Emerging Tech

Distributing tech contribution money among U.S. presidential contenders


Presidential contributionsThe U.S. presidential election is still a year and a half away, but people around the globe are already starting to look closely at the potential candidates -- and contributions continue to flood in for the favorite contenders. For the tech industry alone, this race is crucial. An article by CNET Networks' News.com highlights what kind of contribution money is coming from computer programmers, engineers, and Web types. Read the article in its entirety: "In presidential race, who's getting techies' money?"  

Here's a snippet from the article:

"Based on these figures reflecting contributions in the first quarter of this year, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama seems to hold a slight edge over fellow Democrat Sen. Hillary Clinton among people living and working in Seattle and Silicon Valley. Among Republicans, Sen. Mitt Romney may have a slight lead in this area over former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Both Democratic candidates, however, have raised more money than their Republican counterparts."

Among the current senators vying for the White House, who do you think is the tech-friendliest? Join this discussion, and let us know.

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About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

48 comments
set me free
set me free

What exactly is new world order George Bush Sr. spoke of while in office? Did anyone notice how vague both candidates were in the last presidential election when asked about outsourcing jobs out of America. Too bad we cannot be Americans instead of Democrats and Republicans. I hope some of you will take the time to watch this video. It is rather long. Starts out with the age old question about our government's "right" to impose income tax on labor yet goes far deeper into the origins of the Federal Reserve. Americans have become servants to government rather than being served by government. Who knows, by simply touching the keyboard I may end up with some microchip buried deep in my butt tracking every move I make. If this is where technology is leading us I think I had rather not participate. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4312730277175242198&hl=en

Absolutely
Absolutely

"All time views: 2,243,474" I wonder how many are US citizens. My favorite excerpt: former Commissioner of IRS: "You're making silly arguments." Interviewer: "Why is the Supreme Court decision a silly argument?" former Commissioner of IRS: "Because it's inapplicable." As long as your hourly wages are taxed, you do not really own your time and you do not own yourself. "Income", as defined in the Constitution, may not include hourly wages or salaries.

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

For the tech industry alone, the upcoming U.S. presidential election is crucial. Among the current senators vying for the White House, who do you think is the tech-friendliest? Which presidential hopeful has your vote?

maxwell edison
maxwell edison

.....what would qualify as "tech friendly"? Please, Sonja, define what you mean by that. My definition of the MOST "tech friendly" atmosphere is one in which there is absolutely no government interference in any way whatsoever. Let the industry thrive (or fail) on its own merits and innovations. So which candidate would best accommodate that? Starting the process of elimination, that would certainly eliminate anyone with a big D behind his/her name; and it would probably eliminate everyone with a big R behind his/her name as well. Until we, the people, tell government to butt out of our lives, they will continue to attempt to mold us and our industry in their desired image. Why in the heck would anyone want that?

45GEEK
45GEEK

I agree that a problem has to be defined before it can have any hope of being solved...but I believe that politicians should have to encounter some of the everyday problems that we face before they can act on some fantasy they have as to what is better for us instead of the interference that they proclaim is help. They already have more money at their disposal than what should be allowed as they cannot seem to spend what they have responsibly. I wonder what would happen in this day and age in Boston harbour with the tax on tea. Instead the more corrupt they become the more divided we become and anything divided must eventually fall. So it doesn't make any difference if they are for the tech's or someone else if we are not all in it as americans, What will we Be??

Dick Epler
Dick Epler

Sometimes I think many of us techs are so involved in day-to-day details that we don't always appreciate the impact of American technology on world. Most of the world's problems (including global warming) are being solved by American technology without the need for legislation. How long that will continue is the question ... and one which will be decided, in part, by the next Presidential election. We don't just elect a Presidential "personality" with exciting new ideas. Along with a President, we elect all the people who brought him to power over several decades. Think back to Carter, Reagan, BushI, Clinton & BushII. All were captive to those who got them there. Most were so busy paying debts that they were unable to impliment their grand vision, with the possible exception of Ronald Reagan. A tech friendly Candidate/Administration means three things to me: 1) An understanding of the power of technology to collectively solve big problems; 2) Limiting the power of legislators to craft laws that inhibit the tech industry (including intellectual property lawyers); and 3) An understanding of the role SCOTUS plays in our constitutional system of government (the next President will likely appoint 3 Supreme Court Judges).

verd
verd

The person I would vote for has the following: Does NOT believe in Al's Global Warming Crap. It does NOT exist. Closes the boarder between us and Mexico and sends the illegals BACK and also follows the rest below: I see a lot of people yelling for peace but I have not heard of a plan for peace. So, here's one plan. 1. The US will apologize to the world for our "interference" in their affairs, past &present. You know, Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, Noriega, Milosovich and the rest of those good ol' boys: We will never "interfere" again. 2. We will withdraw our troops from all over the world, starting with Germany, South Korea and the Philippines. They don't want us there. We would station troops at our borders. No sneaking through holes in the fence. 3. All illegal aliens have 90 days to get their affairs together and leave. We'll give them a free trip home. After 90 days the remainder will be gathered up and deported immediately, regardless of who or where they are. France would welcome them. 4. All future visitors will be thoroughly checked and limited to 90 days unless given a special permit. No one from a terrorist nation would be allowed in. If you don't like it there, change it yourself and don't hide here. Asylum would never be available to anyone. We don't need any more cab drivers or 7-11 cashiers or gasoline attendants. 5. No "students" over age 21. The older ones are the bombers. If they don't attend classes, they get a "D" (for "deport") and it's back home baby. 6. The US will make a strong effort to become self-sufficient energy wise. This will include developing non-polluting sources of energy but will require a temporary drilling of oil in the Alaskan wilderness. The caribou will have to cope for a while. 7. Offer Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries $10 a barrel for their oil. If they don't like it, we go some place else. They can go somewhere else to sell their production. (About a week of the wells filling up the storage sites would be enough.) 8. If there is a famine or other natural catastrophe in the world, we will not "interfere." They can pray to Allah or whomever for seeds, rain, cement or whatever they need. Besides, most of what we give them is stolen or given to the Army. The people who need it most get very little, if anything. 9. Ship the UN Headquarters to an isolated island some place. We don't need the spies and fair weather friends here. Besides, the building would make a good homeless shelter or lockup for illegal aliens. 10. All Americans must go to charm and beauty school. That way no one can call us "Ugly Americans" any longer. The language we speak is ENGLISH.....learn it...or LEAVE... Now, ain't that a winner of a plan. The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying "Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses." She's got a baseball bat and she's yelling, "You want a piece of me?"

Absolutely
Absolutely

to restore Justice to her Natural Glory. She has nothing to hide. Ashcroft cannot say the same.

rfbed
rfbed

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, would make a good candidate for tech money.

RayneToday
RayneToday

Go ahead, make the case. Include citations.

maxwell edison
maxwell edison

First of all, not all the presidential hopefuls are current Senators. Tom Tancredo is a Republican from the House of Representatives, although he has little hope of winning (and that's an understatement). There are several governors (or former governors) running: Bill Richardson of New Mexico on the Democrat side; Tommy Thompson, a Republican (former) governor from Wisconsin; and former Republican Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Rudy Giuliani is, by most measures, the current front-runner among all the candidates of either major party, and he's a former mayor of New York, having been out of that office for 4 years (give or take). Not to mention candidates from third parties or independents, none of whom are current of former Senators (at least none that come to mind). Actually, for a current U.S. Senator to ascend to the presidency directly from the U.S. Senate, he/she would have to defy history. It's been EXTREMELY difficult for a Senator, especially a current one, to win the White House. The last person to make a successful transition from the Senate to the White House was John F. Kennedy in 1960. (And he had to buy votes and/or get dead people to vote in Illinois to do it!) If you want to put your money on a position to win the White House, pick from the lot of governors. The last TWO presidents were former governors, GWB (Texas) and Bill Clinton (Arkansas); skip GHWBush, who was the sitting Vice President; both Ronald Reagan (California) and Jimmy Carter (Georgia) were former governors; Gerald Ford was a "selected" Vice President (who came from the House of Representatives); Richard Nixon was a former Vice President (under Eisenhower); Lyndon Johnson was Kennedy's Vice President (he was, however, a sitting U.S. Senator who was selected to run as Kennedy's Veep); Dwight Eisenhower was a retired 5-Star General; Harry Truman was the Vice President who assumed the presidency upon Roosevelt's death (although he, too, was selected as Roosevelt's veep as a sitting U.S. Senator); Franklin Roosevelt was a former governor from New York; Herbert Hoover was a former engineer and Secretary of Commerce; and that's as far back as I can go without looking it up, but I'm back to the 1920s. So actually, out of the twenty three (23) people who have either filed with the FEC, or formed a serious "exploratory" committee, or are serious contenders seriously considering a run (or often mentioned) for the grand prize, only seven (7) are current U.S. Senators, four (4) Democrats and three (3) Republicans; and only three (3) are former Senators. That's only one-third of the candidates who are current Senators. So not only are MORE candidates not current or former U.S. Senators, but their historic chances of winning are somewhere between slim and none. And Senator Slim has left the building. (Disclaimer: my "counts" might be a bit off, but it's very close.) Nonetheless, the winner will be either: former mayor Rudy Giuliani, or former Senator Fred Thompson (a Senator, but not coming directly from the U.S. Senate). By the way, your question assumes that people should vote their self interest when voting for a president (or any other candidate). I challenge you (or anyone else) to a debate to discuss the merits of such actions. (I know, Sonja, you could never accept such a challenge. TechRepublic and CNet rules would prohibit you from doing such a thing. But think about the mess we've gotten ourselves into by the mindset of people voting their own self interest. [i]Gee, someone else has something that I want. Let me vote for a person who will give it to me![/i] Isn't that what you are, in essence, doing?) Speaking of the last U.S. Senator who ascended to the presidency, it's worth reminding: [i]"My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country...... My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.[/i]" -- John F. Kennedy And that was actually paraphrased from an Oliver Wendell Holmes speech in which he said, [i]"It is now the moment ...to recall what our country has done for each of us, and to ask ourselves what we can do for our country in return."[/i] Self-interest does not mean best-interest. It's time people learn the distinction.

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

Maxwell, You are far more knowledgeable about politics than I am, so I'm just going to answer your question as briefly and as honestly as I can. I don't think it matters if people vote their self interest. Perhaps I'm a bit calloused and pessimistic, but I think that pretty much all candidates will say (read = promise) what they think will help them receive the most votes, but that is NOT necessary what they will actually DO once they get elected! Tech-friendly, green, anti-war, family-oriented... actions speak a lot louder than words, so the election is essentially a crap shoot. You don't find out if you made the right choice until after the president is elected - and if you voted for someone else, you'll never know.

Absolutely
Absolutely

for a rapid & complete recovery. Sorry about implying that you don't care about the topics you start.

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

For me, politics is one of those really delicate conversation starters. People usually feel passionately one way or the other about it, which is why I ordinarily steer clear of "talking politics" at dinner parties ... the same goes with religion. Now, despite my calloused view of politics, I still vote! The candidate I vote for is based on what I learn about him (or possibly her in the future) via other people, such as the TechRepublic community - maxwell edison and Absolutely. I trust my peers a whole lot more than I do any politician. And to reply to your little jab about having to post discussions but not caring about them, I'm posting this response from home today because I have the flu. I'm starting to feel like myself again (after 24 hours of yuck), so I popped online to see what else people had to say in this thread. I think that goes above and beyond a job responsibility and into the realm of caring. ;-)

Absolutely
Absolutely

it's just part of her job to start discussions, but not necessarily to care about them?

maxwell edison
maxwell edison

.....then you don't think it matters how other people define how your life will be lived. Even if your voice falls upon deaf ears, it should still be used to provide a direction for your life. There are leaders, and then there are followers. In the very least, lead your own life. Apathy: We have met the enemy, and he is us. By the way, how could you possibly start a discussion with the question, [i]Who is the best candidate for ..... __________ (fill in the blank),[/i] and then later reply that it doesn't really matter?

Absolutely
Absolutely

Maxwell does have far more knowledge about politics than you just demonstrated. It [b]does[/b] matter whether or not voters, en masse, are observed by political action committees and campaign advisors to vote their personal interests, or the country's interests, and how willing we are to "hire" the government to pursue our interests at others' expense. That is [b]why[/b] it is a "crap shoot".

The Admiral
The Admiral

The presidential election has nothing to do with how tech will get screwed over. It is the House of Reps and the Senate that listens to the crying and whining of people like Bill Gates and Larry Ellison who say that there is a lack of the skills in the US and that they need more H1B's. And the HOR and the Senate are stupid enough to listen to them. There has been a deminished number of workers in the technology industry because these corporate types do not want to pay for the skills. While they have more money than any person on this planet would ever need in 100 lifetimes, the people that they pay for the Intellectual Property are going bankrupt in the states, and so they move SW development off shore. Take a look at every company that does this and the trail leads to deals made since the mid 80's all the way through, the levels of NAFTA and now CAFTA, and even more legislation that is allowing it to walk into China's hands. I don't know about you folks, but these companies may be part of a larger problem. Think about it. You outsource all of your software development to China, Brazil, India and Russia, and you wonder why you can't get your corporate security and most of your SOX complance done. Any time you have a nation who is known to be an NME with another nation - it is a bad idea to outsource your core applications to that nation. We can thank Ron, George, Bill and Al & George for those great ideas that were signed by them that have pipelined the US companies straight to China.

Absolutely
Absolutely

Just kidding, I completely agree. Tech workers, like everybody else, should not be hoodwinked by the claims of "lack of skills in the US". We have borders to protect. Let Bill Gates pay developers more if need be, or get eaten by Apple & Linux. Business is competitive, Bill.

btljooz
btljooz

but all he got was dissed when he "dropped out" of the '[i]race[/i]'. What people didn't know, is that Ross dropped out because he was [b]FORCED[/b] to. What would YOU have done if governmental '[i]representatives[/i] came to you and told you to do "something" and that if you didn't you would lose your business and even the lives of those closest to you (e.g.: YOUR FAMILY)...and [b][u]EVEN[/u][/b] your [u]own[/u] life????? EH?????

Praxius
Praxius

I think Obama would have a better tech-friendly administration than the other dems. Actually, he'd also have a better [x]-friendly administration than the current poser. You name the x.

The Admiral
The Admiral

Obama is too green to go to the white house. He is an idea man who everyone follows because his ideas strike a chord. When he hits the white house, everyone will be eating crow.

jck
jck

Personally, I don't think Obama can be any worse than Bush. Besides, you never hear Bush go into a religious conservatives meeting and say "I don't want you to vote for me because I'm a Christian." Obama's going into a black organisation's meeting and telling them "Don't vote for me because I'm African-American...that's not what I'm about." is a pretty clear sign the guy is at least willing to say something other candidates back off from. I really don't care how green the guy is. Hell, how much time did Bill Clinton spend as Governor of Arkansas before becoming president? How long was Bush Governor of Texas? How much time did either of them spend working in Washington D.C. before their arrival as president? At least Obama has a taste of what D.C. operates like...and he's new enough not to be as tainted and jeopardized like someone who's a 4 or 5 term senator. I like the guy, but I'm reserving judgement until I learn more about him. Clinton...smart lady...she's alright. Like Rudy a lot. Mitt Romney? No thanks. He's a smilin jack car salesman waffler.

tick
tick

There are far too many problems facing this country without putting all your focus on tech. I'd rather look at a candidate that is trying to ensure everyone has access to basic needs like healthy food, education, health care, and housing. This is hardly the industry that needs to control the balance of elections.

Absolutely
Absolutely

"I'd rather look at a candidate that is trying to ensure everyone has access to basic needs like healthy food, education, health care, and housing." We all have access to these things already, in exchange for access to money. This arrangement has been considered "fair" for thousands of years. If you disagree with all of your ancestors, perhaps technology has made your existence [b]too[/b] convenient.

The Admiral
The Admiral

"I'd rather look at a candidate that is trying to ensure everyone has access to basic needs like healthy food, education, health care, and housing." When did any of this turn into an entitlement? I know from experience that because housing has been treated as an entitlement that there are a high number of forclosures. In fact, the brainiacs who thought it was a good idea to put a worker who has to work 3 jobs into a $350,000 home needs to be drawn and quartered, knowing that they were not able to afford it.

tmcclure
tmcclure

I'll support whichever candidate will create the most gridlock. If the Senate or House is Democrat I'll vote Republican and vise versa. Heaven forbid one party has control and does anything involving technology, much less anything else. Look what happened on the Republican watch.

Absolutely
Absolutely

Support for "small government" candidates is futile, until we have a "small government" electorate.

gdomingo
gdomingo

Everyime you hear someone say they want to tax the net, or interstate sales, its always a democrat. Also we are tech's. We are supposed respond to logic and facts. Every appeal you hear from the Democrats HAS to pull at the heart strings. Its as if they don't have an argument unless there is someone crying or screaming about it. Take that away and reality will almost always shoot their point down.

The Admiral
The Admiral

I agree. But I have learned to understand the underlying point being made - it is when they whine and cry that their point was not being heard is when they loose the battle. The next dem that gets up there and wants a debate and does not have a solution - needs to be replaced with a green or independent candidate. I am sick of hearing the want of a debate and they have nothing to say.

Praxius
Praxius

I do not think dems are the issue. But if I had a choice I'd rather have increased taxes over letting repubs just hand over the internet to the big bells and cable companies; this would be accomplished by neutralizing net neutrality. Most repubs are anti net neutrality. How do logic and facts allow for prioritizing net traffic based on ability to pay? Besides, we already have that model in place; can you choose to get 768k, 1.5mb, or 3mb speeds when signing up with cable or dsl?

Absolutely
Absolutely

Providers would be motivated to (1) tell you what algorithms they use for prioritizing different types of traffic, if they do so at all (2) choose the algorithms that actually do work best, for their intended customers. If your video stream from youtube isn't smooth, you could tell they're using a crappy algorithm, without much networking expertise.

Praxius
Praxius

You generally get what you pay for, I agree. Then cable companies and dsl providers do not need to prioritize net traffic, because they already have that built into their pricing structure. They want to double-dip and control traffic; filtering traffic that may contain information harmful to them. AOL did it and got caught with their attempt to block emails that disagreed with their pay-for-email initiative.

Absolutely
Absolutely

Are you saying that you disagree with that truism? That it is inconsistent with "facts and logic"? [i]How do logic and facts allow for prioritizing net traffic based on ability to pay?[/i] That depends on which facts you select, and how rigorously you apply logic. Please, do so.

RayneToday
RayneToday

Please point to an example of one of the current Democratic candidates proposing a tax on the internet. While you're at it, please also point to an example of one of the current Democratic candidates not supporting Net Neutrality. We'll all find your citations educational.

sn53
sn53

rayne wrote, "please point to an example..." http://news.com.com/Days+numbered+for+tax-free+Net+sales/2100-1028_3-6176638.html excerpt: "What has changed, however, is the political dynamic. While its precise contours are difficult to map, a Democrat-controlled Congress is seen as more likely to agree to the idea than one controlled by Republicans. "When you have a Democratic majority in Congress, that Congress will be more friendly to imposing new burdens on business if it means additional tax collection," said Steve DelBianco, executive director of the NetChoice coalition, which counts as members eBay, Yahoo and the Electronic Retailing Association and opposes the sales tax plan." Politicians are hungry for new sources of tax money. We have more than one hundred taxes and fees today that we did not have 50 years ago. The Republican party is pretty bad on taxation. The Democrats are far worse. The grand experiment in a republican form of self government has failed. Democratic totalitarianism is at our door. Excessive, punitive taxation and regulation are just symptoms.

gdomingo
gdomingo

SSUTA while formed by several states, its was pushed by legislation from California, New York and Illinois Senates, all of which are about 80% Dem. Here are the first 3 sites in the list. http://www.marketingvox.com/archives/2007/04/18/democrats-others-could-end-tax-free-e-commerce/ http://freeinternetpress.com/story.php?sid=11454 http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20050309-4689.html Hey's its simple search yourself: Search for "Internet Sales Tax Democrat" the first page of searches is filled with Democrats tryin to start it. Search for "Internet Sales Tax Republican" the first page is 2 Reps, that might lean for it. 8 that oppose it. Tax is bad for businesses. While Reps may not have purely altruistic intentions, Reps, push for businesses because they own them. We still beniefit.

pamcse
pamcse

The way you phrased these questions smacks of one of this country's biggest problems... special interests. Should the 'techie' vote be influenced more by candidate positions that affect us more favorably? Or should our votes focus more on issues of this country as a whole -- like foreign policy (Iraq), national debt, health care crisis, and so on? I for one am not going to vote for a candidate that 'favors' the technology sector UNLESS he/she also has a clear-cut plan to address some of our more important problems/issues. He/she may be the most 'tech friendly' candidate ever, but -- without an effort to solve these other issues -- are the tech issues REALLY that important? FWIW...

Absolutely
Absolutely

We like to have our interests represented by others, because it seems more convenient than pursuing them ourselves. Everybody else is doing it, why shouldn't techies? :p (Leaving sarcasm tag open deliberately!)

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

The News.com article I linked to specifically addresses how the tech sector is spending its political contribution dollars. Since TechRepublic members are IT professionals, I was hoping to get a little insight about who currently is the forerunner in your eyes - and from a technology slant - rather than insinuate that technology is the primary concern or motivating factor for next year's election.

Absolutely
Absolutely

I'll commit only to voting for the candidate that is the "small government" candidate in November 2008. What stances they adopt on specific topics today doesn't mean squat, and is more likely a manifestation of their particular large government pipe dreams than anything else.

The Admiral
The Admiral

You said that "should our votes focus more on issues of this country as a whole -- like foreign policy (Iraq)" If Iraq is the only foreign policy that you are being retentive about - I think that you have lost the intellectual objectiveness of the whole foreign policy problems that we have. Most of your foreign policy problem is not with Iraq, but with B-R-I-C - Brazil, Russia, India & China.

harry.l.wegley
harry.l.wegley

I realize what you are looking for in soliciting input from the industry. However, as "wrong perspective" as indicated, the position of a candidate regarding technology is completely overshadowed by more important issues -- issues that impact the lives of my children and grand children. Given that perspective, technology is not at the top of the list.

tick
tick

...nor even near the top of my list. I would rank it about as important as....actually, I can't think of anything really less important right now.

Bamaro
Bamaro

The Iraq mess, massive deficits, run away spending, global warming etc. Tech issues pale in comparison.

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