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It's a tale of incest and more incest. Polling outfit Zogby International has quietly conducted a poll of the top issues facing state attorneys general, and found from a sample of 1,004 "likely voters"  that the Microsoft case was the ninth most important issue, with 37 per cent of respondents wanting the case pursued. But some two thirds said that the Microsoft suit was "a bad use of tax dollars." Offering more good news for Microsoft, 75 per cent apparently believed that it would be a waste to spend public money on any appeal. Furthermore, 82 per cent expressed the view that the case should be settled out-of-court, with just 17 per cent favouring the breakup of Microsoft. Of course, it would be proper for the DoJ to press to have its legal costs paid, as it asked in its original Complaint, but there are some higher-level issues that need considering before the results can be assessed. Although the client list on Zogby's web site names Microsoft first, the poll was not commissioned by Microsoft. The mystery deepens because Americans for Technology Leadership, which did commission the poll, seems to be completely silent about it on its web site. Are we to assume that Zogby didn't come up with the right numbers? Surely not. You've probably guessed that Microsoft is a founding member of Americans for Technology Leadership, along with the Association for Competitive Technology (which has Microsoft as its most prominent member), the Small Business Survival Committee, and the 60-Plus Association. When John Zogby was interviewed on MSNBC, he was asked "why polls are rigged to meet a predestined result". He admitted to "some disagreement over methodology" for public polls, but defended "the honesty and integrity" of his colleagues. ®

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