Feel free to email Representative Minnis and tell her what you think.
She's the Speaker of the House for the State of Oregon. Recently, House Bill 2892 was killed by her before it could be debated in the House. This bill ordered government agencies to consider open source software. It did not require them to use it, but merely to consider this software when making acquisitions. Given that we have the shortest school year in the nation, are taking away medical benefits from many indigent people and are granting early release from prison to felons because we don't have enough money, it seems to make sense that we consider less expensive alternatives to software which costs our state millions of dollars.
In fact, the only serious opposition to the bill appeared to be large software companies who sent in their lobbyists to defeat the bill. So why, one might wonder, would Representative Minnis not allow this bill to be debated on the floor of the House? She merely claims that it's a solution in search of a problem. If that's the case, there was no need for her to personally kill the bill and not allow debate, was there?
Below is the body of the email that I sent to her office (and that I now understand is gaining wider circulation):
I appear to live just outside of your district, which I find somewhat disappointing as this denies me the opportunity to vote against you in the next election.
Your statement in the Tuesday Oregonian, where you object to House Bill 2892 (the "open source" bill), makes it very clear that you cannot be trusted to put the interests of the people in front of your own.
While my vote won't count, I hope to ensure that others who hear me will remember this. I first learned about your behavior and your disingenuous comments at the Portland City Club today (5/9/2003) after receiving information about you from several mailing lists (Portland Linux Users Group, Eugene Linux Users Group and Portland Perl Mongers). There appear to be more and more people hearing about you personally killing this bill.
On the plus side, if you believe that there's no such thing as bad publicity, you're getting plenty of it:
Of course, you'll be getting a bit more exposure, too. I'll be happily forwarding this email to my friends. Who knows? Maybe one of them will get a chance to vote against you.