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Bush forms high-tech advisory council

Courting the high-tech vote, presidential candidate and Texas Gov. George W. Bush will work with a group of New Economy heavyweights to develop policies to bolster the industry.

In his latest move to court the high-tech vote, presidential candidate and Texas Gov. George W. Bush today said he will work with a group of New Economy heavyweights to develop policies to bolster the industry.

The Republican candidate's Information Technology Advisory Council will direct him on high-tech issues and help him recruit other industry supporters.

Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Computer, will chair the group. Other key executives who are members include former Netscape Communications chief executive Jim Barksdale, who today also joined Sun Microsystems' board; Carol Bartz of Autodesk; John Chambers of Cisco Systems; Richard Egan of EMC Corporation; Tom Engibous of Texas Instruments; Robert Herbold of Microsoft; and Ray Lane of Oracle.

Bush has set three goals in the high-tech arena: to lift regulatory barriers to innovation; to prepare an educated workforce; and to encourage research and development. Those goals also are being pushed by his main Democratic opponent for the White House in 2000, Vice President Al Gore.

Gore and other presidential contenders haven't wasted any time hitting up Silicon Valley for campaign contributions and support.

Gore has held more than 40 fund-raisers in the Bay Area, and former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley, who also is vying for the Democratic nomination, collected $1.1 million in pledged donations from a May fund-raiser in San Francisco.