Money makes the difference when it comes to legislation deregulating the cable TV industry in Wisconsin.
Madison Telecommunications Professor Barry Orton says "money didn't talk, it screamed" when it came to getting the bill passed in the state Legislature. He says it echoes of the pay for play days that most people hoped were over. Orton says AT&T, the company pushing for the bill, got almost everything it wanted.
AT&T spent hundreds of thousands of dollars pushing for the bill. Both the state Senate and Assembly have each passed versions of the bill, and a final version is expected to be acted on in the coming month. Orton says it will be sent to Governor Doyle, who he expects to sign it.
Orton has been a major critic of the legislation since it was introduced, saying it deregulates the cable industry and takes away consumer protections.