[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

MS/SAG plan for

  The following is a document we received via a Microsoft whistle blower. 
  It reports a plan involving Microsoft and the Strategic Alliances Group
  (SAG) to prevent consumer groups and state attorney generals from
  supporting calls for antitrust action against Microsoft, and to create
  new voices in support of Microsoft.  We hope to get the SAG/Microsoft
  memos which are described below, and post them on a web site.   I
  thought it was an interesting memo, in that it shows how companies use
  firms like SAG to deal with consumer and public interest organizations. 
  (The list of targeted consumer leaders given below includes key
  officials from groups such as Consumers Union, Public Citizen, Consumer
  Federation of America, PIRG, AARP, the National Consumers League, and
  other groups).  This is what we received, with typos and spelling errors
  uncorrected.   Jamie
  Microsoft by the Strategic Alliances Group (SAG).   
  Milt Benjamin, Camille Haney and Peter Lincoln were involved in the
  memorandum, but I cannot be positive as to exactly whose names were on
  the memorandum. It was addressed to Mich (not a typo) Mathews and Greg
  Shaw, who work inside Microsoft.  In addition, Jon Coake may have been
  mentioned in the memo as an author.  Coake now works for the Strategic
  Alliance Group, but is a former employee of Microsoft who managed work
  involving the small business community.
  There were in fact two memos from SAG to Microsoft.   The first memo was
  probably dated the 21st and delivered on the 22nd of October.  The
  second memo was delivered on Friday, October 24th.  The first one was a
  brief 2.5 page memo outlining the concept of the strategy.  The second
  was seven pages and was more specific.  Each memorandum had an
  attachment listing "targets" in the consumer and small business
  There were to sets of goals outlined for the work:
  Goal # 1:   "Freeze" the adversarial situation Microsoft still faces.
  Do not permit any further deterioration.
  Goal # 2:   Create new voices supportive of Microsoft.
  Success of  the work would be defined as follows:
  1.   No rush of consumer leaders to follow the lead of Nader in bashing
  2.   No State Attorney General’s following the lead of the one-half doze
  or so who have already announced inquiries.
  3.   No new front opening in the weeks ahead.
  Consumer Group Strategy:
   The goal is to stop consumer leaders form following Nader.  On the
  consumer front talk and visit with as many possible consumers at the CFA
  conference being held today and tomorrow.  They will ask consumer
  leaders them to think twice and listen carefully before jumping in on
  the Nader side.  The targets are these:
  - Steve Brobeck
  - Joan Claybrook
  - Mary Gardiner Jones
  - Henry Geller
  - Linda Golodner
  - Gene Karpinski
  - Gene Kimmelman/Mark Silbergeld
  - Virginia Knauer
  - Ken McEldowney
  - Barbara  O’connor
  - Laura Poloucheck (spelling is wrong -- AARP Public Policy Center)
   In addition,  the plan proposes that Microsoft sponsor a consumer and
  technology dialogue program throughout the United States.  It would be a
  year long program, designed to reach out to a minimum of 100 consumer
  activists.  The goal would be establish on-going relationships with 50
  or more, even those who might not be able to support us, but who would
  not speak out against us.
  Governor and State Attorney General Strategy
   The memorandum also mentioned or outlined a strategy to work with the
  Governors and State AG’s.  Camille Haney lives in Madison and works
  closely with Tommy Thompson.
   The memo included the following language:  "Over the years we have
  worked with a number of governors and attorney generals."  They mention
  National Governors Association and the National Association of Attorney
  Generals   It goes on:  "We have a strong association  with Tommy
  Thompson; having helped him win passage" of  telecommunication
  deregulation in Wisconsin    "We could readily enlist Thompson  and
  others in a pro-Microsoft" effort.
  Small Business
   The small business strategy involved leveraging work done by SAG the
  past year for Microsoft and involved Jon Coake, who now works for SAG
  but had worked for Microsoft to do this small business work.  A small
  business technology partnership board was established with leaders from
  NFIB, National Small Business United (NSBU), American Institute of CPAs,
  US Hispanic Chamber, Jack Renee as President of the Research Institute
  of Small and Emerging Businesses, Jon Robinson, National Minority
  Business Council, a representative from the ABA Law Practice Management
  group/council(?) (perhaps Rosemary Shields),  Benny  Sayer, President
  and CEO of National Association for the Self Employed (he is African
  American); and the director of the small business center of the US
  Chamber, Betty Jo Tecolie
   To get a complete list of the small business members look into
  Newsweek  in late February or early March.  There was a special insert
  sponsored by Microsoft and featured a picture and listing of the
  committee members. Microsoft had representatives on the board  as well,
  "Balmer, Jedalah and Robbie Bach."
   Microsoft just disbanded the group.  The proposal says that they should
  quickly "revive" the partnership board and leverage the relationships.
  Get the small business leaders to speak out in support of Microsoft.
   The proposal from SAG argued that Microsoft could save the relationship
  with the board members.  The Small Business United Group is a having a
  meeting beginning November 2nd and running through November 7th. (rough
  dates)  Governor Thompson is the key note speaker on November 7th.  If
  "we tackle immediately we can get letters from Small Business United.
  The memo argued that they should get Gates to attend.  Thompson is the
  key note speaker at the event.  We can motivate Thompson to say
  something about how great Microsoft is.  "anything  is possible."
   They also propose having several small business people attend the Nader
  conference and say useful things
   My source say that there is a weakness of the small business members.
  A "wedge."  They are very afraid of being accused of being "tools" of
  Microsoft.  They are very sensitive to maintaining their
  "independence."   They just flip out of they are accused of being
  "flacks" of  Microsoft.
  General Strategy Statements
   The memo contained recommended strategies that are fairly typical of
  the type of work that public affairs firms do.
   Build  "new voices to be injected into the public debate."  Create the
  impression that important 3rd party groups, consumer and small business
  leaders strongly support Microsoft.  Get them to write supportive op-ed,
  opinion leader letters to colleagues and media.  Create willingness of
  opinion leaders to talk to the media participate on talk show.
   "Use two venues near term; immediate goal was to try and blunt the
  effect of the Nader conference.  Freeze people from jumping on the Nader
  bandwagon.  Persuade people to express sentiments sympathetic to
   National Small Business United  thing with some efforts to corral small
  business users on the  7th of November.   Governor Thompson is going to
  be speaking; several big wigs; heavy duty lobbying . Jon Coake (former
  Microsoft employee) will be there trying to work that room.
  End of memo about SAG/MS
  James Packard Love
  Consumer Project on Technology
  P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC 20036
  202.387.8030 | fax 202.234.5176
  love@cptech.org | http://www.cptech.org