CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL SEEKS MORE TAX DOLLARS TO ATTACK HIGH-TECH INDUSTRY | Citizens Against Government Waste

CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL SEEKS MORE TAX DOLLARS TO ATTACK HIGH-TECH INDUSTRY

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact:  Sean Rushton or Melissa Naudin
May 29, 2001(202) 467-5300

 

Washington, DC – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today slammed California Attorney General Bill Lockyear for requesting a $3.7 million increase in budget –  over 400 percent - for his office to litigate antitrust complaints against the technology industry.

“After what was plainly a waste of taxpayer funds on the frivolous Microsoft antitrust case, Bill Lockyear is at it again,” CAGW President Thomas A. Schatz said.  “Instead of scaling back his operation and stepping away from the limelight to the unglamorous world of California’s real crime problems, AG Lockyear is determined to pursue ever-higher rates of litigation and regulation on high-tech entrepreneurs.  That’s a short-sighted strategy for companies, workers, and all Californians.”

“The Microsoft case has put taxpayers on the hook for at least $35 million in costs at the federal and state levels,” Schatz also said.  “Investors have watched their portfolios nosedive by trillions of dollars since the U.S. District Court decision to break up Microsoft last June.  By its own estimate, the California AG’s office put in 4,422 hours of work on the case.  Most perversely, the state has requested Microsoft reimburse it $1.4 million for the cost of prosecuting the company.”

“Additionally, economists have estimated Microsoft’s breakup could cost consumers $60 billion in higher software costs,” Schatz added.  “Lockyear, his fellow AGs, and the federal government spent millions of tax dollars to ensure billions in higher software costs for consumers.  Working people should be outraged.”

“Lockyear has apparently joined his fellow AGs in a ‘breakup or bust’ strategy that they intend to take all the way to the Supreme Court,” Schatz also said.  “At a time when he should be thinking about settling the Microsoft case following the pending U.S. Court of Appeals decision, Bill Lockyear is instead trying to increase his budget so he can expand his litigation to California’s entire technology industry.  It’s a waste and the California legislature should tell him there are better uses of his time and the public’s money.”

CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government. 

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