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01.21.09

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the fly

Zoe Lofgren outside the congressional office building

Silicon Valley News Notes

Living History

It's not what you know, it's who you know," a father tells his son while standing outside the cyclone fences being erected for the inaugural. He was, of course, talking about tickets. And if you know a congressperson, you had a chance of getting the Ticket of the Century. Most congressional offices were deluged with requests and showered love on constituents and supporters with their allotment of 200 tickets each. Congressman Mike Honda made sure to take care of the usual suspects but reserved 10 pairs for a drawing and a contest to elicit education reform suggestions. Zoe Lofgren invited 10 San Jose State University students by for their final stop of a Civil Rights tour, which started with a flight to Memphis and wound its way through Alabama, Mississippi and Atlanta and Georgia, then up to Washington, D.C., in a 15-passenger van. Lofgren managed to scavenge a few extra tickets from Republican legislators with leftovers and no-shows. And while familiar Silicon Valley faces like Assessor Larry Stone, attorney Dick Alexander, supercop Darrell Cortez, Google's Eric Schmidt, Adobe founders Charles Geschke and John Warnock and ex-chief of Yahoo! Jerry Yang made the rounds at the balls and bashes, Lofgren stayed home to cook a family dinner of steak, asparagus and potatoes. Lofgren thinks President Barack Obama will be even better for Silicon Valley than Bill Clinton was. "Obama's a techie," she says, and predicts that he'll re-engineer processes to make government more efficient. Honda, meanwhile is staking out the education agenda, warning, in a speech at the Latino State of the Union luncheon, "We have resegregated," and adding, "we have to be really careful" about vouchers, transportation and choice initiatives.


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