Heads up, another push poll is here.

Phones are ringing in Wilson. There’s a new poll about HB 1252 that is apparently designed with leading questions about municipal broadband. It includes questions that, as a friend put it, can’t possibly be answered correctly without siding with certain cable and or telco providers.

I’m guessing a couple of the industry execs will use it this week to convince lawmakers that Wilson citizens don’t need their system.

The same poll, or a similar one, has also popped up in Salibury. This weekend, several people there reported getting phone polls that led them to the same conclusion about their new network. Salisbury is network now that is similar to Wilson’s.

One poll. Two cities. One intended result.

The bill is expected to come up this Wednesday in the Public Utilities Committee.

15 Responses

  1. I’m sure you’re aware, but in case you’re not, in addition to this poll, News 14 Carolina – owned by Time Warner – is being used to spew one-sided Time Warner propaganda.

    For instance:

    Note the deceptively worded question by the Time Warner guy in the 2nd clip “Is it fair for a city to tax a company, then use that tax to compete with the same company?”

    Who wants to bet this push poll has that question on it?

  2. These clips are part of our ongoing coverage of this issue on http://www.stopthecap.com. Don’t let the clips alone make you think they are the last word on this issue. We’re taking them apart when needed.

    News 14 Carolina is the Pravda of the Carolinas. We’ve been taking their propaganda reports apart for the last two weeks.

  3. I got a call to answer survey questions about Internet service Monday, April 27, but didn’t because I was fixing dinner. They said they would call back but didn’t. I live in Asheville.

  4. Brian:

    As one that has been down this push poll & misinformation path too, I thought I’d provide some links to similar misbehaviour by SBC & Comcast from 2003 in our neck of the woods.



    and my personal favorite:


    Keep hammering away. You are doing the right thing for your community & state.


    Pete Collins
    I.T. Manager
    City of Geneva, Illinois

  5. Read about this on Slashdot, and traced the story back to your blog. Good luck in this David & Goliath fight for what’s fair!

    Since this story is getting more attention and can be read by random folks such as myself, have you considered setting up a site for donations?

    Again, good luck!

  6. Saw this on slashdot:

    TWC and the like have absolutely no right to complain. The fact that government can out-compete a private enterprise means that private enterprise has not done it’s job. Under no circumstances should they be allowed to stifle any competition, ever.

  7. Is it possible to get some concrete examples of the questions being asked in this push poll? It makes explaining just how desperate and outrageous the established ISPs are much easier for people who aren’t following this.

  8. In several places where this is being reported, I am noticing confusion over the definition of “push poll“.

    A push poll is not a poll – it is propaganda in the form of a question.

    In a push poll, the answers to the questions are irrelevant and those responsible for it don’t really care how the questions are answered. The purpose is to influence opinion or spread false information by phrasing the questions in a deceptive manner.

    For example:

    “Would knowing that Candidate John Doe has misused tax revenues to purchase a new Ferarri every year make you less likely to vote for him?”

  9. I am not surprised by these underhanded tactics – typical big business in America, if you can’t compete, stoop to what ever level possible (legal or illegal) to maintain the status quo.

    Community owned broadband is a GOOD thing. We might finally catch up with those evil socialist counties like Sweden and North Korea!

    I hope these bills don’t pass, and we see more and more project Greenlights across America.

  10. David vs Goliath? Really?? Is anything bigger than gov’t???

    Also folks, do any of you work for small mid size businesses? There are a lot of independent ISP’s who resell Embarq DSL (NCISP, Carolina Connections, etc..) Wilson is competing with them too!!! Shouldn’t it be an even playing field?

    Should Wilson next open a oil, lube shop next to their insurance company? Do you not see the slippery slope. Gov’t can always do it for cheaper when they constantly raise taxes on everything. Think about it!

    • Terry,

      This is state government vs. local government.

      I’m sure that at one time there were well diggers who protested cities providing water systems, too.

      • Brian,

        I am sure the same could be said about electricities too? That was a great idea that is paying off. All residents love that coop. I am sure a pretty picture of roses was painted back then as well!

  11. Additional regulations after TMI pushed up the cost of finishing the power plant near Apex.

    Those regulations were necessary. These are not.

  12. More information about the push polls in today’s Salisbury Post.


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