Government & Politics

July 25, 2014

Comcast cancels promotional event at Kansas senator’s home

The cable company said it ditched plans to use the home of Sen. Julia Lynn of Olathe to promote its services because it didn’t want questions about the legislator’s involvement to be distracting.

Comcast has canceled an event promoting its services at the home of Kansas Sen. Julia Lynn of Olathe.

The cable company announced the open house in a news release this week that paired the legislator and promotional language about its products.

That release opens with the words “Kansas State Senator Julia Lynn” and refers to the lawmaker throughout as “Senator Lynn” as it talks about its home security service.

“We can control everything … remotely from our iPhone or iPad, even on the Senate floor!” Lynn says in the release.

After queries from The Star about endorsing a commercial service in her role as an elected official, Comcast officials decided to move the event to another customer’s home.

“There is no reason there’s any questioning about this,” Comcast spokeswoman Mary Beth Schubert said.

Schubert said Comcast didn’t provide Lynn with any products, equipment or services for free.

Earlier this year, a Senate committee that Lynn chairs introduced a bill to keep cities from starting their own TV or broadband services — a regulation that would affect the cable industry.

Lynn stressed that she only allowed the bill to be introduced. It was not her bill, she said. The measure also died in her committee after it sparked public complaints.

Lynn said she thought the Comcast demonstration would give her a better understanding of how security technology works.

“If there is a venue to do that as a state senator, what’s the problem with that?” she said.

Lynn is not alone in promoting cablelike services in the Kansas City area.

Former Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan., Unified Government mayor Joe Reardon and Mayor Sly James of Kansas City have pitched the benefits of Google Fiber, a competitor to other area telecommunications companies.

The mayors said they were promoting game-changing technology and supporting a company that made a big investment in their cities.

To reach Brad Cooper, call 816-234-7724 or send email to bcooper@kcstar.com.

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