Linux.com: Microsoft issues campaign funding ultimatum to open standards legislation backers

Via Digg, in a story bearing the headline Microsoft's Men in Black kill Florida open standards legislation, Linux.com reports: Two other [Florida] legislative employees (who must also remain anonymous) told Linux.

Via Digg, in a story bearing the headline Microsoft's Men in Black kill Florida open standards legislation, Linux.com reports:

Two other [Florida] legislative employees (who must also remain anonymous) told Linux.com that the Microsoft lobbyists implied that elected representatives who voted against Microsoft's interests might have a little more trouble raising campaign funds than they would if they helped the IT giant achieve its Florida goals.

In the paragraph just before that, the story says

A legislative staff employee who would lose his job if he were quoted here by name said, "By the time those lobbyists were done talking, it sounded like ODF (Open Document Format, the free and open format used by OpenOffice.org and other free software) was proprietary and the Microsoft format was the open and free one."

That's a lot of anonymous sourcing and Linux.com is clearly putting its credibility on the line with that first bit about campaign funding. Given the other sources that are cited in the story, the article also comes across as being heavily biased against Microsoft. Nevertheless, campaign "leverage" is undoubtedly the sort of leverage that supporters of any side of any legislative debate (tech or not) like to hang over the heads of legislators. So, if this sort of thing is going on, we shouldn't assume that these lobbyists (for Microsoft) are the only ones applying such pressure. This is just the first time anybody has officially reported on such goings on.

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