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Obama or Romney, who is best for IT?

While most of us base our decisions on who to elect as president of the United States for the next four years on a variety of different issues, it is interesting to see who the IT industry deems the best for Information Technology. This is especially crucial for those of us involved in the IT industry.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) shakes hands with U.S. President Barack Obama at the 67th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on October 18, 2012 in New York City.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) shakes hands with U.S. President Barack Obama at the 67th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on October 18, 2012 in New York City.Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Image

One of the best ways to determine this is by examining the financial contributors to each candidate. According to Buzzfeed, 325 bundlers raised a total of $180 million for the Obama campaign in 2011 and 2012. Of this amount $27 million came from 43 tech people, approximately 15%.

According to Bloomberg, President Obama’s contributions from Technical based groups are three times that of Governor Romney’s.

“Microsoft is No. 1 and Google Inc. is No. 3, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Chopper Trading LLC, a Chicago-based technology company, is No. 4.” Additionally, in the third quarter alone, Oracle Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. employees ranked in the top 10 sources of corporate cash to the Obama campaign.

Govenor Romney’s primary PAC, Restore Our Future, includes some big tech names. For example, Former Dell President Kevin Rollins has donated over $350,000, while Meg Whitman, Chief of HP, has given $100,000. Software company, Jenzabar Inc. has contributed $250,000. All of these donors according to Dan Swinhoe of IDG Connect have links to Bain.

There is a technology group for President Obama “Technology for Obama” (T4O). Their stated mission is to rally the broad technology community to support the President’s re-election through donations of time, talent and money. One of their many videos is posted here.

While technology companies are supporting President Obama over Governor Romney, perhaps it is because President Obama has supported them.

In Bloomberg Business Week, they point out that “Obama has pushed for expanded access to wireless and other high-speed Internet connections, including inserting in the 2009 stimulus legislation $7 billion for broadband construction. He also signed into law a new patent system, a top priority for the fast-changing technology world, and has set up a White House Internet policy task force.”

Scientific America states that another significant reason for Technology Companies to prefer President Obama over Governor Romney is the issue of Net Neutrality. President Obama has responded very clearly to their question about the internet that “A free and open Internet is essential component of American society and of the modern economy.” To the same question Governor Romney replied, “Specifically, the FCC’s “Net Neutrality” regulation represents an Obama campaign promise fulfilled on behalf of certain special interests, but ultimately a “solution” in search of a problem.

While I mentioned in the opening, a candidate’s position on IT is only one factor to consider in your decision. Whatever your choice, it is important to vote in this important election.

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I love to hear from my readers. My e-mail address is Don.Farris@Farrismgmt.com

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