www.911gifts.com
Navigation Search Archives Site Guide Contact Us Table Talk Newsletter Ad Info Membership Shop
Navigation Salon Salon Technology print email
Arts & Entertainment
Books
Comics
Health & Body
Media
Mothers Who Think
News
People
.Technology
Travel
Columnists

 

Also Today

For a full list of today's Salon Technology stories, go to the Technology home page.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Click here for the Mercedes-Benz C- Class Sedans

- - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Recently in Salon Technology

The millennium bug bill battle
The tech industry's Washington lobby tries to play both sides of the aisle. Is it being pragmatic -- or just naive?

By Jake Tapper
[04/30/99]

Mod love
With their ears, their computers and a little code, "mod trackers" build their own worlds of sound.

By Andrew Leonard
[04/29/99]

The Web numbers game
Everyone in the Web industry seems to agree that Media Metrix's numbers are incomplete. So why have they become a standard?

By Kaitlin Quistgaard
[04/28/99]

Silicon Follies
Chapter 13: Executive pep talk -- managing for total chaos.

By Thomas Scoville
[04/28/99]

Microsoft's flawed Linux vs. NT shootout
The test lab looked for help online. But did it really want answers?

By Andrew Leonard
[04/27/99]

Complete archives for Technology

- - - - - - - - - - - -

911gifts.com
Cozy Spa Robe by 911gifts.com

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Technology
by e-mail

Sign up here to receive our weekly e-mail newsletter listing recent and upcoming articles and events in Technolgy


 
Unsubscribe

- - - - - - - - - - - -

[an error occurred while processing this directive]



The millennium bug bill battle
The tech industry's Washington lobby tries to play both sides of the aisle. Is it being pragmatic -- or just naive?

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Jake Tapper

April 30, 1999 | WASHINGTON -- High-tech moguls throughout the nation lie awake at night worrying about the Y2K computer glitch. But their representatives in the capital are working overtime to stave off the swarms of trial attorneys they fear will converge upon their industry's coffers when the bug rears its head.

For that reason, at the end of 1998, the high-tech lobby joined a coalition to work with Congress on a bill to protect businesses from these lawsuits -- to limit their legal liability, come what Y2K disaster may.

In its scant years in Washington, the technology lobby has built a credible name for itself; it is respected as both pragmatic and non-partisan. Just last year, the passage of the industry's Information and Readiness Disclosure Act was a model of cross-party accomplishment and good will. So you'd think that its legislative goals on Y2K litigation reform, which were characteristically modest, wouldn't be such a hard sell.

But high tech is a new player in this game, and things didn't work out so well for the industry's leaders and lobbyists -- though they may not know that yet.

As of Thursday afternoon, the bill they'd hitched their wagon to, sponsored by Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, was languishing in parliamentary purgatory. That had little to do with the substance of the bill itself, but rather occurred as a result of a dispute between Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., and Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., on the ability of Democrats to offer non-germane amendments.

But how McCain's bill evolved -- and what went on behind the scenes as it did -- reveals quite a bit about the high-tech lobby's less-than-surefootedness on the playing fields of Capitol Hill. And, more importantly, the behavior of some high-tech lobbyists during the Y2K debate has made more than a few powerful enemies.

"They've been a freakin' pain in the butt," says one Machiavellian lobbyist who worked with the high-tech lobby as a member of the business community's Y2K coalition. "They tried to cut their own deals. When this is over, you'll see: conservative Republicans are going to try to scalp 'em."

 Next page | When the tech industry tangles with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who wins?



 

Salon | Search | Archives | Site Guide | Contact Us | Table Talk | Newsletter | Ad Info

Arts & Entertainment | Books | Columnists | Comics | Health & Body
Media | Mothers Who Think | News | People | Technology | Travel


Copyright © 1999 Salon Internet Inc. All rights reserved.