Senate debate over cable competition pitted Democrats on both sides against one another Thursday night. The split was apparent when Middleton Senator, Democrat Jon Erpenbach, suggested sending the bill back to committee. "I don't think the bill's quite ready yet," said Erpenbach. "If you're going to call it video competition, then guarantee my constituents the competition they deserve."
Green Bay Sen. Dave Hansen was among Democrats who supported the bill. "We have an opportunity either to stand still, or invest in our future," said Hansen. "To send it back for more discussion is going to delay it even more. It's going to delay the creation of good jobs, and most important, it's going to delay the competition that we need. Hansen said support for the video franchising bill was overwhelming in his urban district. But Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, representing rural western Wisconsin, argued consumers still have no idea what's contained in the controversial legislation: "do they know that AT&T can bill you for something you never ordered, and the only way you can get it off your bill is by calling them? Do you think that's what people want?" Erpenbach's motion failed, and the Senate approved the video franchising legislation on a bipartisan vote.