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12.08.08

Microsoft Chooses New Lobbying Director with “Strong Ties to Democrats”

Posted in America, Bill Gates, Europe, Microsoft at 4:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New government, new political party, new lobbying muscle

“Did you know that there are more than 34,750 registered lobbyists in Washington, D.C., for just 435 representatives and 100 senators? That’s 64 lobbyists for each congressperson.”

CIO.com

If a slogan says Change™, then surely it must materialise, right? Or was this the idea of the campaign manager to recite mottos like “unity”, “hope” and “change”, characterising the new candidacy as a blank sheet for everyone to cast a vote, submit an idea and give shape to through Web 2.0-ey Web sites.

Either way, cynicism aside, there are signs of Microsoft preparing for this Change™ and making its own internal changes. According to the press, Microsoft is appoints a new chief lobbyist in the United States.

Krumholtz opened the Microsoft federal government affairs office in Washington in March 1995 and served as a one-man shop for a year working out of the company’s Chevy Chase sales office. Given the distance from Capitol Hill, Krumholtz, 47, spent most of his time in his Jeep on conference calls and writing and checking emails on the side of the road, said the company. During that time, he became known as “Jack in his Jeep.”

We have already explained why lobbying is a bit of an oxymoron like “legalised corruption.” It’s nothing but a case of companies changing the laws to discriminate against their competitors and serve themselves better. Microsoft is by far the biggest felon in this area, with budgets allocated to these political maneuvers still increasing.

The development above is also covered here.

Jack Krumholtz, who started 14 years ago as Microsoft’s only in-house lobbyist and then expanded the company’s presence into one of the largest in the nation’s capital, is stepping down.

He will be replaced in January as Microsoft’s managing director of federal government affairs by Fred Humphries, who has led Microsoft’s state government affairs team for the past eight years, overseeing the company’s relationship with state and local officials.

The change comes as Democrats take over the presidency and increase their majority in both branches of Congress.

Humphries has strong ties to Democrats.

Could it be a coincidence that he has “strong ties to Democrats”? Until recently, Microsoft, Gates and even Ballmer (at a personal capacity) invested heavily in some Republicans. Here is some more information about this new guy.

Humphries succeeds Jack Krumholtz as managing director of federal government affairs for the company.

Humphries will be trading one Washington office for another. He is currently based in Redmond, Wash., Microsoft’s headquarters, but will be moving to Washington, D.C., in January.

Krumholtz had been with the company since 1995.

Microsoft has named a new chief federal lobbyist, Fred Humphries, who has headed its state government affairs team.

Some more interesting background from the news:

In the wake of the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, Krumholtz was tasked with increasing the company’s presence in Washington.

The following headline about “Hired Gun” pretty much reflects on what these people do (watch the glamorising graphics in this Web site). It’s like a sophisticated mafia that exchanges favours, which Europe pretends not to tolerate (in vain).

When Microsoft managing director Fred Humphries arrives in Washington, D.C. in January to run the high-tech giant’s government affairs office, he will be returning to familiar territory, friends and former colleagues said Friday. Before moving to the West Coast, he spent a number of years as a Capitol Hill staffer and at the Democratic National Committee (see earlier blog post here) but his encore performance in the nation’s capital will have him positioned on a new team within the political parlor game.

In other news, as we pointed out the other day, Bill Gates met Obama to talk about things he hasn’t much of a clue about. This proved that the country is still being run by corporations, either directly or via their lobbyists, influence and self-glorifying icons (revisionists) who acquire media outlets to tell their twisted version of historical stories. To say more about that meeting with Gates:

Bill Gates Urges Obama to Increase Spending

…a simple message for President-elect Barack Obama: Increase spending.

That’s easy to say when you don't pay taxes.

Lobbyists

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9 Comments

  1. Sydney Sider said,

    December 8, 2008 at 5:50 am

    Gravatar

    It is good to complain about the system, but it is not much help unless you can come up with a better alternative.

    Where would you advise our nations leaders go for advice on the tech industry? multiple conversations from representivies of some of the most successful companies in the industry, or should they browse the blogs with the rest of us?

  2. Jo Shields said,

    December 8, 2008 at 6:06 am

    Gravatar

    Where would you advise our nations leaders go for advice on the tech industry?

    Azeroth? The head of Obama’s FCC transition team is a level 70 Tauren Shaman…

  3. Sydney Sider said,

    December 8, 2008 at 6:35 am

    Gravatar

    haha, that would work… we should run the country based on advice from the multi city trade channel.

  4. pcolon said,

    December 8, 2008 at 7:01 am

    Gravatar

    If anyone knows the effectiveness of the blog it is he. A large part of his presidential campaign was thru the blogs. If he ignores it now, then he learned nothing.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 8, 2008 at 7:17 am

    Gravatar

    Exactly. He should steer away from the likes of Gates. He used to brag about his campaign not being funded by lobbyists, unlike McCain’s.

    His victory should be sobering, not intoxicating.

  6. Sydney Sider said,

    December 8, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Gravatar

    It is really hard to understand why you object to lobbists Roy… after all, isn’t that what you are? Your cause might be your own (or that of a small group of friends… Peter, Bob et al.) rather than that of a large corporate, but you lobby for your cause all the same.

    You’re a lobbist by any deffinition.

  7. Jo Shields said,

    December 8, 2008 at 7:47 am

    Gravatar

    He’s not paid for it, though.

    Roy places a LOT of importance on the question “were you paid to do that?” on the basis of the all-important rule “follow the money”

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 8, 2008 at 7:49 am

    Gravatar

    It is when only big business ‘elites’ get their say that gaps in a society widen. The issue is that, at least in the existing US administration, mega corporations virtually run the country, regardless of who gets elected (they fund both parties and campaigns).

    Small companies haven’t a budget for “government affairs”, so groups like ACT (sponsored by monopolists) steal the voice of small businesses, which is a disservice to them.

    All that I say here is very conventional and you can find information about it in literature.

  9. paul (the unverified) said,

    December 8, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    Gravatar

    Lobbyists have singlehandedly introduce more pork into the legislative process and screwed up the dynamic of the free-market more than anyone else.

    What we have today with these lobbyists is an extension of the sales and marketing communications departments of big business. It is easier for a big company to legislate their market dominance than it is to earn it through real innovation and customer service.

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