Should DeLay's New Job Concern FSF?

Posted by tadelste on Mar 6, 2006 8:28 AM EDT; By Tom Adelstein
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With the Free Software Foundation beginning to take an active role in prosecution of Microsoft, perhaps they should look at the new guy in charge of appropriations for the Justice Department, the FBI, FTC and Intellectual Property Enforcement and possibly the future of GNU/Linux.

Last November, the Free Software Foundation appealed for political pressure in the Microsoft anti-trust action in the European Community. FSF broke ranks with some free software advocates and filed a request with the European Union to participate in antitrust suit against Microsoft in Europe. The filing asks for leave to intervene in the case stating that Microsoft's fiscal might skews the litigation.

Georg Greve, president of FSFE, said in a statement: "The more Microsoft is able to purchase its opponents' solidarity, the more important FSFE's commitment to freedom and interoperability is."

So, we come down to finally confronting Microsoft openly. Perhaps FSF's actions come with hindsight. The Free Software Foundation sought to present an oral argument at a hearing in US v Microsoft in March 2002. The judge, COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY refused to hear the FSF's testimony.

With campaign staff members of a presidential hopeful lobbying for Microsoft in 2000, we can see the impact on the US v Microsoft trial and final outcome. With admissions and convictions starting to sprout up, the spot light has starting moving in the direction of Redmond.

In the United States, the FSF and even the DoJ might want to take a look at Microsoft's on going ability to purchase its opponents' solidarity. Microsoft does not have a open conflict with the government at present. A possibility exists, however, that prosecutors might be looking at Microsoft's involvement with scandals involving the purchasing of political favors.

Recently, I met with Eugene Nelson. Phd., a researcher and political analyst. Dr. Nelson pointed out during our interview that Tom DeLay has stepped down from his post as House Majority Leader to the Committee on Appropriations. His sub-comittee post is Science, State, Justice & Commerce and Homeland Security. In his position, he has considerable impact on funding of the investigations of the:

Justice Department, the FBI, Migration, Federal Trade Commission, National Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordination and others.
How did this powerful politician wind up with such control over interests so important to free software?

If you read an earlier LXer article, you saw an email that came out of the Enron email database. For convenience, I'll post it again:

From: []
To: []
Date: 19 Dec 2000 15:19 PST
Subject: abramoff
Rick, good to see you today. excited about the prospects of the new office, kitchen cabinet/advisory team, etc. as we discussed, jack abramoff is joining barry richards' law firm, Greenberg Traurig, on january 1. richards was just named lawyer of the year by the American lawyer while abramoff is arguably the most influential and effective gop lobbyist in congress.
i share several clients with him and have yet to see him lose a battle. he also is very close to Delay and could help enormously on that front. raised $ for bush.
until december 31 he can be reached at 202-661-3851. he assistant is Susan Ralston.

Again, we have something that raises issues about Microsoft's influence in government. You have to wonder about the manner in which these events take place. With the evidence coming forth, no effort exists to hide this kind of appointment. Dr. Nelson comments:

Tom DeLay has had over two decades of experience. He understands the power of the individual that writes the checks. His leadership PAC (ARMPAC) had total receipts of $10,689,356 between 1999 and 2005, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) tabulations. Those funds were an important means for DeLay to enforce party discipline, initially as Republican Whip, then as Majority Leader. Donors write donation checks with the expectation of receiving benefits for their expenditures.
Is this something that FSF should find concerning? With DeLay's ties to numerous people either under investigation or already having confessed to bribery, you tell me.

» Read more about: Story Type: LXer Features; Groups: GNU

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