November 3, 2006

Rhetoric & Reality: Mapping Congress' Voting Records on Technology

Declan McCullough:
Ever since the mid-1990s, politicians have grown fond of peppering their speeches with buzzwords like broadband, innovation and technology.

John Kerry, Al Gore and George W. Bush have made fundraising pilgrimages to Silicon Valley to ritually pledge their support for a digital economy.

But do politicos' voting records match their rhetoric? To rate who's best and who's worst on technology topics before the Nov. 7 election, CNET has compiled a voter's guide, grading how representatives in the U.S. Congress have voted over the last decade.

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. We excluded the hot-button issue of Net neutrality, which has gone only to a recorded floor vote in the House of Representatives so far, because that legislation has generated sufficient division among high-tech companies and users to render it too difficult to pick a clear winner or loser.

The results were surprisingly mixed: In the Senate, Republicans easily bested Democrats by an average of 10 percent. In the House of Representatives, however, Democrats claimed a narrow but visible advantage on technology-related votes.
John Kerry finished second last in the Senate. Locally, Ron Kind, Mark Green and Tom Petri "scored" above 50%. Senate / House scoring methodology. For example, both Senators Feingold and Kohl voted for the National ID card and linking databases while Representative Baldwin voted against it. Posted by James Zellmer at November 3, 2006 8:55 AM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
Posted to Elections | Politics | Technology