Lieberman 'sees value' in IT czar

Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman differed with his running

mate Tuesday on a major federal information technology issue, telling a

forum in Florida that he would support the appointment of a federal CIO

to coordinate policy governmentwide.

Just last month, Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore — responding

to questions from Federal Computer Week — said he did not think a federal

"IT czar" was needed. He said he would give a senior White House economic

official the responsibility of promoting high-tech policies within the administration.

But Tuesday, Lieberman said, "I am personally committed to creating

a chief information officer in government to coordinate our efforts." Lieberman

was interviewed in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., at the Gartner Group Inc.'s ITxpo.

Reached in Nashville, Tenn., a spokesman denied that Lieberman's comments

were another example that the Connecticut senator is not in step with his

running mate.

"This isn't the first time they've had a mild disagreement, and it wont

be the last. It's one of the strengths of their relationship," said Dan

Gerstein, Lieberman's national spokesman.

"Mr. Lieberman has said and repeated today he sees value in having an

IT czar, but he sees more value in having an IT president," Gerstein said.

"No one is better prepared to meet the new challenges and the new economy

and capitalize on the revolution in technology than Al Gore."

In response to Federal Computer Week's questions, Republican presidential

hopeful George W. Bush said he supported creating a federal CIO. He said

he would issue an executive order designating a federal CIO at the Office

of Management and Budget.

In other developments involving technology and the presidential campaign

Tuesday, more than 400 high-tech executives endorsed the Gore-Lieberman

ticket.

In a conference call to technology reporters, Lieberman joined several

high-tech executives as they voiced support for the technology advances

made in the past eight years under a Democratic administration.

"Their opponent's priorities are out of synch with America. Gore gets

it, and so does Sen. Lieberman," said John Doerr, a high-tech venture capitalist.

But Bush also has a list of high-profile tech supporters. In July, he

named an Information Technology Advisory Council that included some of the

biggest names in technology. Among them: James Barksdale, a co-founder of

Netscape Communications Corp., and John Chambers, president and chief executive

officer of Cisco Systems Inc.

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