NC State Senator Admits Broadband Companies Wrote His Bill & Says He 'Carries Water' For Companies

from the wow dept

Ah, North Carolina. A year and a half ago, we wrote about an attempt by the North Carolina state legislature to pass an anti-municipal broadband bill in the state. These bills have become somewhat common. Basically, cities that feel that giant broadband companies aren't providing quality services often decide to build their own local offering. Since broadband is often a monopoly or a duopoly of critical infrastructure, having a local community create another option makes tremendous sense, when done right (though, admittedly, many don't do it well). Yet, the big broadband players tend to spend tons of money fighting these community competitors, rather than actually providing better/faster services.

What was most interesting about the situation in North Carolina, however, was how blatant state politicians were in highlighting that it was really the broadband companies who were calling the shots. In our story from April of 2009, it was noted that when the state representatives sponsoring the bill were asked questions about it during a committee hearing, they asked Time Warner employees to answer for them. Think about that for a second. The sponsors of the bill couldn't answer the questions, so they asked industry folks to answer instead. We had thought that was about as blatant as a politician could be in admitting that the bill was actually written by the industry and that the politicians didn't even understand what they were sponsoring.

However, now it appears that a North Carolina state Senator may have taken that even further. Ars Technica points us to a local news report by WCNC, who asked bill sponsor Senator David Hoyle if the bill was written by cable companies:
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."
That's going to look great on a campaign poster from a competitor in a future election. While none of this is surprising -- the fact that lobbyists write the bills and politicians simply shuffle them forward -- is nothing new, it is surprising to see a politician so willing to admit it. Perhaps he forgets that it's not just the companies who pay taxes (and, for the most part, these big companies are really good at avoiding taxes), but the citizens of the state who vote for him (or not) who pay taxes as well. Flat out stating that he's "carried more water than Gunga Din for the business community," may make the citizens wonder whether he was elected to represent companies like Time Warner (not based in North Carolina) or the actual citizens who elected him.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    ofb2632 (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 10:13am

    I live in Grifton Nc. The fastest internet we have here is 3 megs. That is in the best of conditions in the middle of the night.

    We have complained often and the most honest answer we got was that it is not worth the time or money to improve the lines because there is no competition.

     

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  2.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 10:22am

    "That's going to look great on a campaign poster from a competitor in a future election..."

    That's true for us. But there are plenty of right wing voters out there who think that the politicians should be helping businesses. Politicians run (and win) on pro-businessmen platforms all the time.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 10:35am

    Companies, by definition cannot pay taxes, owners, shareholders, employees and customers pay taxes. The business is just the government middle man.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 10:38am

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

    This moron is forgetting the residents to pay property taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes, annual car taxes (paying tax on the same vehicle multiple times, for some reason. As if paying the sales tax at time of purchase wasn't enough for these greedy mongrels).

    I live in NC. Guess who I won't be voting! And guess who I'm going to tell my wife, her family and everyone else that I can about this morons corporate ball cupping and total disregard for individuals. That's right, David Hoyle! Have fun not getting elected, jerkoff!!

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 10:39am

    $

    Government by the dollar and for the dollar.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 10:45am

    I once called the office of an state senator to ask about nonsensical contradictions in a recently-passed labor bill that had not yet been signed by the governor. After putting me on hold for a bit, the guy on the phone told me to call the union (I think it as AFL-CIO, but not sure), since they were the ones that wrote the bill.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 10:47am

    Re:

    "Companies, by definition cannot pay taxes"

    Um...I'm not sure what definitions you're looking at, but that's definitely not true for "c corporations" (as opposed to "s corporations" or LLCs).

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 10:57am

    Duly Noted on Wikipedia

    And look, now it's for the whole world to see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunga_Din#Other_usage_of_the_phrase

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 11:20am

    In retrospect, this will make him look business friendly to poor and unemployed Teabaggers , which is what they are looking for.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Justin, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 11:20am

    Yeah to he11 with business

    Screw businesses and all of the jobs they create, and the people that actually want to work for a living. Lets pass some legislation to put big oil, big pharma and the internet companies out of business.

    Look folks, I know you don't like to hear this but if the government were running your ISP A. It would be a monopoly still, except it would be the scariest ugliest kind imaginable. B. You would still be using dial up.

    Politicians like to tell you they can fix everything so that you'll vote for them. Honestly they fix nothing, because then where would their power be?

     

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  11.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 11:35am

    Re: $

    Shouldn't that be government of the dollar and for the dollar?

    Isn't that why Americans fought a small revolution starting in 1776? Some tax or other?

     

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  12.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 11:38am

    Re: Yeah to he11 with business

    Ahhh, you want to tell me that monopolies are any better?

    Let me point you to the Rev Adam Smith who penned a small volume called "The Wealth of Nations". I think, though I can't be sure, that it's out of copyright and in the public domain now.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 11:45am

    Re: Yeah to he11 with business

    If municipal ISPs would suck so much, maybe they wouldn't be much of a treat to the commercial ISPs, and don't need to be banned by state law.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 11:45am

    Senators might as well cut out those inconvenient middlemen, constituents, and just represent themselves as the Senators from Microsoft, from Nike, from Disney, and so forth.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    coldbrew, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Yeah to he11 with business

    I guess that's the main point of this post, this bill was anti-competitive, not just pro-corporate. I'm pro-competition and pro-corporation.

    I am anti-career-politician, however.

     

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  16.  
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    Shieldzee (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 12:38pm

    I live in Salisbury and we are very excited about getting this. Our ISP/Cable Company, Time Warner, provides pretty good service when it comes to phone and Internet, but the TV is horrible. HD shows freeze up, the screen pixelates, DVR's will stop recording in the middle of the show. Also, customer service is abysmal.

    It is important to note the the City Council lobbied both Time Warner and AT&T extensively to get them to improve their service, even offering to partner with them and both flatly turned the city down.

    One other interesting thing to note is that Hoyle is not seeking another term. Any ideas where he will end up? TWC, perhaps?

    http://jackbetts.blogspot.com/2009/12/sen-david-hoyle-retiring-at-end-of-term.html

     

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  17.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    Re:

    annual car taxes (paying tax on the same vehicle multiple times, for some reason

    I think the rationale is to help pay for the wear on the roads.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Yeah to he11 with business

    The point of the post is not "screw business", as you somehow made up out of thin air, but pointing out a politician admitting publicly that businesses and trade groups write our laws.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 1:46pm

    "NC State Senator Admits Broadband Companies Wrote His Bill & Says He 'Carries Water' For Companies"

    and the department of Homeland security works for Disney. What's your point?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:28pm

    It takes more than one senator to pass a piece of plutocratic legislation like Hoyle pushed. Hoyle just introduced the industry-written bill, which he couldn't even verbally defend. It took a commitee to bring it to vote. A state congress to vote it into law (I could be wrong, it could just be a commitee vote). It took an electorate to vote those monopoly-serving bums in there.

    Why Hoyle isn't in a jail cell in NC is the big question to me.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:56pm

    Re:

    Wow, close minded enough? The Senator is a DEMOCRAT. Why, even when the problem is a democrat, do people like you always blame the Right?

    As I have said many times before, the hate on the LEFT is the real problem in America. They divide and separate everyone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    CJL (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:59pm

    Re:

    Wow, close minded enough? The Senator is a DEMOCRAT. Why, even when the problem is a democrat, do people like you always blame the Right?

    As I have said many times before, the hate on the LEFT is the real problem in America. They divide and separate everyone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    CJL (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 3:03pm

    Re:

    First, your use of the term Teabagger reflects on the intelligence of your post. Secondly, to further back that up, nobody on the right will vote for this guy regardless because he is a Democrat.

    Just as you will not vote for a Republican, neither will anyone who is a Tea Party member vote for a Democrat.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Yeah to he11 with business

    Tell that to France, Japan, South Korea, they are all public and are all above America, what was that about dial up again?

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Yeah to he11 with business

    I'm anti-power-grabbing-monopolistic-corporations as much as I am anti-dumb-politicians-bought-by-corporations-and-special-interests-that-contradict-the-public-intere st.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Re:

    And I won't vote for either of them. Strict party members tend to be carbon copies of their corrupt, greedy opposition members.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    Brian (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Yeah to he11 with business

    So umm where do you get this whole thing about how creating competition will somehow harm the market? It will create MORE jobs, and the only jobs it will harm are of those who fail to adapt and improve, they will fall to the wayside. This is how competition has worked in the market since the dawn of time. If you can't compete you don't get to stay in business.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    GeneralEmergency (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 3:45pm

    A solution to this is a "By My Own Hand" amendment.

    I have thought for some time now a good way to combat both "Crony Capitalism" and 1500 page long legislative horror stories is to implement a "By My Own Hand" amendment to the constitution.

    By My Own Hand Amendment:
    All bills submitted to congress shall be drafted in longhand English on controlled and logged serially numbered paper sheets provided by Congress in ink with pens held only by the hands of elected and seated members of Congress. The drafting of said bills may only be performed within two single exit 150 square foot Drafting Chamber rooms accessible only to members of Congress. Each Drafting Chamber will be provided by, guarded and monitored by the respective Sergeant at Arms of each chamber of Congress. With the sole exception of doctor prescribed medical devices, the respective Sergeant at Arms shall not permit electronic or mechanical devices within each Congressional Chamber's Drafting Chamber.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 7:52pm

    Re: Re:

    As I have said many times before, the hate on the LEFT is the real problem in America.

    This is sarcasm, right? Please tell me you're making fun of the people who think that the REAL problem is the other guys, and THEIR side is great and does everything right. I have a singking feeling you're actually being serious though.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 7:59pm

    Why doesn't Google offer free dialup Internet via an 800 number?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    Chargone (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 1:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'd argue that the problem is the Right, personally...

    but that's just because I'm of the opinion that the USA doesn't actually have a viable and meaningful 'left' ...

    (certainly not if the polices they try to Export under a supposedly 'left' government are any indication...)

    a less bias and humourous take, however, agrees with you. the problem isn't that one side or the other sucks. it's that the people believe that the current sides are meaningful and that either are capable of NOT sucking... and that such broad and all encompassing 'sides' make a scrap of sense in the first place.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    Chargone (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 1:31am

    Re: Re:

    ... Come to New Zealand.

    we get to pay taxes on our taxes :S

    (there's a tax on petrol to cover wear and tear on the roads, but because of how the GST (a consumer tax) works, it includes the petrol tax in the price, so you get taxed on that too. and now they're introducing an emissions trading scheme, which amounts to an environment tax most of the time. the impression i get on that one listening to both sides is that it's a nice idea, terribly implemented.)

     

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  33.  
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    Chargone (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 1:33am

    Re: Re: $

    tax without representation...

    I'd say the vast majority of the populous is in that situation in most of the western world these days, in reality, no matter what the paper work says. some more than others and the USA seems particularly bad for a country that makes such a big deal about democracy...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 1:37am

    Re:

    i read a book like that...

    it was unpleasent.

    then again, most of the characters were slime and the main character was completely unaware that it could possibly be different.

    he was also about to con a bunch of people into helping colonize venus Before terraforming it (necessary. someone had to be there to do the work to get the terraforming Done). (hey, he worked for an advertising company. what do you expect?)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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