“Attorney General Eric Holder may have been the star witness at last week’s House Judiciary Committee hearing — but Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s iPad was the VIP,” Erika Lovley reports for Politico. “Like jealous siblings on Christmas morning, lawmakers peered over Chaffetz’s shoulder, watching him type notes, sift through documents and whip through websites with the brush and tap of a finger — and never once appear to check his BlackBerry.”
MacDailyNews Take: BlackBerry. Heh. Did he also ignore his quill pen?
Lovley continues, “His new gizmo put him at the forefront of Capitol Hill’s iPad caucus — a steadily growing group that includes Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and the unofficial caucus chairman, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). ‘I had one the very first day,’ Flake said proudly.”
“Just months after the revolutionary gadget was released, tech experts and lawmakers are predicting the iPad is going to revolutionize the way Congress does business — potentially, in a bigger way than the BlackBerry has — allowing members instant access to their staff, constituents and other details that make a congressional office tick, with more typing, editing and communication abilities than any smartphone,” Lovley reports. “Indeed, the iPad may be the ultimate paper saver for an institution that prints millions of pages a year and still piles huge stacks of bills outside the House chamber every day.”
“‘This thing is the bomb,’ said Chaffetz, who carts his midsize tablet everywhere but the House floor, where technology like laptops is still banned. ‘It’s light; it’s portable. It’s accessible information. I love it.’ Technology experts predict that the aversion to technology on the House floor will soon change, with iPads replacing the stacks of papers and enormous binders of legislation that lawmakers often lug with them through the Capitol corridors,” Lovley reports. “In the coming years, staffers armed with iPads will be able to send out updates directly from the cloakroom about proceedings on the House floor, other experts foresee.”
Full article here.