Politics or Coincidence

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2005-12-28 Print this article Print

The Boston Globe decided to publish a Page 1 story about how Quinn was being investigated, because of the Globes own probes, for unauthorized trips. Several weeks later, the Globe reported, in the local pages, that Quinn had not violated "conflict-of-interest standards or other rules when he took 12 out-of-state trips to attend conferences."
Andrew Updegrove, a partner with Gesmer Updegrove LLP, a Boston law firm, and the editor of ConsortiumInfo.org, wondered about the timing of the Globes reporting, which was "concurrent with moves by Senator Pacheco and others in State Government to curtail Quinns ability to set rules for proper management of the [states] IT needs."
Coincidence? Maybe. Heres what I know. The first time someone in authority in a state government decides to support a format that Microsoft doesnt approve, hes suddenly hounded not only within the government but in the press as well. So, Quinn resigned. In a memo to his staffers dated Dec. 24, he wrote, "Many of these events have been very disruptive and harmful to my personal well-being, my family and many of my closest friends. This is a burden I will no longer carry." Whod want to? You dont sign up to be a CIO to be in the spotlight of a nasty, public debate. You sign up to make the best technology decisions you can for your organization. It may be a happy day in Redmond, Wash., but its a sad day for Massachusetts and anywhere else where people think that IT dollars should be spent on the best technology for the job, no matter who makes or supports it. Good-bye, Mr. Quinn, thank you for trying to do the right thing. I wish there were more like you. eWEEK.com Senior Editor Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has been using and writing about operating systems since the late 80s and thinks he may just have learned something about them along the way. He can be reached at sjvn@ziffdavis.com. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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