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Rep. Ty Harrell Bails On His Own Bill; Consents to Bury It in “Study Committee”

Phillip Dampier May 6, 2009 Community Networks, Public Policy & Gov't 4 Comments

j0189616Rep. Ty Harrell, who we’ve been lobbying very hard to get to drop a nasty anti-consumer bill designed to stop municipal broadband, has accepted that the matter requires considerable additional review, and HB 1252 has been buried for the year in a “study committee” to “review” its impact.

In North Carolina politics, that usually means an elected official waded too far out in deep water and needs a lifesaver, and the “bill needs further study” approach is a great way to survive an angry constituent bees nest.  The “study committee” will review the legality of the measure and consider the issue before bringing a report back to the House and Senate for consideration, but a number of pieces of legislation that end up going this route are never heard from again.

We’ve received reports the hearing room was packed with people.  Among the “pro-HB1252” audience were people supporting the astroturfing “Americans for Prosperity,” a pro-corporate group that pelted North Carolina residents with harassing recorded calls earlier this week.  The “anti-HB1252” audience was made up of consumers sent by StoptheCap! and Jay Ovittore’s Facebook group fighting Time Warner Cable on various fronts in his home state, as well as representatives from municipalities, advocates for fiber network development, and supporters who learned about the event from Free Press.

This represents our second pro-consumer victory in less than a month against big cable and telco companies.  Thank you to everyone who made calls, sent e-mail, lobbied their elected officials, and attended today’s event.  To those that supported this nonsense in the first place, unless we note an acknowledgment of the mistakes made in supporting this anti-consumer nightmare, this will be an issue we’ll be reminding voters of come next election day.  This remains a fundamental consumer issue, and who stood with and against consumers will need to be revisited.

Bad weather across the state is leading in the news today across the region, but we’ll have further developments on this story later today.

Currently there are 4 comments on this Article:

  1. Chris says:

    Yes! This makes me so happy. By the way, this is what we should be doing here in the US: http://thirdpipe.com/2009/04/24/estonia-has-been-100-connected-for-a-year-next-100mbps/?hai

    • meghan says:

      Congrats to N. Carolina for their hard work!

      On another note, does anyone else think that HB 1252 sound like the type of bird/swine flu strain?

  2. jr says:

    The grassroots can accomplish anything if they try hard enough

  3. Rob says:

    Keep fighting. This is just one small victory in many battles that will follow. The money Time Warner, Verizon, and AT&T are willing to spend on our politicians to support them is astounding. Billions of dollars are at stake. These huge corporations only care about keeping their shareholders happy.

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