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October 8, 1998

BARKSDALE GATECRASHES NEW YORK GOVERNOR’S PARTY

By CBR Staff Writer

New York Governor George Pataki chose the platform of Fall Internet World to sign into law a bill abolishing both sales and telecommunications taxes for New York-based internet service providers. The fight to abolish theses taxes goes back to the start of last year when the republican governor announced that New York would be the first state to exempt ISPs from such taxes and directed the state department of taxation and finance commissioner to do something about it. The presence of New York City-based ISP Globix Corp at the ceremony was simple enough to understand, as it has been busy creating jobs in the city, but why was Jim Barksdale, chief executive of California-based Netscape Communications Corp there coordinating things? Who knows? Netscape is perhaps the quintessential internet company, but Barksdale is also one of the most politically active CEOs in the industry. And standing on that governor’s podium sure does look good for the folks back home seeing this via the half a dozen or so TV cameras and two dozen photographers present. Pataki’s closing remark may have expressed his lack of understanding at Barksdale’s presence too: maybe we can even convince Netscape to do more in New York, he said in closing.

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