FC: Replies to weekly column: Is it time for a GeekPAC?

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Mon Nov 25 2002 - 20:20:03 PST

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    Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 13:16:26 -0500
    From: Ned Jackson Lovely <politicsat_private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declanat_private>
    Subject: Re: FC: Weekly column: Is it time for a GeekPAC?
    On Mon, Nov 25, 2002 at 08:55:40AM -0500, Declan McCullagh wrote:
     >     Is it time for a GeekPAC?
    It has been obvious for months that the answer to this is yes. The industry has
    been letting the RIAA and their ilk set the agenda for too long. My step by
    step set of actions:
    1. Set up a mailing list.
    2. Get a succinct statement of some goals that will be obvious to any
        techie as good things. Maybe two or three statements of our philosophy.
        I might suggest something like:
        a. Any government regulation of technology should support innovation and
        b. Innovation and progress only occur when people have the tools, ability,
           and incentive to create and sell new products.
    3. Make a list of specific issues, with a stance on these issues that is
        clearly informed by our statement of philosophy. We don't have to be
        unnecessarily kind to huge established technology companies, but if we
        can get them on our side, the more the better.
    4. Publicize this as far and wide as possible.
    5. If a sufficient response doesn't happen within a given amount of time,
        dump the whole project. After the publicity, I'm thinking if it isn't
        proceeding rapidly within a month, accept that the grass roots
        aren't there.
    6. Get incorporated.
    7. Get members.
    8. Bootstrap state chapters. (This can happen at pretty much any point.)
    9. Ensure that every national legislator has a person from the organization
        who has taken it upon themselves to inform that legislator on technical
        issues. This should eventually be driven down to the state legislators.
    10. The person responsible for a legislator should have an email list of
         members in that legislator's district, so they can drive concerned phone
         calls, letters, emails, and organized responses from the home district.
    11. Build a database of how legislators have voted on important legislation,
         and create a scorecard. Make this available on a website with
         a "find your legislator" tool.
    11. Starting with the legislator who scored the worst, work our way down until
         we find somebody in a tight race with a tech-friendly competitor.
    12. Shove as much money and weight as we can behind the competitor.
    Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 09:16:22 -0800
    To: declanat_private, politechat_private
    From: Steve Schear <schearat_private>
    Subject: Re: FC: Weekly column: Is it time for a GeekPAC?
    At 08:55 AM 11/25/2002 -0500, you wrote:
    >    Is it time for a GeekPAC?
    >    By Declan McCullagh
    >    November 25, 2002, 4:00 AM PT
    >    WASHINGTON--Geeks are beginning to realize they need to punish the
    >    Luddites in Congress who are standing in the way of progress.
    >    In a recent column, I suggested that the technology industry find a
    >    way to reward its friends and, more importantly, punish its enemies.
    >    Politicians have spent the past few years concocting increasingly
    >    dangerous schemes, and targeting them for defeat in the next election
    >    is one way to make them abandon their plans.
    I humbly suggest anonymous betting pools like 
    http://www.ideosphere.com/fx/docs/FXdocs.cgi but played for real money.
    Date: 25 Nov 2002 11:06:37 -0500
    From: "John R Levine" <johnlat_private>
    To: "Declan McCullagh" <declanat_private>
    Subject: Re: FC: Weekly column: Is it time for a GeekPAC?
     > Dean Anderson, who has been president of the LPF since 1993, ...
    The LPF isn't going anywhere so long as Dean runs it.  He's earned a loony
    reputation in the ISP community by insisting for many years that blocking
    lists like the MAPS RBL are illegal under the ECPA and that he's gonna sue
    anyone who blocks his mail server which is, despite his claims to the
    contrary, an open relay used by spammers.  He cites the Exactis suit
    against MAPS as support for his position, oblivious to the fact that the
    ECPA didn't figure in it at all, and not for lack of people pointing that
    out to him.
    He's a little like John Gilmore with respect to mail management and
    blocking, except that while Gilmore applies rigid principles to reach a
    ridiculous position, making him in this regard an honest zealot,
    Anderson's just wrong.
    With respect to Club for Growth, a non-PAC called Emily's List has used
    bundled checks with great success to support liberal female candidates, to
    the extent that there was some legal wrangling about whether the bundling
    was a sham and they really are a PAC.  Do you know how that turned out?
    If bundling is OK, I agree that it'd be a fine way for a Geek-not-a-PAC to
    Street creds: I'm possibly the only elected official on the politech list
    with a PhD in comp sci, and have learned as a member of the CAUCE board
    how hard it is to get Congress' attention without lot$ of money.
    John Levine, johnlat_private, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
    Information Superhighwayman wanna-be, http://iecc.com/johnl, Sewer Commissioner
    "I dropped the toothpaste", said Tom, crestfallenly.
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