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The root of this story lies in proposed Louisiana House Bill 142. Democratic Louisiana State Representative Sam Jones has proposed this Bill in order to prohibit public entities from purchasing or selling materials which contain certain sexually explicit conduct (a.k.a. Hardcore Porn). A clear definition of “Public Entity” would rationally follow here, but such a thing seems to be conveniently hard to define. The House of Representatives voted 92-3 in favor of HB142, but a curious amendment added in the Senate caused Sam Jones to reject it before further approval.
Mike Michot, senior Republican member of the Louisiana State Senate, attached the amendment stating HB142 “shall not apply to a local governing authority that provides covered services pursuant to the Local Government Fair Competition Act.” An addition which would only apply to one such public entity in Lafayette, Louisiana, a cable provider named LUS Fiber. The amendment would allow LUS Fiber to continue offering it’s adult pay-per-view materials, via it’s umbrella cable service, under the stipulation that other private cable providers would not be affected by HB142. Thus, LUS Fiber is claiming the original Bill would put them at a disadvantage under the Local Government Fair Competition Act (LGFCA).
What makes this more interesting than it sounds, is the role LUS Fiber played in the original installation of the LGFCA.
“In 2004, the city announced its proposal for a municipal fiber network providing broadband internet, cable tv telephone services to the City of Lafayette. 70 percent of residents, and 80 percent of businesses responded positively to a market survey conducted by LUS. This was not a scientific poll. The questions asked and the raw results of the telephone poll were requested by interested parties in the public but were never released. The announcement of the project came within 4 months of Durel’s inauguration, just one day after the closing of submission of new bills in the state legislature. This would presumably prevent a challenge in the state legislature by the incumbent phone and cable provider, as there are many laws on the books regulating phone and cable TV providers, but no laws regulating a local municipality entering such business sectors.” – Wikipedia.com
Republican Mayor of Lafayette, Louisiana, Joey Durel, opposed letting LUS compete within the private sector in 2003.