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Armey Claims Florida Franchise Victory

Freedomworks, a lobby for smaller government and lower taxes backed by Forbes CEO Steve Forbes, is praising the Florida legislature for passing the Consumer Choice Act 117-2 this week, and giving itself a pat on the back too.

The bill essentially establishes a statewide franchising system and makes it available to both new entrants like telephone comapnies and to incumbent cable operators.

Freedomworks, headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, says it had plenty of boots on the ground to push the bill, including a phone, e-mail and legislative facetime campaign.

Telephone companies have been pushing for statewide franchise reform. They failed to push through a national franchise reform bill in Congress, but the FCC stepped in to loosen franchise restrictions as part of an onoing inquiry into whether the local franchise process was an impediment to the rollout of telco competition to cable.