“Presidential candidates are touting widespread broadband as a boost for employment and rural education, but a close look at financial interests suggests tech policy may also be a campaign paycheck. Candidates for both of the major political parties are drawing contributions from the technology industry, and from communications firms in particular. But the proportion differs,” Emily Kumler reports for Medill News Service.
“Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts says universal broadband access is necessary for the country to rebuild its tech sector and increase employment in high tech industry. As of mid-June, 38 percent of the $2,415,894 Kerry has received from his top 20 donors has come from contributors with a strong interest in the technology sector, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics,” Kumler reports.
“Meanwhile, 5 percent of the $5,886,487 provided by the top 20 contributors to the incumbent Republican candidate, President George Bush, comes from tech companies or lobbyists. The majority of Bush’s top contributors are financial firms that may have investments in the technology sector but are not directly acting on tech firms’ behalf. Another 5 percent, or $3,332,700, of Bush’s total contributions grouped by business sector came from the communications and electronics industry. At nearly $3.8 million, donations to the Kerry campaign from the communications and electronics industry nearly matched Bush’s, but they account for 9 percent of Kerry’s total donations,” Kumler reports. “Bush says broadband will facilitate a classroom in every living room, giving the most remote citizen access to a wealth of information and opportunity. The president has set the goal but has not outlined its execution other than imploring Congress to permanently ban Internet taxes.”
Full article here.
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