Candidates Have Taken Silicon Valley’s Money While Staying Mum On Tech Issues

No secret that both presidential candidates have been swooping through Silicon Valley relentlessly to raise money for the election. But one thing they haven’t been doing is spending much time on the campaign trail talking about the issues that the effect technology.

In a report this week from the Information and Technology Foundation, the authors criticize both campaigns for ignoring the issues that matter to Silicon Valley and the tech industry in general:

“Despite the obligatory acknowledgment of innovation’s central role in U.S. economic growth, the 2012 campaign has not yet seen a serious conversation emerge regarding the policies sorely needed to revitalize U.S. innovation-based economic competitiveness.

U.S. policymakers need to recognize that the United States is engaged in a fierce race for innovation-based economic growth. To win this race, the United States will need to adopt a new, bipartisan Washington Innovation Consensus that places science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship at the center of economic policy-making and recognizes that both parties bring good ideas to the table in this regard.”

Yes, maybe at last bipartisanship will reign in Washington. And maybe there will be unicorns.

Still, the authors of the report don’t stop there. They’ve poured through various statements, position papers and campaign documents to gauge where the candidates stand on 10 issues:

  1. Innovation and R&D
  2. Broadband and Telecommunications
  3. Tax
  4. Internet/Digital Economy
  5. Trade
  6. Manufacturing
  7. Education and Skills
  8. Energy Innovation
  9. Regulation
  10. Life Sciences and Biotechnology

As these things go, this is a pretty down-the-middle assessment. If tech policy is critical to how you’ll vote in November, this report is worth a read:


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