July 28, 2008
Remember when it was introduced in the Legislature and almost every lobbyist in town got into the battle? They cleverly called it "The Cable Competition bill." Sounded good--like Right to Work; Right to Life. But now we see what opponents warned about. Charter, under the law, no longer negotiates with municipalities because they have a contract with the state. That means an end to local subsidies and local input.
Result? Madison's WYOU Channel 4, will lose most of its funding and so will the Madison City channel. Not only that, instead of channel 4 and channel 12, they will be moved to the back of the bus--near the end of free cable. It'll be 900 something.
Another obstacle to transparency in government is placed in the path. While many might feel that City Council and County Board meetings are boring, we should have the choice to see and listen. ("Boring" is the stuff of democracy.) And, fewer opportunities for budding video producers to shine. All in all, a very bad development. "Cable Competition" my backside!
Judy Robson has filed a complaint with the Department of Consumer Protection. It may well be wishful thinking, but at least she is trying.
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