Rivalz (1431453) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395772)

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.

Where in the 1st Amendment do you have a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395578)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Should all the people who contributed to the process that led to the passage of health care reform also be tarred with the same brush being weilded here?

Seems to me the process worked here.

Heck, the reason everyone tries to influence different parts of the US government is because of all the power it's accumulated over the years. If we keep giving the government more and more power, there will be more and more incentive for EVERYONE to try and influence that government.

Usual Slashdot Spin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395628)

Notice how when a Democrat is accused of something less than honest, the story summary conveniently excludes party affiliation. However if a Republican is implicated, you'll be sure to see "Republican Senator So-And-So" in the summary. Cause you know how only Republicans are corrupted by "big business"

typo (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395652)

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

fixed it for you

Yay for Shills! (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395722)

, '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.

The lesser of two evils (3, Insightful)

Kristian T. (3958) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

5Mbs Service in town of 300 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33395764)

Check out Saskatchewan. With our government owned Telco we are able to reinvest the money made into infrastucture. We have high speed available in 282 communities. My home town (over 100km away from any city) of less than three hundred has 5Mbs service for around $45/mnth (without bundling) and in the same area people out of town have access to 2Mbs wireless internet for $60/mnth.

Right now they are working on upgrading their cellular network to 3G across the province. With a population of just over 1 million that is pretty impressive.

Hmmm.. "fair" (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#33395812)

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

Ya, like with health insurance. Wait. Why isn't it "fair" again?

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