Absentee Senator on Technology

I’ll be voting sometime during the next week, having retrieved my absentee ballot yesterday at the Registrar of Voters’ office in San Jose. I take the franchise seriously. You should, too. End of civic sermon.

The polls show Dianne Feinstein leading her Republican challenger, Tom Campbell, in the race for Senate. People apparently like the incumbent’s views on a lot of issues.

But when it comes to technology this one is no contest. Cambell understands the issues. Feinstein plainly does not.

The difference is most apparent when you look at the two candidates’ Web sites. Cambell discusses several key technology issues on his site with clarity and, even if you don’t agree with what he says, apparent conviction. Feinstein’s site, conversely, barely mentions technology.

The incumbent, moreover, has been actively hostile on issues that people who care about technology consider important. She’s repeatedly indicated her willingness to suspend fundamental civil liberties in pursuit of speech on the Internet if she dislikes that speech — an astonishing position for any politician who claims to understand why we have a Bill of Rights. She’s supported restrictive encryption policies. Campbell has been much more sensible.

Campbell also spoke out on one of the key issues of the past few years when he voices support for the antitrust suit against Microsoft. I don’t recall Feinstein ever opening her mouth on this.

There are other reasons to consider Campbell. He’s a voice of reason on the failed drug war, urging treatment instead of filling jails with drug users. Feinstein is for more and more and more of the same old stuff — a drug war that does more to corrupt and harm our society than we seem to understand.

An interesting race.

New Economy Firms Less Forthcoming

Mercury News: Annual Reports Skimpier . “This is an indictment of institutional investors’ judgment over the last couple of years,” said Shelly Taylor, publisher of the study.

Not to mention the Wall Street’s greed…

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