Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Microsoft acquires face time

Maria Hegstad, writing for Medill News Service, American Public Media and the Center for Public Integrity, reports that between January 1, 2000 and June 30, 2005, Microsoft paid for nearly 200 congressional trips costing the company about $390,000. In addition, Microsoft partnered with other companies in approximately 100 trips.

Paying for congressional travel is considered by some to be a form of lobbying, but one less closely watched than campaign contributions or the public disclosure forms.

"Microsoft as an industry leader has a responsibility to work with policy leaders as they shape policy," spokesperson Ginny Terzano said.

The trips allow Microsoft to demonstrate new technology for lawmakers and their staffs, and give the company's experts opportunities to answer policymakers' questions, Terzano said.

"Experience first-hand really offers a different perspective than just having someone talk about it," she said.
(Emphasis added.)

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