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Lieberman seen as boost to IT ticket

Federal Computer Week

(IDG) -- Electronic government advocates Monday hailed the selection of Sen. Joseph Lieberman for the Democratic vice presidential candidate as a boost for information technology concerns.

One of the most knowledgeable members of Congress on the digital revolution, Lieberman (D-Conn.) has been a leader in efforts to improve government through greater use of IT. Vice President Al Gore, who will receive the Democratic presidential nomination next week, has picked Lieberman as his running mate.

From creating a World Wide Web site that lets the public contribute ideas to e-government legislation to pressing for more government investment in science and technology, Lieberman is widely considered among the most technology-savvy senators.

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"Joe Lieberman has been such a guiding force on e-government," said Joiwind Williams, director of the Technology Leadership Consortium at the Council for Excellence in Government.

"He's a great choice in terms of the IT community. He's interested. He's supportive. He's savvy," said Alan Balutis, director of the Commerce Department's Advanced Technology Program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Lieberman's most recent accomplishment is the e-Government Project, a World Wide Web site that invites ideas and comments from the public on wide-ranging legislation Lieberman is drafting on e-government. He and Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) unveiled the site in May.

It has received 600 messages since then on subjects ranging from increased access to government through online town meetings to whether a federal chief information officer is needed.

"He's the first to think about drafting legislation by soliciting public input on Internet," Williams said.

The staffs of Gore and Lieberman have communicated frequently on Internet issues by e-mail and in personal meetings.

Lieberman aides said he is extremely interested in IT policy, how Internet issues affect the economy and how to keep government from getting in the way of its growth. He therefore would be well-equipped to follow the precedent set by Gore, who as vice president has led the technology-oriented National Partnership for Reinventing Government.




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RELATED SITES:
Lieberman's "online office"
Governmental Affairs Committee
Lieberman and Thompson's e-Government Project

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