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Hi-tech dollars buy US election

Dems get $10.7 million, GOP gets $8.7 million

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The PR farce that is the US Presidential election looks like it may be won on IT and cyberdollars.

Computer equipment and services companies are the eighth biggest contributors in this round of the Presidential campaign. So far they have coughed up more than $20 million for their favourite candidates - $12 million more than in the last election, when the sector was ranked 33rd among contributing industries.

And with the changing face of IT - namely the growth of the Web - has come a change in the preferred party. In the last US leadership race in 1996, the Republicans were the favourites, commanding 52 per cent of the cash from the computer industry, or $4.6 million.

But this year the tables have turned, with the Democrats currently having 53 per cent of the cash, or $10.7 million donated by the industry, according to The Centre for Responsive Politics at www.opensecrets.org.

And the top contributor, after its many legal wrangles with the government, is Microsoft. The software company has donated a total of $2.8 million. Meanwhile AOL has given $1.2 million, Cisco $644,000 and Oracle $642,000.

Other companies in the IT top twenty include eBay, Intel, Gateway and Dell.

In the telecoms services and equipment sector, Global Crossing came top with $1.1 million, followed by Loral Spacecom, Teligent and Lucent Technologies. ®

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