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Romney's Office: We Are Firm and Expect No Changes
Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 10:20 AM EST

There is a cowardly report in The Boston Globe today about Peter Quinn's resignation, in which the same journalist who stirred up the bogus accusations against Peter Quinn reports on his resignation without once mentioning the Globe's involvement. (For a more complete report, try ZDNET.)

The article does mention that Quinn was completely exonerated after an investigation, but it doesn't mention that it was the Globe that made it all happen in the first place. I will quote a snip from the report, however, because you'd want to know about this part:

Eric Fehrnstrom, director of communications for Governor Mitt Romney, yesterday confirmed that Quinn had submitted his resignation, effective Jan. 12. Fehrnstrom, however, rebutted Quinn's strong implication that the administration was backing away from the recommendations, issued on Aug. 31 and announced by former Administration and Finance Secretary Eric Kriss, that the executive branch was moving toward open format software.

''We are moving steadily towards that deadline and we expect no changes in those rules," Fehrnstrom said. Under the Aug. 31 initiative, the state would require all documents produced by the state's executive branch to be stored in a new, universal computer format, called OpenDocument.

Since this statement comes from Romney's spokesman, I'd say it is meaningful. If Massachusetts backed away now from its decision, not only would many reputations in the Commonwealth be sullied, and in this case rightly so, but the stain on Microsoft would be unerasable. All this happened, after all, because Microsoft refused to do the right thing and support ODF like everybody else. And because it has some heavy-handed backers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who played hard ball in a particularly ugly way, and unjustly smeared the good name of a decent and honest man, who understood technology better than they do and who wanted nothing but good for the citizens he served. He found a way to ensure that their documents would belong to them and their children and grandchildren in perpetuity, that no one would have to pay a single vendor or be forced into expensive upgrades just to read their own documents someday. That is all he did. And look what happened next.

If the friends of Microsoft in the Commonwealth thought they were helping Microsoft by attacking Peter Quinn, I'd say they miscalculated. The Peter Quinn story makes Microsoft look bad, and the Commonwealth even worse. Haven't you heard, fellows? This is the Internet age. Every dirty trick gets to be known and reported, with the light firmly shining on it, not by mainstream media folks perhaps, some of whom will print any old dirt you send them without even verifying if it's true or not, but by bloggers, by citizen journalists. And there are millions of us.


Romney's Office: We Are Firm and Expect No Changes | 203 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Romney's Office: We Are Firm and Expect No Changes
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 10:47 AM EST
While puffing up you chest Please wear a Kevlar Teflon suit to protect against
the prods and mud. Thanks for standing up for all of us

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off-Topic Here, please...
Authored by: perpetualLurker on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 10:51 AM EST

...complete with HTML links, if possible -- just follow the directions on the
comment page... Thank you!

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that
take our breath away.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Korrections Here, please!
Authored by: perpetualLurker on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 10:53 AM EST
...although I did not see anything.... Thank you!

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that
take our breath away.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Best of Luck to The Mighty Quinn
Authored by: Prototrm on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 11:12 AM EST
An honorable and dedicated man (or woman) is difficulot to find these days, but
it's hard to stay on the proper course when journalists like the Globe's publish
such trash.

The state of Mass. has lost a valuable public servant.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Romney's Office: We Are Firm and Expect No Changes
Authored by: jig on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 11:26 AM EST
maybe the local TV (or radio?) news wouldn't mind taking a bite out of the
globe. i wonder if they'd write up a story on the character asassination and the
tool of a journalist acting all oblivious now.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Romney's Office: We Are Firm and Expect No Changes
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 11:36 AM EST
Didn't you know? Bill Gates and his wife are on the cover of Time!

God help us!

Guess what? I am removing all microsoft products from our seven sites and five
servers as we speak. We will not purchase nor install any products that do not
comply with the ODF OASIS specifications and formats!

I really do love LINUX: running SUSE 10.0 desktop and SUSE Enterprise Server 9
and it is absolutely fantastic.

Thanks Mr. Quinn

My thanks for the wonderful Open Document Consortium and Groklaw for the courage
to initiate the change and thanks for a battle well fought, and I might add;

[ Reply to This | # ]

I posted a letter to Governor Romney a couple of weeks ago...
Authored by: Groklaw Lurker on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 11:37 AM EST
On the Massachusetts State web site. They were kind enough to send me a reply -
though it was a form letter that didn't mention the specific topic of ODF.

In any case I gave Peter Quinn the props he was due for his courageous stand and
expressed my complete support for his position and the great benefits his policy
would bestow on the citizens of the great state of Massachusetts.

It is unfortunate that wealthy companies like MS will resort to character
assasination of good and decent people like Mr. Quinn (and PJ as well). They are
like the 'Robber Barons' of the last century who knew no limits to their avarice
and believed serving their ends justified any means. This alone is more than
adequate reason to boycott such companies and support ODF and all GPL'd FOSS
projects in general.


(GL) Groklaw Lurker
End the tyranny, abolish software patents.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Galvin is not running for governor
Authored by: fgoldstein on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 11:38 AM EST
It sounded like Microsoft's main instrument in state government was the
Secretary of State, William F. Galvin, a/k/a The Prince of Darkness. He was, at
the time, planning a run for governor. However, earlier this month, he dropped
out of the race, and said he will instead run for re-election to his current
sinecure. I don't know if this is connected in any way; perhaps he just didn't
raise enough money, or got talked out of a primary battle. Of course he has
been plotting to increase the power of that office anyway, so why run for guv
when your existing office might become more powerful?

So the 2006 gubernatorial race is shaping up with two Democrats, not three, in
the Primary. Tom Reilly, current AG, faces off against Deval Patrick, a former
Clinton administration official. Reilly has the inside track, since he's an Old
Boy from the party system. (Democratic AGs traditionally run for governor and
lose to Republicans here. See, for instance, Harshbarger, Luther Scott.)
Patrick, however, has a more exciting presence. (Reilly's stump appearances
could be marketed as a cure for insomnia.)

On the Republican side, the incumbent Lt. Gov., Kerry Murphy Healey, is favored.
But today's Glob reports that Christy Mihos (founder of the Christy's Market
convenience stores) is thinking of running against her. Mihos was on the
Turnpike Authority board and got "fired" illegally by Weld's
predecessor, Jane Maria Swift, and he probably owes nothing to the party

[ Reply to This | # ]

Romney's Office: We Are Firm and Expect No Changes
Authored by: Tufty on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 11:54 AM EST
without once mentioning the Globe's involvement.
Sadly, I would expect no better.

There has to be a rabbit down this rabbit hole somewhere!
Now I want its hide.

[ Reply to This | # ]

There are two similar articles on the Globe web site
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 11:59 AM EST
Article © Copyright 2005 Globe Newspaper Company.
Technology adviser quits unexpectedly

Article © Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
Romney's technology adviser quits amid new data format initiative

[ Reply to This | # ]

Mr Quinn has resigned because he doesn't want to be a part of this circus
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 12:18 PM EST
Please consider respecting his wishes.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Romney's Office: We Are Firm and Expect No Changes
Authored by: rich on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 12:48 PM EST
The Boston Globe, subsidiary of the New York Times, doing the handiwork
(intentionally or not) of Microsoft? And in the bargain helping to block the
progress of open software development standards and use of open software
standards in Massachusetts?

How could this happen?

Is award winner Stephen Kurkjian following in the footsteps of the Time's Walter

The Globe should publically apologize. Their continuing conduct in this matter
is shameful.

[ Reply to This | # ]

With all due respect...
Authored by: cmc on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 01:02 PM EST
I offer an "Oh please, can you really be *that* naive?" Seriously.
There are two assumptions made in this article that trouble me:

1. That because something came from Romney's spokesperson, that it is somehow
meaningful. Politicans lie. It's a fact of life. Do you honestly think that
Romney and his spokesperson would not lie even if lying would further their own
agenda? I'm not saying that he is lying, or that he has an agenda; I'm just
saying that taking a politician at his word is very naive. Don't forget, Romney
is planning to run for President in 2008, so he's most likely paying very little
attention to the Commonwealth anymore (since many politicians think campaigning
for something is more important than actually doing the job they're paid to

2. That Microsoft cares if it looks bad. And also, that it *matters* if
Microsoft looks bad or not. You would have thought that being found guilty of
antitrust violations in the DOJ v Microsoft case would have had some impact, but
it didn't. Microsoft is motivated by one thing, and one thing only -- money.
That's the only reason they're going along with the EU -- because they risk
losing money. Look at what happened in South Korea. They said that they would
stop selling Windows there if the courts found them guilty of antitrust
violations. The court found them guilty (calling their bluff), and now
Microsoft says they'll work with the courts. Why? Because it's more profitable
to change your product than to pull out and lose out on the revenue (even *if*
there is a big piracy problem in that general region).

As it stands, Microsoft has a monopoly on desktop PCs, both in businesses and in
homes. Why? Because 1) people don't want to learn anything new, 2) people want
to (or have to) use what everyone else uses, 3) it's available (good luck
getting a PC with Linux pre-installed, at a decent price), and 4) lack of (or
perceived lack of) available software for alternative platforms. Until points 3
and 4 are resolved, Microsoft will continue it's stranglehold on the majority of
homes and businesses (in the U.S., at least).


[ Reply to This | # ]

no talkbacks at the boston globe, third voice?
Authored by: chrism on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 01:29 PM EST
I didn't notice any talkback feature on the boston globe page that would allow
viewers to voice their opinions of the article.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to do comment on a website in-place
without the owner having to play along?

Does anyone remember Third Voice? It was a broswer plug-in that let you attach
comments to webpages. It worked by connecting to a central server, sending it
the URL you were visiting, and retrieving any comments users had left at that
URL together with the anchor points for the comments (you would select regions
of text on the webpage to anchor your comments to, type in your text, and the
plugin would update the database at the server). The plug-in would then put
little boxes in the text of the web-page as it rendered them. If you clicked on
a box, up popped the comment.

Third Voice went out of business, and I haven't seen the idea surface in any
other form yet.

I imagine part of what happened was that blogs became popular and fullfilled
public's need to comment so well that something like Third Voice became less

I would so love to be able to select the weasel words in the boston globe
article, however, and add comments.

If there were an open source web page annotator, I imagine different people
would set up servers and you would have to select which one you wanted to use
you browsed. You could have the groklaw annotations, the slashdot annotations,

It would be interesting to read the globe article with PJ's comments attached
to the article itself in the browser window, for example.

I seem to recall quite a few people got upset about third voice and raised
copyright objections. It would be interesting to see if such a thing would fly
today legally.

Chris Marshall

[ Reply to This | # ]

Romney's Office: We Are Firm and Expect No Changes
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 01:50 PM EST
From the ZDNet article
"It is readily apparent that I have become a lightning rod with regard to any IT initiative. Even the smallest initiatives are being mitigated or stopped by some of the most unlikely and often uninformed parties," Quinn reportedly said in an email sent to the state's IT department.
It sounds like some Mass. politicians are trying to stop or water down IT initiatives that aren't even related to ODF now. Could this be some form of punishment directed at Peter Quinn?

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • My hope... - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, December 29 2005 @ 06:04 AM EST
Romney's Office: We Are Firm and Expect No Changes
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 03:13 PM EST
they lost an honest valuable public servant and yet still
have the trash rag of a newspaper the Globe.

this is America in a nutshell these days.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How is this character assassination?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 04:46 PM EST
Read the article at the Boston Globe. It states that the Romney administration
is investigating, what specifically they are investigating, as many details as
the author of the article could gather, and quotes from folks involved.

I don't think this was worthy of the front page. I think that the story of him
not being found "not guilty" of any wrongdoing should have been on the
front page since this was too. I DO NOT however, call this a "character

I'm sure that Mr. Quinn did not want to be in the public eye in this way and I
certainly can't blame anyone for that. If he resigned specifically over this
article, IMHO, it does not speak well of his character.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"CIO who backed OpenDocument in Massachusetts resigns" - Robert McMillan IDG News Service.
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 04:50 PM EST

...Whether Quinn’s departure will help or hinder the state’s move away from Microsoft remains to be seen. Last month, Eric Criss’s replacement, Tom Trimarco, said that the state is optimistic that a newly proposed Microsoft format called Office Open XML will meet the state’s standards...

One Boston attorney who has been following the matter said that it may be hard for Massachusetts to move away from the OpenDocument format (ODF) now. “One could assume that whoever stands in for [Quinn] on January 10 would first and foremost want to just keep his or her head down and out of the line of fire,” wrote Andrew Updegrove, an attorney with Gesmer Updegrove LLP in an e-mail interview. “But on the other hand, the [story] has been so well covered, both in the formal press as well as in IT blogs, and the issues have been so well developed, that I also don’t think that the powers that be in the Commonwealth can simply declare victory and scuttle ODF, either.”

Whatever the fallout from Quinn’s resignation, it seems clear that the next year’s developments in Massachusetts will be closely watched.

“Massachusetts is the canary in the mine on this issue,” John Palfrey, clinical professor of law and executive director of the Berkman Center on Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School, said recently... MACworld

My bold.

Of course, a cynic might say - MA isn't in the path of Gulf hurricanes so why should they care if ALL their citizens don't have access to an Open government. They can always get their mis-information filtered out through the Boston Globe.

Brian S.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Globe hasn't stopped yet...
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 05:56 PM EST

In P.J.'s snippet: "...Quinn's strong implication that the administration was backing away from the recommendations..."

Was Quinn resigning the strong implication? I don't recall anything else that might have been an indication and I believe it's been made clear as to why he's resigning.

It appears the Boston Globe just loves to be interpreting things differently from reality. Ah well... chalk that up as another example of why one should never pay for, much less read, a newspaper. And of course, in case someone (like the Boston Globe perhaps) chooses to mis-interpret my meaning: Just because I suggest no-one purchase a newspaper, I also do not suggest mis-appropriating one. If it's not worth paying for, it's not worth having.


[ Reply to This | # ]

  • correction - Authored by: PJ on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 11:34 PM EST
my letter to the globe
Authored by: Carla Schroder on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 07:34 PM EST
If anyone cares, this is what I sent the ombudsman. I hope other people are writing to the Globe, and not just venting here.

Dear Ms. or Mr. Ombudsman,

I am extremely troubled by the Globe's inexplicable attack on Peter Quinn. There are many unanswered questions, the most important one being why did the Globe instigate an inquiry into Mr. Quinn's travel in the first place? It was a complete non-story. I know that many people have written to ask the same question, yet there is no answer. Do you think you should be unaccountable? Don't you think newspapers should be mindful of the consquences of their actions? This is the sort of thing we expect from the Inquirer, not the Globe.

Now the State of Massachussetts has lost a sterling servant and a visionary technologist. Your article "Technology adviser quits unexpectedly" fails to mention the Globe's role in his resignation. (See ZDNET for a superior report of his resignation,,39020645,39244400,00.htm)

Those of us inside the tech industry smell the unclean hands of Microsoft all over this- why are you not outraged by their interference in your state government, and apparently your own newspaper? Why are you not investigating their role in this whole sorry mess? Instead, the Globe contributed directly to the ruination of a good man. The real story is the dirty deeds of a convicted illegal monopolist that has not changed its ways.

The Globe used to have a good reputation. Mr. Kurkjian used to have a good reputation. I fear those are past tense. The time is long past when this sort of questionable behavior can go unnoticed and unchallenged. "Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one"- we don't need newspapers who apparently sell out their integrity, not when we have the entire Internet at our disposal, and intelligent, independent reporting from citizen journalists who actually take the time to dig into the real meat.

If the Globe does not want to slide into irrelevancy, it's going to have to climb back onto the high road.

best regards,
Carla Schroder

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • well done - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 28 2005 @ 10:13 PM EST
William Randolf Hearst had it right
Authored by: belzecue on Thursday, December 29 2005 @ 12:28 AM EST
In a documentary about Citizen Kane called 'The Battle Over Citizen Kane' (transcript), Douglas Fairbanks Jnr recalls his father asking newspaper magnate William Randolf Hearst: "Why don't you concentrate more of your energy on motion pictures, which has a world-wide audience, instead of journalism, which appeals to one city or one nation?"

Hearst replied: "Well, Douglas, I'll tell you. I thought of it, but I decided against it, because I realize that you can crush a man with journalism, and you can't with motion pictures."

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Media Watch": An American or world-wide version?
Authored by: peterellis on Thursday, December 29 2005 @ 04:51 AM EST

Australian media has Media Watch, a 15 minutes per week scoriation (reduction to dross or rubbish) of the media's stupidities on the Australi an public broadcaster. It is fronted by a leading journalist or investigative reporter of fearless character, and backed by producers and executives who fear the show's lack of integrity over the wrath of the media outlets that are examined in detail.

Does the American media have such a show? (You tell me.)

Should the American media adopt this approach? (Yes!)

How long until an American media outlet adopts such an approach to its self and associated media? (... one may ask!)

Let's have GREAT media.

Thanks, Groklaw, for being part of what keeps "them" honest.


[ Reply to This | # ]

The Globe has been bad for years
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, December 29 2005 @ 09:46 AM EST

For many examples related mainly to just one long-time columnist:

Patricia Smith, a Globe columnist got caught (not by the Globe) creating
fictional people and writing columns about them. She might have kept her job
but it became a big enough story that she was forced out.

Mike Barnicle got caught plagiarizing pieces of columns around the same time and
despite a rather lengthy list of problems with his columns in the past he wasn't
fired for some time. It was only after allegations that he also manufactured
people and stories that he got the boot and even then he might never have been
fired except for the fact that Ms. Smith is a black woman and Mr. Barnicle a
white man and quite clearly there were different standards being applied to the

PS I'm not alleging that their was any racist policy here - just that the
appearance of such was ultimately what got him fired - rather than his
outrageous conduct which is what should have got him fired but the Globe ignored
until it couldn't ignore it anymore.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The term Microsoft Monopoly is dead
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, December 29 2005 @ 12:47 PM EST
MS may continue it's predatory practices, The may be a convicted
"monopolist". But it's apparent a good percentage of Groklaw posters
have spent to much time in moms basement and need to come up for air. While I do
give in to the fact that MS displays very predatory and arguably unethical
behavior, However so does Apple, IBM, HP and any other corporation that is
public and has to answer to stock holders.
Microsoft is not a monopoly. It's easy to prove.
1.) Microsoft is making cost adjustments to compete with Linux . Monopolies
dictate price they don't negotiate on it.
2.) Microsoft is not the only P.C. Desktop software choice nor is Microsoft
hampering new OS's from poping up daily. Last time I checked there's over 40 OS
choices for a desktop P.C.
3.) Microsoft has altered it's product to compete technically with other
commpetitors i.e. OS X, Novell.
4.) Monopolies exert undue market presures on competitors to force them into a
lower profit margin or out of the market. I give this one as MS tries but in all
honesty has fallen out of favor substantialy enough that the major players are
talking coup in the palace. They've taken the blinders off.
5.) Business is survival of the fitest. The goal is to become a monopoly,
remember the game? When you reach that point the DOJ comes in and splits you up
and you start the game over. DOJ didnt find MS reached the point of splitting up
i.e. they haven't won yet. Since the DOJ case MS has been in decline.
6.) MS's situation should be the red light to most people that not only MS is
not a monopoly but it is in fact in decline and it's old tricks no longer
work.The reason is because it DOESNT have that monopoly trump card behind it.
Emerging markets in Asia have crushed MS's market position.
7.) No one forced you to run MS or use a IE browser to look at a website coded
for IE. My mom hasnt ran a windows product in 3 years. My 8 year old daughter
has never worked on windows. She can do more with KDE at age 8 then most 30+'ers
can do with there windows destop.

The problem I have with all the anti-MS fud here is that it's a big fat waste of
time. The issues focus shouls be maybe ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm corrupt
government? A newspaper on the MS payroll. The fact that $$$$$$ so absolutely
corrupts the democratic process. Of course if you go after those issues your not
just going after MS. Your going after Apple, IBM, HP and a whole market built
around greasing wheels, half-truths and spin.
First thing I'd do if I had a choice is shoot all the lawyers into the sun with
a lobyist stapled under each arm.
RT Smith
Flame Retardent Suit on.
I Punch Babies.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Not entirely off-topic
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, December 29 2005 @ 01:30 PM EST
Sadly Mark Jewel(AP) coverage of this isn't much better than the Bosten Globe
story, which in some ways is worse because so many newspapers reprint stories
from AP.

Wish there was some way to convince Peter Quinn to withdraw his resignation
(where is the petition to sign?), because this will discourage others civil
servants from making decitions that might offend Microsoft.
I am not convinced that Massachusetts will not back down despite Gov. Romneys

[ Reply to This | # ]

Romney's Office: We Are Firm and Expect No Changes
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 08:24 AM EST
You are right about pretty much everything except, I fear, the importance of the
internet and the prospect these tricks will backfire. Unfortunately I've seen
these claims for years, and yet it is still very possible to ruin someone with
the simplest of smear campaigns and the damage doesn't get undone. Please show
it ain't so!

Bruce Scott
Freising, Germany

[ Reply to This | # ]

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