September 17, 2006

Me, Senator Allen, and ICANN

It's been a while since I've written anything - there are some good reasons for this but I won't bore you with that right now.

I was just reading the news about Senate race in Virginia.

And I am reminded of my interaction with Senator Allen during a hearing on ICANN.

I was sitting at the witness table - with the microphones and cameras, just like in the movies.  The Senators were up there on the raised platform, looking down on us.  I was beyond nervous.

I read my prepared statement and the Senators began asking questions.

Senator Allen seemed to be there to look out for the interests of Verisign.  (Versign's DNS operations are in the northern Virgina suburbs of Washington DC.)

At one point Senator Allen looked down on me from his raised dais, wrapped himself in the full Foghorn-Leghorn stereotype, and in his most condescending voice asked: "Mr. Auerbach, how did you come to be on the ICANN board of directors?"

I replied in my own most condescending voice: "Senator, I won my seat the same way that you did: I won more votes than my opponent."

It appeared to me that I really hit a nerve.  I could almost see him thinking "How dare a mere commoner compare himself with a United States Senator!"

I almost went on to add that I represented nearly 330,000,000 people, far more than he, a mere Senator, does and, indeed, even more than does the President of the United States.

It's not often that gets the opportunity to deflate a US Senator.

It really made my day.

Posted by karl at September 17, 2006 11:36 PM