Bush, Gore forge tech alliances
- By Aaron Pressman
- Aug 04, 2000
The campaigns of Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush tout
an array of well-known supporters from high-tech companies. But it's not
only the headliners that have the candidates' ears.
Each campaign relies on a circle of lower-profile Internet insiders
for advice on issues ranging from the design of their World Wide Web sites
to the protection of consumer privacy online, from Internet sales taxes
to bridging the digital divide.
Much of the campaign's high-tech support grew out of meetings Gore had
across the country over the past three years, organized by venture capitalist
John Doerr and known as "Goretechs" dinners. Wade Randlett, founder of Web
applications developer Red Gorilla, worked with Doerr and others to start
the nonpartisan political lobbying group TechNet and helped set up the Goretechs
More recently, Randlett has been pushing Gore and his campaign staff
to address the digital divide by spreading Internet access through nominal
government subsidies. One of Gore's most important outside advisers, lobbyist
Greg Simon, is about to join the Gore campaign, according to people close
to the campaign.
Simon worked in the White House advising on technology and telecommunications
policy during President Clinton's first term. While in the private sector,
Simon took on a slew of tech clients, including leading the charge for America
Online and other Internet service providers seeking to force their way onto
cable broadband systems.
In the Bush camp, Christina Jones, founder of pcOrder.com in Austin,
Texas, got into the campaign on an invitation from Michael Dell, a competitor
to the PC manufacturers in Jones' online marketplace. Both share an appreciation
of Bush's business-friendly campaign agenda.
Bush aides credit Jones with the idea to use old media to drive traffic
to the Bush site. A TV commercial that aired last week was designed with
that in mind.
For more Internet economy news, visit TheStandard.com. Story copyright 2000 The Industry
Standard. All rights reserved.