Democrats surf the hi-tech wave

WASHINGTON, DC: The House Democratic Caucus has scored a PR coup in its quest to put its party and members in the passing lane of the information highway.

WASHINGTON, DC: The House Democratic Caucus has scored a PR coup in its quest to put its party and members in the passing lane of the information highway.

WASHINGTON, DC: The House Democratic Caucus has scored a PR coup in

its quest to put its party and members in the passing lane of the

information highway.



America Online chairman and CEO Steve Case and Time Warner chairman

Gerald Levin addressed the Caucus’ annual retreat last weekend on the

importance of the ’new economy.’ The caucus, under the leadership of

Rep. Martin Frost, has been meeting with hi-tech industry leaders over

the past year.



Case and Levin reportedly agreed to the appearance after their

mega-merger was announced last month.



While the Case/Levin chat significantly upped the amount of attention

paid to the Caucus get-together, other sessions served as a how-to

primer for Democrats not yet riding the hi-tech wave. Attendees

participated in a ’Communication in the New Millennium’ sit-down, while

other sessions instructed legislators on how to prepare effective web

sites as well as fine-tune their e-mail strategies to reach constituents

- areas where neither the GOP nor Democrats have a decided

advantage.



The Democrats’ overture to the hi-tech community makes sense, especially

since, as one party strategist put it, ’Many of the hi-tech issues do

not fit into the typical partisan boxes.’ Jerry Climer of the

nonpartisan Congressional Institute added, ’House members have been

playing catch-up for some time,’ His belief is that having members stay

up-to-date on tech trends is important for both individual careers, and

the health of the institution.



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