Armey Lobbies to Lose Franchise Regs

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Former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey is jumping in to help telephone companies escape local cable franchise rules, launching a campaign titled “Choose Your Cable."

Through his political organization, Freedomworks, Armey plans to take out advocacy ads and push Congress to “permit local choice in cable and video programming by eliminating outdated franchising regulations.”

That matches the agenda of telcos Verizon and SBC Communications, which are trying to get into the video business but don’t want to be forced to secure a different franchise from hundreds of cities and towns.
A Web site, chooseyourcable.com, is scheduled to go live Tuesday and the group plans advertising plus “policymaker and media outreach” and an “extensive grassroots mobilization.”
A spokesman for Freedomworks would not say what kind of financial backing, if any, the organization gets from telephone companies.

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