Judge Ware Dismisses 2nd Lawsuit against LUS

BellSouth, Cox, and allies have suffered another defeat in their attempt to prevent the formation of a competing telecommunications utility by LUS. Judge Ware dismissed the lawsuit saying, essentially, that Conque had already ruled on it. Note that Ware does not “buy” the idea that this lawsuit is independent of the one that BellSouth filed in its own name. Stories on the two lawsuits have repeatedly noted the similarity between the legal rationale behind the two lawsuits, though this second one was cast as a class action suit in the name of the two local residents

Fifteenth Judicial District Judge Bradford Ware today dismissed a lawsuit by Elizabeth Naquin and others that, in part, challenged the Lafayette Utilities System fiber optics bond ordinance.

“This is another ruling in favor of the citizens of Lafayette,” said LUS Director Terry Huval.

In dismissing the lawsuit, Ware said state law provides that legal objections to bond ordinances can be heard only once.

Arguments about the LUS bond ordinance were heard by 15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque on Nov. 3 in a lawsuit filed by BellSouth and joined by Elizabeth Naquin and others.

Conque ruled in favor of LUS, which wants to extend fiber optics lines throughout the city and offer Internet, TV and telephone service in competition with companies including BellSouth.

Let’s see how many timest these guys have been turned back in their attempts to block municipal competition: 1) Attempt to outlaw at the state legislature, 2) “for” vote of the city council, 3) for vote OF THE PEOPLE, 4) lost at the Public Service Commission, 5) lost again at the PSC, 6) failed in lawsuit, 7) failed at second lawsuit.

What’s likely next? Appeals: legal appeal of PSC rulings and appeals of these latest two lawsuits. Trouble with appeals is that you’ve already demonstrated that your case is weak. Else you wouldn’t need an appeal. Most appeals fail.

Maybe it’s time for the corporations to fight fair and simply try to compete. All they are accomplishing now is to continue to harden public opinion against them–and while being thought a good citizen and a good loser may not motivate them at least they ought to worry about keeping the anti-incumbent feeling fresh. If people are still actively angry at them and convinced that they don’t play fair that will translate pretty directly into lost buisiness when LUS offers services. They have a chance to let the people of Lafayette forget how they act–but not as long as they are still acting that way.

All they’d really have to do to compete is lower their prices. (Trouble is, that might give other towns the idea that they need a little competition too. …And they do.)

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