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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: Final report on Internet tax commission meeting

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Thu, 16 Dec 1999 19:11:09 -0500
To:             	politech@vorlon.mit.edu
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: Final report on Internet tax commission meeting
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com


[I am back in DC after a much-too-brief trip to SF to cover this
meeting. Hmm. Why am I living on the east coast again? --DBM]



                     Choosing Names a Taxing Battle 
                     by Declan McCullagh 

                     7:45 a.m. 16.Dec.1999 PST 
                     SAN FRANCISCO -- What's in a name? Or
                     rather, what's in e-name? 

                     For groups hoping to win the votes of a
                     Congressional advisory commission, the
                     answer seems to be -- confusion. 

                     Proving that a catchy title is the _sine qua non_
                     of modern-day campaigning, pro-Internet tax and
                     anti-tax groups picked e-fairness and e-freedom
                     as cute but vague names for their coalitions. 

                     But which is which? Besides, who can be
                     against fairness? And what Samuel
                     Adams-swilling American would ever
                     criticize freedom? 

                     It turns out that e-freedom is the
                     conservative-libertarian axis. They're not
                     fans of taxes on Internet or mail-order
                     purchases. And they think that the
                     e-fairness folks are poaching on their

                     "The term e-fairness isn't accurate. It's
                     not about fairness," complains Sonia
                     Arrison of the Pacific Research Institute,
                     which is part of the e-freedom coalition. 

                     Arrison said that her side had their name
                     first, and -- when pressed -- the
                     e-fairness folks 'fessed up. Their
                     coalition, a spokeswoman admitted, is
                     just over a month old. 



                     Internet Tax? Maybe, Maybe Not 
                     by Declan McCullagh 

                     7:45 a.m. 16.Dec.1999 PST 
                     SAN FRANCISCO -- Take a peck of
                     politicians, add a cayenne-hot topic like
                     Internet taxes, season with presidential
                     politicking, and agitate. 

                     The result? A meeting that falls flatter
                     than a building on landfill during a
                     California earthquake. 

                     Instead of voting on any of the topics
                     surrounding Internet and
                     telecommunications taxation,
                     controversy-shy members of a
                     Congressional advisory panel decided to
                     dodge the issue. 

                     The 19-member commission on
                     Wednesday postponed all decisions until
                     its next and final meeting in Dallas, Texas
                     in March 2000. 


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