Lieberman a boost to IT ticket

Electronic government advocates Monday hailed the selection of Sen. Joseph

Lieberman for the Democratic vice presidential candidate as a boost for

information technology concerns.

One of the most knowledgeable members of Congress on the digital revolution,

Lieberman (D-Conn.) has been a leader in efforts to improve government through

greater use of IT. Vice President Al Gore, who will receive the Democratic

presidential nomination next week, has picked Lieberman as his running mate.

From creating a World Wide Web site that lets the public contribute

ideas to e-government legislation to pressing for more government investment

in science and technology, Lieberman is widely considered among the most

technology-savvy senators.

"Joe Lieberman has been such a guiding force on e-government," said

Joiwind Williams, director of the Technology Leadership Consortium at the

Council for Excellence in Government.

"He's a great choice in terms of the IT community. He's interested.

He's supportive. He's savvy," said Alan Balutis, director of the Commerce

Department's Advanced Technology Program at the National Institute of Standards

and Technology.

Lieberman's most recent accomplishment is the e-Government Project,

a World Wide Web site that invites ideas and comments from the public on

wide-ranging legislation Lieberman is drafting on e-government. He and Sen.

Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) unveiled the site in May.

It has received 600 messages since then on subjects ranging from increased

access to government through online town meetings to whether a federal chief

information officer is needed.

"He's the first to think about drafting legislation by soliciting public

input on Internet," Williams said.

The staffs of Gore and Lieberman have communicated frequently on Internet

issues by e-mail and in personal meetings.

Lieberman aides said he is extremely interested IT policy, how Internet

issues affect the economy and how to keep government from getting in the

way of its growth. He therefore would be well-equipped to follow the precedent

set by Gore, who as vice president has led the technology-oriented National

Partnership for Reinventing Government.

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