CSE President Paul Beckner’s Response to Remarks Made by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison

June 29, 2000

Mr. Larry Ellison

Chairman and CEO

Oracle Corporation

500 Oracle Parkway

Redwood Shores, CA 94065

Dear Mr. Ellison:

Public revelations over the course of the last few days have brought to light an inordinate amount of inaccurate – and potentially damaging – information. As you are the individual responsible for this situation, please let me call to your attention several relevant facts as a first step to repair the breach.

Citizens for a Sound Economy and CSE Foundation were founded in 1984 as non-partisan, non-profit issue advocacy and issue education organizations. Our mission has not wavered and is clear: We believe in the power of a free and unfettered marketplace to provide the most choices for consumers.

Our work on technology-related issues goes back more than ten years to the landmark AT&T antitrust case. At all times, in every issue, and at every opportunity, CSE and CSE Foundation have shown why less government intervention in the high-tech marketplace is better for consumers and results in more growth and innovation.

Yesterday, you explained to the world that CSE and CSE Foundation were targeted by your company – and scurrilous private investigators employed as its surrogates – because of our effectiveness in the public debate about the Microsoft antitrust lawsuit.

Where was our effectiveness? At the grassroots level of political debate. Our job is to recruit, educate, train and mobilize hundreds of thousands of volunteer activists to fight for less government, lower taxes and more freedom. When you question the integrity of CSE and CSE Foundation, you are insulting the values and integrity of the 280,000 citizen activists who volunteer their time and money in our efforts. This is shameful and ineffective behavior.

History has convincingly demonstrated that, while governments have often exploited or redistributed the wealth and creative genius of individuals, they have rarely if ever successfully guided the economic or technological advancement of their people.

Those achievements have come from individuals working for their own rewards and by their own lights, often despite governments that seek to thwart or control entrepreneurs or their innovations.

We do not speak for any special interest. We speak for ourselves and we advocate less government intervention in economic markets. That is all.

I have attached a copy of CSE and CSE Foundation’s history for your review. Furthermore, if there is any inconsistency in our work – on any public policy issue – I welcome you to bring it to my attention.

While I am confident that you will find a consistency of purpose, policy analysis and of message, no individual and no institution is without fault. We would like to learn from your informed opinions of our work. Likewise, the door is open to you at CSE and CSE Foundation. I invite you to visit us to learn more about our mission, our methods and our effectiveness.

I look forward to a constructive, honest and aboveboard relationship based on shared beliefs and mutual respect.

Finally, it is with a heavy heart that I must add a final thought. It is difficult to adequately express the extent of my disappointment. There is no need to spy on CSE or CSE Foundation. It is time to apologize to the membership and staff of CSE and CSE Foundation.


Paul Beckner,