State Franchising Hearing On; Grassroots Cable Coalition Off

Remember that PA House Policy Committee hearing on “cable competition” (read: state franchising)? I sent my statement to the committee staff on Monday and got this response from one of the staffers:

    Thank you for the written testimony. Good News; the hearing is now scheduled for Tuesday, April 18. It will begin at 1:00 p.m. in Room 140, Main Capitol Building.

    On behalf of Chairman Civera and the Committee, thank you for agreeing to participate. You are scheduled to testify at 1:05 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18. Please confirm your ability to testify.

Followed five minutes later by another email, saying:

    Please accept my apologies. I spoke out of school. With all of the hearing schedule changes, I misunderstood the hearing to be rescheduled with the same line-up. Please disregard my previous email. I will be sure to include your written testimony in the official transcript. I will also distribute your testimony at the hearing.

She clarified for me that we indeed had been bumped from the schedule: “Unfortunately, the agenda quickly filled.” I love when people use the passive voice to hide their culpability. The agenda was already full when we were on it two weeks ago. Then she or one of her bosses decided to change the agenda and take us off of it. Because of what we wrote? Because too many corporate lobbyists wanted in on the hearing?

I’m still trying to get a copy of the agenda to see who is scheduled to speak. If I get it in time, I’ll prepare another annotated speakers list, as I did for the State Senate hearing in November on the muni-broadband restrictions in Act 183.


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