“Technology professionals discussed business and politics over drinks and hors d’oeuvres at a social event in Tacoma on Tuesday, Nov. 1. Even hosts of the event, held by the Tacoma Network, were willing to talk politics in the last week before the election. Tacoma Network co-founders, Jim Crabbe and Nick Huzar, disagreed on the acceptability of political talk during networking. They, like others in the wired city, agreed to bend networking rules to mix politics and business in responding to the Tacoma Daily Index Election Poll.Results from the poll reveal why high-tech workers are talking politics.Seventy-five percent of polled technology workers feel the outcome of Tuesday’s election will affect the industry. In a business environment apt to have rapid change, a limited view of current events is unprofessiona, and attendees at the event appeared to have done their homework. Bush and Gore supporters agree that the next president will impact our economy, and each camp gave different assessments of the outcome. Between general fears and the time it takes to adapt to a new administration, the economy will alter-most likely negatively, said Christy Hansen, public relations coordinator of digitalSled.A republican president and congress may offer some hope of corporate tax relief, said Philip Smith, VP of sales of Datec, Inc.Bush. More hands-off government is good for small business, said David Beavans, COO of Guerrilla Capitalist.Jane Taylor mirrored the most common response. Gore gets technology and will do his part to facilitate responsible growth, said Taylor, regional sales manager of Upside Magazine. Bush gets how to keep the status quo and won’t do his part.Seventy-five percent of polled respondents support Gore in his bid to be the next president of the United States. The majority of Gore supporters point to his involvement with the Internet.Although Gore did not invent the Internet, it is commonly acknowledged that he initiated the building of public computing networks to connect business, education and government supercomputers. Congressman Adam Smith’s stellar performance could also be credited for creating many fans of the Democratic Party in Tacoma. Smith has demonstrated commitment to facilitating growth in Tacoma’s technology industry during the last year.Several of his technology advisors and the chairman of his technology board, Scott Bourne, are from Tacoma. Smith publicly supported and attended Tacoma’s technology celebration, eBusiness Day. He is an active member of the new democrats and was a driving force behind the Digital Signature Bill. Last week the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) gave Smith a perfect score on their high-tech voting guide. At a time when more and more policy decisions impact the technology industry, we are pleased that Representative Smith understands the important role information technology plays in growing our economy and creating new jobs, said Rhett Dawson, president of ITI.ITI member companies include Microsoft, Intel and Amazon.com from Washington.Whether you support Gorton’s promise to fight for Microsoft or Cantwell’s direct involvement with Real Networks, approve of Smith and Gore’s records or want change with Bush, it is very important that you vote. This is widely recognized as the closest presidential election in the last 30 years. Magnifying the impact of your vote is the fact that Washington is a pivotal state in the election. Don’t let your vote be vaporware. Take it to the poll. “
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