MA Governor-Elect Names MS Anti-ODF Lobbyist to Technology Advisory Group

Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Nov 29, 2006 8:35 AM EDT Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove
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Massachusetts Governor-elect Deval Patrick last week announced 15 transition team working groups, including one intended to advise the governor on the technology needs of the state government. Seven appointees on this group make sense. And then there's the Microsoft lobbyist that has been working to defeat ODF for the last two years.

Say what? That person is Brian Burke, the Microsoft Regional Director for Public Affairs, and if that surprises you, it surprises me as well, given the degree of acrimonious debate and disinformation witnessed in Massachusetts over the last 15 months involving the Information Technology Division's transition to ODF.

What does that bode for the future of ODF in Massachusetts? On the one hand, it turns out that both Deval Patrick and Brian Burke were part of the Clinton administration, and their acquaintance presumably stems from that time period rather from than a recent introduction. On the other hand, it is my understanding that it was Burke who led the lobbying effort on Beacon Hill against ODF, and also urged legislators to introduce the amendment intended to take away much of the ITD's planning power generally, and as regards standards specifically, and hand it to a task force made up of political appointees.

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