When Powell speaks, bigwigs

By Chris Nolan  |  Posted 2005-07-21 Print this article Print

will listen"> Now, big, established businesses like having knowledgeable political insiders around. Why? Because it makes their lives easier. Heres a possible scenario: Lets say the House Energy and Commerce Committee is close to crafting new telecommunications legislation that would—remember, this is fiction—make it illegal to share a wireless network. Wording in the bill would allow telephone companies to levy harsh fines against those found to be violating this prohibition.
But lets say that Colin Powell—one of the Republican parties biggest fundraisers—places a series of phone calls. First, he calls Committee Chairman Joe Barton. Then he rings up Senate Majority Leader Tom Delay. Then he has a quiet chat with Speaker of the House Denny Hastert.
All of those men would take Powells call. And while not all of them are guaranteed to do his bidding; his phoning on Kleiners behalf—on Silicon Valleys behalf, really—would lend extra "oomph" to anyone lobbying against the phone companies in this scenario. Thats how politics is played in the big leagues. And thats where Kleiners partners want to be. So its not "Welcome to Silicon Valley, Mr. Secretary." Its welcome to Washington Mr. Perkins, Mr. Doerr, Mr. Lane and friends." eWEEK.com technology and politics columnist Chris Nolan spent years chronicling the excesses of the dot-com era with incisive analysis leavened with a dash of humor. Before that, she covered politics and technology in D.C. You can read her musings on politics and technology every day in her Politics from Left to Right Weblog. She can be reached at mailbox@chrisnolan.com. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis of technologys impact on government and politics.

Standalone journalist Chris Nolan runs 'Politics from Left to Right,' a political Web site at www.chrisnolan.com that focuses on the intersection of politics, technology and business issues in San Francisco, in California and on the national scene.

Nolan's work is well-known to tech-savvy readers. Her weekly syndicated column, 'Talk is Cheap,' appeared in The New York Post, Upside, Wired.com and other publications. Debuting in 1997 at the beginnings of the Internet stock boom, it covered a wide variety of topics and was well regarded for its humor, insight and news value.

Nolan has led her peers in breaking important stories. Her reporting on Silicon Valley banker Frank Quattrone was the first to uncover the now infamous 'friend of Frank' accounts and led, eventually, to Quattrone's conviction on obstruction of justice charges.

In addition to columns and Weblogging, Nolan's work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New Republic, Fortune, Business 2.0 and Condé, Nast Traveler, and she has spoken frequently on the impact of Weblogging on politics and journalism.

Before moving to San Francisco, Nolan, who has more than 20 years of reporting experience, wrote about politics and technology in Washington, D.C., for a series of television trade magazines. She holds a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University.


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