For Immediate Release: Contact: Jim Campi
June 24, 1998  (202) 467-5300


Washington, D.C. – In a letter today to Sen. Slade Gorton (R-Wash.), Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) President Thomas A. Schatz commended the senator for his efforts to hold the Justice Department’s antitrust division accountable for its wrongful pursuit of Microsoft.

“On behalf of CCAGW’s 600,000 I applaud Sen. Gorton for his effort to prevent the Justice Department from increasing funding for its antitrust division and to demand full disclosure how much is being spent on the ill-advised Microsoft suit.” Schatz said.

Sen. Gorton is pushing an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, State appropriations measure which is critical of Joel Klein, the head of the antitrust division, for his public statements regarding the government’s lawsuit against Microsoft.  Gorton’s amendment would also block Klein’s request for additional funding for the antitrust division, restricting its budget to the $98 million requested by President Clinton.

“There’s a saying that if you’re explaining too much, you’re losing,” said Schatz in the letter.  “The sad scene of Mr. Klein touring the country to justify the suit against Microsoft is a waste of taxpayer dollars and an indication of the weakness of the government’s case.

“CCAGW joins with Sen. Gorton in demanding a full accounting of the money used to date for this action,” Schatz added.  For example, how much is being spent on travel to publicize the case versus gathering information?  The money would be better spent on solving the government’s serious problem with the Year 2000 computer glitch.  With the clock at 548 days and running, most federal agencies at staring at a disaster. 

“Yesterday’s federal appeals court decision that Microsoft did not violate its agreement with the government by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows 95 completely undercut the central point of the government’s current case against Windows 98.  Various experts cited the decision as ‘big trouble’ for Mr. Klein and the antitrust division.  The three-judge panel held that it is undesirable to have the courts oversee product design and that any dampening of technological innovation is counter to the purpose of antitrust law.

CCAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to enacting legislation to eliminate waste, inefficiency, mismanagement and abuse in the federal government.


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