Re: Ms. Tobi's overheated rhetoric

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Sat Nov 03 2007 - 18:40:08 CDT

Barbara, first thing last ... this is a public forum. The archives are on
the Internet for anyone to see. This has been the case since day one of
this list ... started more than four years ago
http://gnosis.python-hosting.com/voting-project/

I don't believe there is any need for any permission to forward anything
here.

I would like to clarify what Brent said. I believe Brent is trying to tell
it as best as he remembers, but I have a couple of other things to say about
it.

At least one thing, I believe, is factually wrong. He says, "She then
pointed out that Accurate had cited OVC in their requests for the dough...."
I don't believe she said that. I said that.

The meeting was in early April. Here is a post I made about that dated APR
13.
http://www.openvotingconsortium.org/blog/2007-apr-13/legislative_efforts_having_impact
This was after the HR 811 was introduced, but before the revision, which
came out on JUL 27.

Here is my recollection of what Congresswoman Lofgren said in relative to
these issues.

1) On MSFT's role
-------------------------------
She said that the language for code disclosure was being changed to suit
Microsoft. She said they had to do this to keep MSFT from killing the bill,
and she also mentioned something about the money that was involved --
contributions at risk. I believe she mentioned the specific committee or
group that would be denied money, but I think she did name the committee or
group. I don't remember the name.

2) About ACCURATE
------------------------------
Congresswoman Lofgren stated that they weren't considering putting money in
the bill for open source software development for new voting systems because
the federal government already was funding that through ACCURATE.

I replied that ACCURATE was not developing an open source voting system, and
that such an undertaking was not part of their charter. I told her I was
familar with the ACCURATE proposal, which the National Science Foundation
had funded, and that OVC was supposed to have some role in that project. I
explained that perhaps some people got the impression that open source
software development for new voting systems might be a part of that because
there is discussion of how they plan to work with OVC. I told her that
ACCURATE was NOT working with OVC and had not worked with OVC on anything
despite requests from me that they do so.

My conclusions
-----------------------
It seemed to me that Congresswoman Lofgren was interested in meeting with us
in effort to get us on board with HR 811. We were meeting with her because
I wanted to see money put in HR 811 (or some other bill) for voting
technology development that would be freely available (with free license
like BSD, but preferably GPL).

Brent inferred that she was saying MSFT and ACCURATE are our enemies --
Congress is listening to them, not us. I don't believe she used the word
"enemy" or "enemies." I think it's not unreasonable to feel she was saying
MSFT and ACCURATE are kicking OVC's ass -- thus, Brent's "enemies"
characterization.

It's Microsoft's right to lobby all they want. However, there are laws
about what's proper/improper when it comes to giving money. The Federal
RICO laws may come into play.

As for references to OVC in the ACCURATE proposal, see sec 3.3 on
"technology transfer." OVC is also supposed to have an advisory board
position. I have never been contacted about that.

http://accurate-voting.org/accurate/docs/proposal-feb2005.pdf

Alan D.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Barbara Simons" <simons@acm.org>
To: <brent@openvotingconsortium.org>; "Open Voting Consortium discussion
list" <ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>
Sent: Saturday, November 03, 2007 1:38 PM
Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Ms. Tobi's overheated rhetoric

Hi, Brent. Our emails crossed, so please ignore my request for a
reference, since clearly there is none.

You said that Lofgren said that "there was two enemies to the open
voting movement - Microsoft and Accurate." Did she actually say that
ACCURATE was an "enemy" of the open voting movement? Did she put
ACCURATE in the same equivalence class as Microsoft?

I'd like your permission to forward your response to a member of
Lofgren's staff.

Regards,
Barbara

Brent Turner wrote:
>
> It was verbal- Alan D and I were both there- She said that Capitol
> Hill was under the impression Accurate was working towards an open
> source system
>
> She then pointed out that Accurate had cited OVC in their requests for
> the dough- and thought the two were working together- BT
>

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Received on Fri Nov 30 23:17:08 2007

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