Friday, January 14, 2005

Show Them the Money!

It’s so irritating to work a job and then find out your colleague, who is doing the same job, is getting paid more than you. It’s more than irritating, it’s a gosh darn slap in the face!

That’s how Eric Koch and Jack Lutz of Indiana must feel. These two fine, upstanding Republicans are doing a stellar job of trying to kill local municipal attempts to roll out broadband services with their introduction of Indiana House Bill 1148. Broadband Reports says the bill is “jam packed with provisions ensuring community efforts to improve themselves will die slow and painful legal deaths.”

Yet, it is their Democratic fellow traveler and co-sponsor who is taking home the checks from SBC. Even though he’s only one third of the team, Edmund Mahern reports that in 2004 he received four times more in contributions from SBC than Lutz and almost six times more than Koch.

What could possibly make Mahern such a sweetheart of the telecom industry? He even gets contributions from such civic-minded organizations as the Verizon Good Government Club and the Sprint Good Government Club. It’s not that he’s any better looking than the other two, in fact my money would be on Koch in the looks department (taller, more robust). It’s just got to be Mahern’s positive bi-partisan spirit that helps him rake in the dough.

“I believe most Hoosiers want their elected officials to work in a bipartisan manner to solve problems, rather than waste precious time fighting along party lines. That is why I always have tried to bring both sides together to accomplish the tasks that are important to my constituents," says Ed.

So he’s brought Republicans to the table to accomplish what the industry could not achieve on its own, that being to squash broadband deployment whenever it is not in their economic interests. Good job Ed!

And who says Democrats are not friends of big business?

If I were Koch and Lutz I’d be pretty steamed. After all, their names are on that fine piece of legislation too and they’re being short-changed by SBC despite all their hard work. It’s a terrible feeling to be so unappreciated and if I were Koch or Lutz, I’d give SBC an ultimatum, either SBC ponies up and does what is right, or they just might have to withdraw their support.

Meanwhile, thumbs up to Mahern for knowing how to work the system! At this rate I’d say he’s due for the Verizon Good Government Club Man of the Year Award.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope Mahern did not end up with one of those crippled Bluetooth phones from Verizon (manufactured by Motorola but crippled by the carrier).