Nice and succinct from the IND blog:
Percent of District 9 voters who sent William Theriot to the City-Parish Council in November 2007. The district had 18,452 registered voters, with 17.9 percent (or 3,307) going to the polls; of those voting, 1,773 or 54 percent went for Theriot.
Why is this significant? Because Theriot loves to question voters’ mandate for LUS Fiber, pointing out as recently as the Sept. 27 council meeting that it was “62 percent of the 18 percent that showed up to vote.” Applying that logic to Theriot’s district, 11.16 percent of city voters in Lafayette approved LUS Fiber, while fewer than 10 percent of District 9 voters sent him into office. Now that, Mr. Theriot, is anything but a mandate.
Theriot, the incumbent in the District 9 Councillors race, has long been hostile to LUS Fiber and is fond of saying that the overwhelming 62% to 38% victory for fiber after a long and bitter campaign was waged against it by the incumbent corporations wasn’t really the last word on “the people’s” judgment of the matter because the numbers didn’t add up to an absolute majority of all the people who could possibly have voted.
Elections go to those who care to show up and exercise their rights. That’s the basic democratic principle and always has been. Theriot’s (and others’) game-playing with this has always left a bitter taste in the mouth…so discovering that Theriot is less legitimate (by his own standards) than the fiber he criticizes in this way underlines just how hypocritical this line of attack is and always was.
And make no mistake, this line of reasoning—one which continues to be touted by anti-fiber crowd—has always been the height of hypocrisy. The nay-sayers wanted to force a vote on the rest of us because they, Cox, and BellSouth thought they could easily use the money and power of the huge corporations to win in the referendum. They failed, miserably, to convince the community that they were right. A vote was what what they claimed to have wanted and we can be certain that they’d have been happy to have said “the people have spoken” if they’d won. It was always hypocritical for Fiber 411 and those that said Lafayette couldn’t succeed and shouldn’t try to turn around and decide the vote they claimed to want so badly was illegitimate because they lost.
Here’s the real kicker: William Theriot shouldn’t be voting on anything to do with any of the LUS’ utilities anyway. He doesn’t represent any significant portion of the city. His ideological grandstanding over the LUS rate hikes and his snipping on fiber is a significant part of what broke the longstanding “fair-play” agreement between Lafayette Councilmen and the rest of the parish Councillors that the full council would endorse what a majority of the city Councillors thought was best when voting on purely city issues.
I wrote a detailed post on this back when it was all going down back in March of 2010.
His obstinacy—and to a slightly lesser degree, Councilor Bellard’s—is the most immediate reason that we are faced with a deconsolidation vote on October 22nd. So if you are in Mr. Theriot’s district and have discovered that you might suffer if the city of Lafayette withdrew from the current arrangement and became its own city again then you have only to look to your own councilman for the proximate reason those within the city don’t think that the present arrangement can be trusted.