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Congressmen Rated On Tech-Friendliness

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the in-touch-with-digerati dept.

270

Uncle Dick writes "CNET has released the results of a study ranking every US Representative and Senator on a scale rating their relative friendliness towards various technology and internet related issues. Republicans and Democrats fare similarly in both houses of Congress, although CNET gives the edge to the GOP. Big Winner? Ron Paul (R-TX). 2004 Presidential candidate John Kerry (D-MA) does not fare so well."

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270 comments

Ron Paul (3, Informative)

eric76 (679787) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701105)

What a go, Ron Paul.

For those who don't realize it, Ron Paul ran for President once as the Libertarian Candidate.

Re:Ron Paul (-1, Offtopic)

buswolley (591500) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701211)

My baby is being born! Stop typing!

Re:Ron Paul (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701227)

Why the hell should I vote for a drag queen?

Re:Ron Paul (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701243)

And there are many of us who hope he damn well does it again. He's the most sensible politician out there right now. Pragmatic, you might say.

- Sees technology as beneficial when well employed. Fosters it as a result and doesn't push hindering legislation (eg internet tax).
- Sees that guns don't cause crime, people do. Doesn't support gun bans or legislations which simply keep guns out of the hands of upstanding citizens.
- Sees that there is a fundamental issue with immigration more essential than Mexicans simply coming here. Reconsiders the sanity of birthright citizenship [lewrockwell.com] .
- He's observed that foreign financial/food/economic aid is often more harmful than helpful (both to us and them), and wants to do away with it.
- And a bunch more.

Basically, he's a straight-up Jeffersonian Constitutionalist. So, if your politics are "left" - socialistic, crippled by misplaced white male guilt, and in support of the "the government is here to help" mentality - or "green" - want to benigate the national security and economic interests in favor of saving trees - you'll likely hate his guts.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

dctoastman (995251) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701527)

I find his theories interesting and would like to subscribe to his newsletter.

The things you mention sound well enough in line with my own personal idealology, but you could be just picking his best qualities. He may like kicking puppy dogs in his spare time. We don't know.

Man, I'm politically interested in a Republican from Texas. That's scary.

And for shame Bobby Jindal. I thought better of you.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701643)

I don't think in terms of left and right. It doesn't do justice to the wide variety of possible viewpoints. Economic? Social? Personal liberty? I tend to be on very divergent points on the scale that could put me anywhere from libertarian, communist, anarchist and even fascist, depending on your point of view and the topic at hand.

For what it's worth, I think that guy is right.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701755)

I don't think in terms of left and right.

You're not the only one. You should take the World's Smallest Political Quiz" [theadvocates.org] and see where you show up. Libertarians on the balance tend to be very pro-tech/tech-savvy. It would be interesting to see how congressional candidates (not just elected officials) would end up. I'm betting it would be Libertarians in a landslide.

OMG: I'm a "liberal" (1, Flamebait)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702409)

Thanks for the link, turned out I was a liberal huddling in the corner next to warm centrist and somewhat autistic libetarian(jk). I think Ron Paul sounds like a bit of a nutter but kudos for the tech score (assuming I agree with the method that I didn't read). BTW over here in Australia the conservatives are the "Liberal Party", however the sites definition of "liberal" sits with me just fine thankyou :)

From the GP's link:
LIBERAL
LIBERALS usually embrace freedom of choice in personal matters, but tend to support significant government control of the economy. They generally support a government-funded "safety net" to help the disadvantaged, and advocate strict regulation of business. Liberals tend to favor environmental regulations, defend civil liberties and free expression, support government action to promote equality, and tolerate diverse lifestyles.

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701723)

these days most libertarians tend to the "selfish crackpot" type, and frankly I think they're just greedy self-absorbed assholes.

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701843)

Yeah, I suppose my belief in the zero-aggression principle, and my refusal to make excpeptions for government on that principle, is merely just a product of my selfishness. Cuff me and beat me down -- I'm guity.

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701903)

Zero-aggression as long as everyone plays by your rules is when you are a selfish crackpot asshole, if you are a sadistic asshole it gets harder.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701767)

He looks pretty conservative to me:

-Opposes abortion
-Against gay marriage (this automatically should get him kicked out of the liberterian party IMO)
-For the electoral college (this is not conservative per se, but it is certainly not liberterian where one vote should count the same as every other)

I agree he is pretty liberterian, but the last thing I want is a social conservative after the Orwellian years of Bush. Liberals can lean liberterian too (I consider myself both)

Re:Ron Paul (1)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702411)

-Opposes abortion

Not sure if he is a pro-lifer on religious grounds, or on his interpretation of Constitutional rights applying to the unborn. There are also many libertarians who argue that this is a state rights issue.

-Against gay marriage (this automatically should get him kicked out of the liberterian party IMO)

I've never read his official position, but the liberterian stance is to get govt out of the marriage game altogether.

-For the electoral college (this is not conservative per se, but it is certainly not liberterian where one vote should count the same as every other)

The libertarian stance is pro-EC. The reasons for the EC were layed out 200 yrs ago in the Federalist papers ... basically to avoid mob-o-cracy.

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701411)

Indeed, Ron Paul is one of the very few politicians working to roll back the oppressive powers of government and restore a policy of freedom for the individual. (Yes, this naturally includes the freedom to decide when and where to spend your rightfully-acquired earnings.) I personally believe it's a lost cause, but I still have to commend him.

Of course, for every Ron Paul there are 1000 hawks working to expand the powers of government for their own benefit, and that is why the US government of today dwarfs the US government of only 100 years ago, both in revenue and power over the people.

Still a nerf "libertarian" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701521)

When it comes to gay rights, unfortunately.

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701707)

What a go, Ron Paul.

Didn't read the article, did you? CNET's rating system reads like what a mythical soccer mom living in Washington, D.C., (and so convinced by the 24-hour ad-a-thon net neutrality is a bad thing and stopping free speech is a good thing) would want in a candidate. That is, the opposite of what real people who live and breathe the internet consider positives.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

griffjon (14945) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702377)

To be fair, Ron Paul votes against everything [washingtonpost.com] . He's really a libertarian in Republican clothing, which is fine, we need more of them to balance out the neocon and religious right types.

Makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701115)

Technology is a business, and the Republicans have historically been closer to the concerns of business than Democrats.

Of course, every liberal on slashdot will be jumping on this article, waving their hankies and screaming "Fascists!", countdown 5,4,3,2,1....

Re:Makes sense... (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701165)

Yah - I'll vote for another Texas Republican when hell freezes over and Microsoft starts partnering with Linux vendors.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

Nicaboker (978150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701295)

Get ready then. Novell and M$ are talking about a Linux partnership or something to that affect.

Re:Makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701455)

And it's cold as fuck down here!


-Satan

Re:Makes sense... (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701315)

Well you are halfway there:

http://linux.slashdot.org/linux/06/11/02/1957252.s html [slashdot.org]

Re:Makes sense... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701677)

Considering the place I live in is like hell and it's snowing constantly now...

Re:Makes sense... (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701169)

That makes more sense than you think when you read their methodology. Many of their "tech issues" are just regular buisness issues that were backed by a few buisnesses that happened to be tech companies. For example- curbing class action lawsuits and accounting laws. In other words, its not really a tech rating.

Re:Makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16702033)

That's an excellent point. Of the issues they point out, the nationalized ID card is most important to me. Every single senator got a zero on that issue.

The methodology is also messed up in that it goes back through many previous congressional sessions but of course states that kick their politicians out of office frequently have skewed results since the senators in the study haven't had a chance to vote on all of the issues.

Of the senators that were in office in 1998, they all got zeros on the DMCA vote.

The senators that voted against the unconstitutional Communications Decency Act were all Democrats (although many Democrats also voted for it).

Technology is a BUSINESS? (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701275)

Voting for the benefit of business is not the same as voting for the benefit of technology, or technological advancement.

For example, if you voted "yea" for a bill that allows a two-tiered Internet, with toll-booths manned by AT&T, you wouldn't really be voting "FOR" technology, now would you?

Or if a GOP congressman voted "yea" for a bill that requires all music to contain DRM, after getting a fat envelope from, say, Sony N.A., he would in fact be voting "for" the technology of DRM, but wouldn't be voting "FOR" technology, right?

Let's say some fat, greasy Republican congressman, while buggering a teenage page, voted "yea" on a bill which gives enormous taxpayer-funded subsidies to an oil company or a multi-national pharma corp ostensibly to "promote research" you can bet he'd say (after shooting his best friend in the face) that he's "pro-technology". Well, he could say he's "pro-youth" too, but the young page might disagree.

CNET, desperate for attention during this silly-season of campaign bullshit, needs to give a little more thought to their ranking methods, although Mr Paul is A-OK in my book. It's a shame that he had to switch his party affiliation from Libertarian to Republican in order to get to Congress. Whichever party, he's a decent guy.

Re:Technology is a BUSINESS? (1)

Rydia (556444) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701503)

This is really how all these "ranking" things work, however, from the ACLU to the FotF.

I'd prefer that people just paid more attention to specific candidates' stances, and not rely on cherry-picked numbers taken by special interests (or bad journalists), but it seems that these kinds of "report cards" are solidly entrenched in our electoral... thing.

Re:Technology is a BUSINESS? (1)

syphax (189065) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702323)

Most of the scorecards I've looked at are at least coherent and reasonably consistent (see, eg, the League of Conservation Voters ). Of course scorecards are going to reflect a certain agenda; that's the point. On scorecards from groups that I disagree with, I value low scores. The problem with this one is that the issues includes represent a mixed and somewhat contradictory agenda. I'm not all that sure that a high score is necessarily a good thing. [lcv.org]

Of course it makes sense to evaluate specific candidates. But I don't think it's mutually exclusive; I would argue that well-crafted scorecards offer a decent way to evaluate just where a candidate stands relative to peers on a specific set of issues. A poorly designed scorecard is a waste of time.

"The methodology behind this scorecard is cuckoo for cocoa puffs," Kerry spokesman David Wade said.

I wouldn't have phrased it quite that way myself, but I agree.

Liberals (1)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701405)

It's amazing how the Republican Party and their joculators have managed to make the word "Liberal" a term of abuse in the US. Who do you think invented laissez-faire and free market economics, back in the day when right-wingers just wanted to keep their slaves and feudal tenants from escaping to more liberal (i.e. equal and progressive) societies?

It's an impressive achievement. After all, what is the opposite of "Liberal"? Not "Conservative", but presumably "Illiberal", i.e. somebody who wants to prevent people from doing what they want. Which presumably includes the introduction of innovative business ideas which threaten the status quo.

We need a corollary to Godwin's Law: Anybody who uses "Liberal" as a term of abuse on the Internet has forfeited the argument.

Re:Liberals PROMOTED SEGREGATION (-1, Troll)

peterpressure (940132) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701447)

"back in the day when right-wingers just wanted to keep their slaves and feudal tenants from escaping to more liberal (i.e. equal and progressive) societies?"

Dood, check your facts, The republicans freed the slaves in the 1800's (Lincoln) And in the 1960's who was for segregation in the south!?! You guessed it, Democrats...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_segregation#Un ited_States [wikipedia.org]

"In the post-Civil War South, Democrats used the race issue to solidify their hold on Southern politics, playing on white resentment of black political power. Democrats were the agents in passing segregation laws, as well as laws disenfranchising blacks (and sometimes poor whites) politically. In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson ordered the segregation of the federal Civil Service[3]. White and black people would sometimes be required to eat separately and use separate schools, public toilets, park benches, train and restaurant seating, etc. In some locales, in addition to segregated seating, it could be forbidden for stores or restaurants to serve different races under the same roof."

Sir, you are an ass

Correction... (2, Insightful)

andykuan (522434) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701539)

You're conflating "liberal" with "Democrat". The OP made no such connection so what he states is still true despite your attempt to redefine and drift his meaning. Besides, these terms lose their meaning over time. Yes, the Republicans freed the slaves, but that was almost 150 years ago -- I'd say the GOP's more than a little different now. In fact, all of those Democrats who sought to maintain segregation? They've long since switched parties and are Republicans now.

Re:Correction... if only you were correct? (1)

peterpressure (940132) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701601)

In fact, all of those Democrats who sought to maintain segregation? They've long since switched parties and are Republicans now.

Nice try to re-write history buddy, How about this?

Still a Democrat DIXIE senator and former KKK member Robert Byrd

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Byrd#Participa tion_in_the_Ku_Klux_Klan [wikipedia.org]

I am just tryign to set the record straight. Imagine if the GOP still had a former KKK member in there ranks... Geee, he would have to resign

Re:Correction... if only you were correct? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701809)

West Virginia a part of Dixie? It's a part of Appalachia ans is parochial and can be closed minded to those who are different, but still, it's not a part of the south. Remember West Virginia was once the western "anti-slavery" section of the Virginia.

Course, being anti-slavery doesn't mean there still weren't racist assholes there.

But being a former racist asshole is a lot different from being a current racist asshole, like some of the Dixiecrats in disguise running the Republican party are.

Re:Correction... if only you were correct? (1)

andykuan (522434) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701851)

Sure, but if you're going to cherry pick, how about this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strom_Thurmond [wikipedia.org] or this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Helms [wikipedia.org] to name just two instances of conservative Democrats who jumped parties. Anyway, my original points are still salient in that a) you can't conflate liberals and Democrats -- especially historically and b) party beliefs change over time -- sometimes drastically.

Re:Correction... if only you were correct? (1)

peterpressure (940132) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701977)

I will agree with you on that, It just bothered me the parents post was equating right wingers with slavery... which is factually incorrect...

Amending the correction. (0)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702205)

"Yes, the Republicans freed the slaves, but that was almost 150 years ago -- I'd say the GOP's more than a little different now"

In this idea, at least, they are the same. Efforts to support equal treatment regardless and rights regardless of race find the most support among Republicans, and the Democrats tend to strongly oppose equal/fair treatment. (Here's an excellent example [ca.gov] where the Republicans tended to side with equal rights and the Dems went with the racists.)

"In fact, all of those Democrats who sought to maintain segregation? They've long since switched parties and are Republicans now."

Men such as KKK Grand Wizard Senator Robert Byrd? (D-WV).

Re:Liberals PROMOTED SEGREGATION (1)

planetmn (724378) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701573)

Ah, but you are confusing liberal and democrat. Or more accurately, you are confusing liberal and "dixiecrat". Yes, the democratic party (in the south) after the civil war was terrible. They voted for segregation, were supportive of many racist organizations. But they were not liberals.

That party doesn't exist anymore for all intents and purposes. In fact, if you look at the people who supported the dixiecrats, you would find that they are considered conservative now.

The GP was getting pretty trolly with his whole "back in the day" argument, as back in the day, just about everybody in power abused it (and abused it worse than they do today). But that being said, his main argument about the Republican party (successfully) coopting the word liberal to have negative connotations. But what's probably worse, is that most liberals have resigned themselves to this fact and are too scared to even admit they are liberal.

I myself am a social liberal (though not a democrat), and fiscal conservative. I don't belong to a political party.

-dave

Re:Liberals PROMOTED SEGREGATION (1)

peterpressure (940132) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701619)

I was responding to his notion

"back in the day when right-wingers just wanted to keep their slaves and feudal tenants from escaping to more liberal (i.e. equal and progressive) societies?"

Which not only isn't factualy correct, its just plain a lie...

Now onto your notion that

"That party doesn't exist anymore for all intents and purposes. In fact, if you look at the people who supported the dixiecrats, you would find that they are considered conservative now."

That is also ignoring the CURRENT Democrat DIXIE senator and former KKK member Robert Byrd from West Virginia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Byrd#Participa tion_in_the_Ku_Klux_Klan [wikipedia.org]

I am just tryign to set the record straight. Imagine if the GOP still had a former KKK member in there ranks... Geee, he would have to resign

Re:Liberals PROMOTED SEGREGATION (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702247)

"Imagine if the GOP still had a former KKK member in there ranks... Geee, he would have to resign"

The Republicans did have David Duke (KKK) in their ranks. However, the party repudiated him on a national and state level. They even urged voters to vote for Democrats opposing him. The Dems have yet to shun Robt. Byrd.

Re:Liberals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701481)

Who do you think invented laissez-faire and free market economics

Human nature, my friend. Our respect for voluntary association (the essence and fundamental prerequisite of free-market economics) wasn't invented; it was evolved. If humanity as a whole hadn't evolved to prefer voluntary association over coercion, humanity as a whole would still be living in caves.

(Yes, I realize that we still have a lot of evolving to do, as force and fraud still exist, and indeed, government -- the principle of men ruling men -- still exists. But obviously, we have come a long way as a species.)

Re:Liberals (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701589)

It's amazing how the Republican Party and their joculators have managed to make the word "Liberal" a term of abuse in the US.
Actually I think liberals did it to themselves. Clearly liberals have fought for good and meaningful changes in society in the past. Unfortunately many liberals seem to live in that past, when businesses treated their employees like slaves and the employees had no recourse, when living conditions for most of the population were miserable and infrastructure was non-existent, when education was only accessible to the wealthy, etc. Now that those primitive times are behind us (thank you liberals of the past) they can't accept that, for the majority of Americans at least, many of the policies they now advocate seem destructive, and detrimental to the country. Of course I may just be echoing what was said about liberals during the civil rights movement, the labor movement, and the establishment of public education; it's always hard to make these judgments while you are in the middle of the storm.

Re:Liberals (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701733)

Actually, I believe liberal==pejorative came about the time politcal correctness had gone quite so crazy, and everybody and his^H^H^H her/his brother/sister was a hyphenated something or other(eg. vertically-challenged american). Of course the pushing of special group rights over the rights of the individual really didn't help either. And before we started calling them "Greens" the PETA types fell under the Liberal umbrella. Oh and people don't like paying taxes so that's another reason Liberal == bad.

Re:Liberals (1)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701775)

After all, what is the opposite of "Liberal"? Not "Conservative", but presumably "Illiberal", i.e. somebody who wants to prevent people from doing what they want.

I'm afraid not. Liberal and conservative are both terms used to describe distribution of something. Haven't you ever heard something like "apply liberally to affected region" or "caution: may burn; apply conservatively?" From the very meaning of the words you can hopefully see that these are both about economics in relation to government. Both asking, "how do we spend?" It has long been thought that you can derive all of a political view from this, but I think it's time to use more to talk about it. Mostly because you can spend in a way that supports either of the other two terms you were actually comparing.

The terms you're thinking of are "libertarian," (allowing people to do whatever they want/against government regulation) and it's counterpoint "authoritarian" (preventing people from doing what they want/for government regulation).

Initially, these had to be linked because everyone who wanted more regulation also wanted some way to pay for it. So liberal implied more taxes. Today we spend money we don't have, so you can be against taxes and still be for spending.

I don't think these terms actually apply very well anymore. Both of the main parties seem very authoritarian and very liberal (remember, this means "they spend a lot").

Re:Liberals (1)

bigdavex (155746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702227)


I'm afraid not. Liberal and conservative are both terms used to describe distribution of something. Haven't you ever heard something like "apply liberally to affected region" or "caution: may burn; apply conservatively?" From the very meaning of the words you can hopefully see that these are both about economics in relation to government. Both asking, "how do we spend?" It has long been thought that you can derive all of a political view from this, but I think it's time to use more to talk about it. Mostly because you can spend in a way that supports either of the other two terms you were actually comparing.

The terms you're thinking of are "libertarian," (allowing people to do whatever they want/against government regulation) and it's counterpoint "authoritarian" (preventing people from doing what they want/for government regulation).

Initially, these had to be linked because everyone who wanted more regulation also wanted some way to pay for it. So liberal implied more taxes. Today we spend money we don't have, so you can be against taxes and still be for spending.

I don't think these terms actually apply very well anymore. Both of the main parties seem very authoritarian and very liberal (remember, this means "they spend a lot").

-1, wrong.

Liberal [wikipedia.org] relates to freedom. Liberal governments as opposed to unlimited monarchies and such. It's only recently that people have decided that it's an insult.

Re:Liberals (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701999)

Well, you see, during the Cold War, socialist-leaning politicians couldn't be too blatant about their agenda -- most americans simply wouldn't vote for that; so they started using that word instead. They are the opposite of "classic" liberals (now called libertarians), who support free enterprise and small government.

I do not think it means what you think it means. (1)

silentounce (1004459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702289)

Stop that Hitleresque talk, you Nazi!

Re:Liberals (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702293)

Also forgot that
  1. Eisenhower imposed heavy regs on the airlines,
  2. Nixon imposed heavy regulations on USA during the first oil crisis as well as economic regs (WIN anyone?)
, whereas it was Carter who lifted all regs on Airlines and Oil.

Offhand, I would not say that Dems are stellar with Business, but Republicans are actually not that great. Only to the large lobbying type business are they good with. I wonder what that says about morality and all?

Re:Makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16702221)

And yet, it is the Democrats that silicon valley support so heavily. Think that they are absolutely clueless or perhaps do they know their industry and the real support that they have?

But let me guess, you will now go into a tirad about winning wars (Nixon, W), balanced budgets (reagan, W), high morals (cheney, frist, abramhoff, delay, foley), and family values(Reagan, W., Gingrich, foley, haggard) occurring due to Republicans?

Where's Ted Stevens and his tubes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701117)

I mean, if he's not at the bottom of the list... It's shocking to think that there are people who can even come up with worse analogies, and that they get to decide over our internets. Bloody hell.

Re:Where's Ted Stevens and his tubes? (1)

iCharles (242580) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701689)

Stevens came in at 53%. Tech friendly votes include "against taxes on Internet purchases," "for an R&D tax credit," "against banning sale of firearms online," "Extending ban on Internet access taxes through 2007," "To liberalize computer export restrictions" among others. Granted, he did vote for the CDA. However, I don't think "making bad analogies" equates a bad tech voting record.

You see, congress is like an iceberg full of penguins...

Re:Where's Ted Stevens and his tubes? (1)

theckhd (953212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701729)

He comes in at 53.33% [com.com] (click on Alaska on the map), which while the lowest in Alaska is far from the lowest overall. In fact, it's above the senate average of 43.30%.

Tech friendliness in the UK too (1)

ztransform (929641) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701119)

The tech friendliness of UK politicians has been in the news of late. It seems that part of reaching out to younger audiences involve some adeptness at interfacing with the internet. However this isn't just in websites, and lately has involved YouTube somewhat.. but politicians have to be careful. Tech-savvy youth don't respect politicians that enter the technology arena just to score points, they have to contribute positively in some way!

Counter-intuitive Rating... (0, Troll)

v783650 (948198) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701121)

Does anyone else find the scoring a little odd? I was looking at Ron Paul's (R-TX) scores, and here are some interesting "wins":

Voted AGAINST a five-year ban on internet access taxes
Voted FOR prohibiting online gambling (twice, apparently)
Voted FOR prohibiting some computer generated porn
Voted FOR net-surveillance without court orders
Voted AGAINST free trade and Trade Promotion Authority
Voted FOR curbs on class action lawsuits
Voted FOR investigating "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas"

Those all seem like big negatives to me. If you count those as negatives, he scored more closely to 50% (11/20, by my judgment; not restricting sites like MySpace seems to be positive -- free speech and all).

Re:Counter-intuitive Rating... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701359)

Hmm. Look at some of the other scores - I am not sure that a "check" or "X" means the person voted yea or nay on a bill - it means that they made the "right" vote for that particular measure. Many of the lowest scorers had "Xs" against votes that I would consider pro-tech.

Paul is extremely consistent - his nickname in the House is "Dr. No," because he votes against so many bills. He's probably the only person in the entire federal government who can really be considered a libertarian, and definitely the only person I'd bother to cast a vote for (If I lived in the 14th district of Texas, that is).

Re:Counter-intuitive Rating... (1)

v783650 (948198) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701383)

Ah, that makes far more sense. Thanks for clearing that up.

Re:Counter-intuitive Rating... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701401)

Voted FOR investigating "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas"

Actually, he voted against [house.gov] that resolution. The CNet article was incredibly unclear in how checks and X's were assigned to the votes, but as the sibling to this post suggests, the check mark indicates that they voted in the tech-friendly way, which wasn't necessarily "yes".

Re:Counter-intuitive Rating... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701547)

This poster is spreading misinformation, mod it down.
For example, its easy to understand that he lost "friendliness" for the tax vote and gained "friendliness" for he only gambling vote. The X and check aren't representing the way he actually voted, but whether the way he voted was internet friendly.

Re:Counter-intuitive Rating... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701649)

not restricting sites like MySpace seems to be positive -- free speech and all
Sorry, this is one example where free speech should be trumped by the greater good.

remarkably biased view (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701125)

from what i understood from this article, this survey appears to be monumentally biased. it seems to believe that all "tech people" have the same politics, which is horribly, horribly false. For example, the article scored politicians based on their views of H1b visas and export restrictions. How, exaclty, voting one way or another makes a lawmaker "tech friendly" is unclear to me. Those issues are about immigration, trade, and security policy (or some mixture thereof), NOT technology. There's not a single issue that I can think of that would justify this survey. Heck, I'm as pure a technologist as you can find (own a few 3-letter dot coms, multiple CS/EE degrees, I have written code that now sits in the linux kernel, and now run a small software company) and i am basically for stronger enforcement of copyright laws.. does this make me 'anti-tech' or 'pro-tech' in this survey view?

Re:remarkably biased view (1)

Mad_Rain (674268) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701175)

i am basically for stronger enforcement of copyright laws.. does this make me 'anti-tech' or 'pro-tech' in this survey view?

I don't know but it certainly dooms your slashdot karma. ;)

Seriously, there does seem to be a flaw here - does "Tech friendly" mean "Hacker friendly", or "Big Technology Business Friendly" ?

Lots of tech votes scored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701245)

The Communications Decency Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Internet filtering, MySpace blocking, three Internet surveillance votes, at least five Internet tax votes -- all those were scored. There were some trade votes but they're hardly a majority.

How many _true_ geeks are going to be for any of those bills?

Re:Lots of tech votes scored (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701387)

Blockquoth the AC:

How many _true_ geeks are going to be for any of those bills?

Fair point. On the other hand, how representative of the best interests of the general population are true geeks? To be sure, there's a lot of overlap, but often with legal or regulatory frameworks, what's reasonable and in the interests of the well-informed and able specialists may be unreasonable or have an overall negative effect on the population as a whole. Surely legislators must take this into account when deciding what laws to pass, and any appropriate exemptions to include?

Re:remarkably biased view (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701901)

[F]rom what [I] understood from this article, this survey appears to be monumentally biased. [I}t seems to believe that all "tech people" have the same politics . . .

I don't think the survey is intended to reflect opinions of tech people. From TFA:

Internet policy, others covered computer export restrictions, H-1B visas, free trade, research and development, electronic passports and class action lawsuits.

From these issues, by "tech friendly", the survey means "friendly to big corporations involved in tech". They don't mean friendly to tech people at all, but tech investors -- who pay the bills (in congress). You dance with the one that brung ya. For congress, that's corporations.

Method disadvantages minority party (1)

Aaarrrggghhh (987643) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701135)

It is not enough to ask what bills a congress person votes for or against. One must also ask why they voted the way they did, aside from just the face of the bill. You have to ask what else was in the bill that was objectionable and what other proposals were kept from the floor for a vote because the majority party tends to control what legislation gets consideration.

A simple up or down analysis does the minority party a diservice by not considering what their alternative would have been when they voted no and by not looking deeping into reasons a person might have wanted to "vote for it before they were against it". That line is used against Kerry often, but that's because he's so bad at explaining that a considerate senator must consider the whole bill and its alternatives, not just the political expediancy of its title and prominent sections.

IE: A poltician is not "against the troops" because he voted against a military spending bill that fails to supply adequate body armor. He may be backing a better bill that goes further and gives the troos that neccessary protection.

Just a thought.

Re:Method disadvantages minority party (1)

gartogg (317481) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701923)

Actually, I have to disagree - the way that the system works is by having all bills that pass go into law, and all that don't, go away. The point is that if I can analyze a bill as a whole and say whether it was pro- or anti-technology, I can gauge someone's attitude towards the issue pretty well.

Of course, I'm not sure why limiting class action lawsuits is pro-technology, as opposed to pro-insurance industry, but I assume that CNET has top analysts who research and fully understand these issues, and come to a conclusion about how NASA has nothing to do with technology, and that internet gambling is a technology issue and not a legislation of morals issue (not that I'm for it...) They also understand how computer generated porn is an important technology issue, since the word computer is used, and that extra laws against spyware are bad, becuase there is already legistlation on the books. (So our representatives were punished on the scorecard for voting for the bill, since it's a data point, and we can't assume that it's a silly question whether someone voted for a unnecessary bill.)

So yes, scorecards work. And CNET is part of a half dozen astroturf campaigns, and has no grasp on which issues matter. Of course, it will be ignored by voters, so it's better than traditional news media.

Re:Method disadvantages minority party (1)

Guuge (719028) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702217)

That line is used against Kerry often, but that's because he's so bad at explaining that a considerate senator must consider the whole bill and its alternatives, not just the political expediancy of its title and prominent sections.

No, it's not because he's bad at explaining it. It's just an opportunity to bash Kerry. I can't think of one single intelligent person who holds that line against Kerry.

It's like the Al Gore "invented" misquote; if you can't say anything good about Bush then you have no choice but to lie about his opposition.

Kerry, here's a joke for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701163)

You know, if you study IT, and you make an effort to learn how to hack Diebold machines, you can do well. If you don't, you lose a presidential election.

makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701191)

republicans have historically been about warfare, and technology is closely linked to warfare (at least in the US, where the military budget makes up 1/3-1/2 of all federal spending).

Read the fine print. (2, Interesting)

stomv (80392) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701235)

Consider the Senate Methodology [com.com]

3. Prohibit Internet gambling. This isn't really a tech vote. This is a moral socio-economic vote. c|net wanted Senators to vote to allow (not to prohibit) Internet gambling... because it's on the Internet?!

5. Increasing paperwork for Internet Sellers. What's the amendment that c|net wanted a no vote against? "To require persons selling tangible personal property via the Internet to disclose to purchasers that they may be subject to State and local sales and use taxes on the purchases." That's it. Simply inform the buyer that he or she may have to pay taxes in other districts. You see, when you buy in meatspace, this part of the transaction is automagic. Not so in virtual space. Again, I don't see it as being a major technological issue vote.

11. Free Trade Bill. No, seriously. If you voted for free trade, you demonstrated your prowess as a technologist? Give me a freaking break.

12. Over-ruling state anti-SPAM with the CAN-SPAM. Now, you might not think that the legislation is tough enough, but I think it is fair to say that the pro-technology approach to Internet regulation is to not have 50 different sets of regulations within the United States.

16. For curbs on class-action lawsuits. Again, WTF? This isn't a technology issue per se. This is a judicial process issue. To put it in this list is asinine.

But, what wasn't on this list?
  * Judicial approvals
  * Regulatory approvals (think FCC, et al)
  * Committee membership
  * Interaction with lobbyists and money acceptance from PACs.

It's a dumb list, at least on the Senate side. I didn't even bother to check out the House side.

Re:Read the fine print. (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701659)

Its not a dumb list its a conservative wish list. Toss banning of gay marriage on there and you have most of the gop platform. Shows you what cnet thinks of "technologists."

Decisions... (1)

Shihar (153932) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701261)

So the next question is... is it better to have a politician in power who understands technology and so can merrily and effectively have the government muck technology up, or is it better to have a technological idiot try in futility to put technology under the control of the government but risk breaking things by accident?

Or, to put it another way:

Would you rather be robbed by a guy armed with a gun that knows how to use it and expertly aim it, or an idiot with a gun who doesn't realize that pulling the trigger is going to cause the gun to fire and has no idea if the safety is on or off?

Re:Decisions... (1)

EveLibertine (847955) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701473)

I don't think you paid enough attention to statistical probability with your analogy.

Using your same analogy of computer knowledge to gun toting and skill in marksmanship, and who I would rather be robbed by is irrelevant when chances are that for every 1 person in the government fits into the knowledgeable marksman category there at least a few dozen that are carrying the weaponry with no formal training. Given probability and strength in numbers, I'd probably be safer going with just the 1 thief. At least if I can get close enough I might have a chance to take him out in hand to hand combat; I doubt I'd have the same chance against the moronic mob.

Re:Decisions... (1)

Guuge (719028) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702265)

This article has nothing to do with understanding technology. It's about "tech-friendliness", which is essentially loyalty to certain lobbyists deemed to represent "technology". A congressperson can get a perfect score without knowing anything at all about technology.

Diebold and sex offenders (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701281)

OK so in North Carolina here are the big issues:

Funding for eVoting. Check
Funding to track every sex offender real time, 24/7 everywhere on Earth forever and ever. Check

We're good to go.

Re:Diebold and sex offenders (1)

Alaria Phrozen (975601) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701449)

What sucks is if you get wrongly accused of rape, and get labled a sex offender for the rest of your life...

But.. (1)

craagz (965952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701329)

what if..there are senators like..

"It says "Press any key"" and i can't find the damned "Any" key on the keyboard...

Ted! (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701345)

Where's Ted Stevens? He ought to be lowest scoring in SOMETHING.
They could at least give him honorable mention or something! lol

Re:Ted! (1)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701415)

He scored 55%. Ted Stevens is in a position whereby he can exert direct control over the internet, he's made it clear that he's "for sale" to lobbyists concerning its future (the infamous "tubes" speech), and that he knows absolutely nothing about technology or that over which he is supposed to preside...and he scored better than a ton of other people.

I dismiss this entire study outright on that alone.

Re:Ted! (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701959)

Wouldn't it be worse if that were accurate, and Ted Stevens really does know more about technology than half of the other members of Congress?

Re:Ted! (1)

dragonsomnolent (978815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702013)

Here here! I find it shamefull that politicians are so blantantly putting themselves up for sale like this. I think government needs an overhaul - big time. No more political contributions from any group, business or collective entity, and cap personal contributions to something in the tune of $1000 bucks per person. Get rid of all lobbyists, so that congress-critters listen to the people again, not just the ones who take them to Jamaica on vacation with them.

Pro-Tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701357)

More like pro business. The article mentions Internet tax, but what does that have to do with technology? Pro-tech is more like providing government funds for new technology or making IP laws less draconian.

Survery them on outsourcing and H1-B visa increase (1)

pkbarbiedoll (851110) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701373)

What I want to know is if they are doing their part to protect the middle class and jobs that support the middle class, or if they support support middle classes of other countries.

Re:Survery them on outsourcing and H1-B visa incre (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702009)

TFA says that survey does address H1-B visas and Free Trade. I think you can assume that a high score in the sruvey means supporting more H1-Bs and more offshoring.

So are they doing their part to protect the middle class? Only to the extent that middle class people invest in tech companies.

Re:Survery them on outsourcing and H1-B visa incre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16702047)

Excellent point. Also, I'll vote for the biggest luddite out there as long as they get that war stopped. Nothing else matters to me now.

Senator Allen (R-VA) (2, Interesting)

caudron (466327) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701451)

Also unsurprising was George Allen, a first-term Virginia Republican who won the top score in the Senate, at 78 percent, after becoming chairman of the Senate High Tech Task Force five years ago.

Those of us from Virginia aren't surprised either. Senator Allen used to be our Governor where he spent consider energy and resources courting high tech companies and trying to bring legislation to the table that made us an attractive option for technology companies in search of a headquarters. As Governor, his approval rating was pretty damn high.

That said, as a Senator, he has not fared so well in the polls. He may be friendly to technology interests (apparently 78% friendly?) which is expected given his history on the subject, but he's even friendly to President Bush (apparently 96% friendly?) and that doesn't sit well with a nation or a state that isn't interested in more of the same right now.

I guess what I'm driving at here is that while our pet interest might be in technology, we can't let that drive our vote. It's an important issue category, but it's only one of many and on many other counts these people may be doing quite a poor job. I'd argue that voting so closely with President Bush's interests (seriously 96% is A LOT!) shows me that a great governor does not necessarily make a good senator. I suspect he is just courting the RNC because there has been talk of him being a serious presidential contender in the near future. I know you have to sell a little of your soul to get anywhere in politics nowadays, but I can't in good conscience vote for someone who does it so thoroughly and so blatantly...even if he is good on technology.

Tom Caudron
http://tom.digitalelite.com/ [digitalelite.com]

Re:Senator Allen (R-VA) (1)

10e6Steve (545457) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701611)

I wonder if Allen knows what Youtube [youtube.com] is?

Re:Senator Allen (R-VA) (1)

3waygeek (58990) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701779)

He may not know YouTube, but he knows about Xybernaut [washingtonpost.com] .

Re:Senator Allen (R-VA) (1)

(trb001) (224998) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701881)

I'd argue that voting so closely with President Bush's interests (seriously 96% is A LOT!) shows me that a great governor does not necessarily make a good senator.

What I'm getting from your statement is that you don't like Bush, and because Allen voted with Bush so much, you therefore don't like Allen. That doesn't make him a bad senator; that makes him a senator whose votes you don't like.

I really liked Allen as governor, I thought he did an amazing job with Virginia's economy. I don't have serious issues with him as senator, but he's a freaking spendthrift, so deciding between him and Webb is going to be tough. I don't think he's been as fiscally conservative as I would have liked him to be, but that doesn't make him a bad senator, just one whom I'm not sure I want representing me.

--trb

Re:Senator Allen (R-VA) (1)

caudron (466327) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702277)

I'd say that's a fair assessment of my post. Actually, I do have some problems with him as a Senator (and I also liked him as Governor) that aren't just related to him strong allegiance to the current president, but I didn't want to get too far into Va politics in this thread.

He's made some decisions as senator that I vehemently disagree with. I'm not exactly excited about Webb (who is?) but I think he'll be marginally better than what we have now. I wish I could be more positive about our senatorial choices this year. :( At least we still have Warner! :)

Tom Caudron
http://tom.digitalelite.com/ [digitalelite.com]

Bull Spit (1)

mothlos (832302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701469)

These report cards that measure the quality of legislators based on their floor votes really don't give the big picture and don't really mean much.

First, it assumes that each bill can be rated as either 'good' or 'bad' in some key respect. This is an extremely subjective position and with the low number of tech bills that regularly go through the congress it is hard to say.

Second, it assumes that the legislation is single-issue. The legislative process is one of compromise. Something which may be a fantastic idea to one person may be horribly flawed due to some political reason, such as objection to a sunset clause or a rider which is not acceptable.

The very 'best' score was an 80% with a major clumping in the 50% range? This seems that most of the representatives weren't unfriendly to tech interests, but they were voting based on unrelated criteria. This isn't a measure of tech friendliness, but a measure of tech indifference.

Meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701497)

There are (at least) two sides to every issue. So what does "internet friendly" mean? Are you "internet friendly" if you're for DRM, or against it, for example.

Smells like someone with an agenda trying to get a little positive PR.

George Allen ranked the highest Senator? (1)

vistic (556838) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701523)

I guess he learned a lot from the "macacas" he welcomed to the real word of Virginia.

Sen. Kerry (0, Flamebait)

FLOOBYDUST (737287) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701569)

Senator Kerry issued an apology today for being technology averse but blamed it all on President Bush. . The honorable war hero Senator reminds us that he voted for creating internet (with Sen. Gore) before he voted against it.

John Kerry is Satan... (0, Flamebait)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701607)

....I have written many times and even received replies once or twice the are uniformly in the camp of I'll say and do what ever the media concerns pay me to say and do. He is a profoundly bad man, thank GOD the american public as a whole had better sense than to elect that dickhead as the president.

Re:John Kerry is Satan... (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 7 years ago | (#16701993)

Humorous replies pointing out the irony of your post in 3.. 2.. 1..

Re:John Kerry is Satan... (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702061)

Humorous replies pointing out the irony of your post in 3.. 2.. 1..

I think we're supposed to read it as sarcasm. His sig would certainly suggest that.

CC mag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16701935)

Cannabis Culture magazine also graded congressmen on their performance in the past few years. Ron Paul is the only congressman nationwide to get a perfect marijuana-friendly score. Let's keep him around! ... even though he's a Republican.

Utterly Ridiculous, Fantastically reductive (1)

BeeBeard (999187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702007)

This is from the article:

While many of the scored votes centered on Internet policy, others covered computer export restrictions, H-1B visas, free trade, research and development, electronic passports and class action lawsuits.


The article is lean on the science and heavy on the fluff, but apparently their methodology involved assuming what they believed to be the technology-friendly stance on each of these issues, and then scoring Congress according to whether or not a member voted for a bill that supported that stance. This raises all sorts of issues. For example, how do you score a Senator or Representative when they vote against a free trade bill because it contains pork that would get rid of the estate tax? By the time it's been processed and mangled by the committees, very little legislation is "clean" enough so that you could claim that it is exclusively about one issue, or exclusively about another.

Furthermore, what do you do when there are two sides to an issue, and each side is presented as having technological interests in mind? (For example, "Computer export restrictions help domestic tech companies" vs. "Not having computer export restrictions helps domestic tech companies.") Are we supposed to assume that Declan McCullagh and Anne Broache, through the prism of their infinite wisdom and impeccable judgment, have arrived at some sort of "correct" stance on these issues? Forgive me if I'm just a little skeptical.

"A Series of Tubes!" -- ranking is deeply flawed (1)

Hollinger (16202) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702075)

Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), is somehow ranked at 53.3% according to this article.

This has to be flawed -- the man got quoted as saying this in a debate:
Ten movies streaming across that, that internet, and what happens to your own personal internet? I just the other day got...an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday. Why? [...] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.
-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Series_of_tubes [wikipedia.org]

If you search around, you'll find a copy of the MP3, where you can hear him stumble over the words.

I'd argue that the article is ranking something meaningless if Ted "Series of Tubes" Stevens got a 53% score. That, or the bottom 50% are REALLY bad.

This does bring to mind a quote (from somewhere): "Think about how stupid the average (American, Person, Senator, ___) is. By definition, half of them are more stupid than that."

And yes, I realize this is a "score" not a "ranking."

What about Congressladies? (2, Insightful)

jfruhlinger (470035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16702169)

Apparently they aren't ranked?
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