About Steve Kirsch and
why I did the analysis
I founded the Internet search engine Infoseek. But I'm most proud of my role as a
philanthropist in Silicon Valley. When the United Way in Silicon Valley faced an $11M shortfall, I was the first
individual to step forward with a $1M donation to help out the 100 social
service organizations that were left hanging. Iím a philanthropist because
I care about people and I care about this country.
I care about education. In the past few
years, Iíve donated over $5M dollars through my charitable foundation to help
educate our students [MIT1,
MIT2, DeAnza]. It's an important investment in our future.
As a CEO of four companies in Silicon Valley, I can tell you that our biggest problem is
hiring exceptional people. It's the key to our future prosperity. And the key to
that is education.
George W. Bush claims that he has improved education in Texas. Yet, from
everything I know about Texas, that just didn't seem very credible. All the
trusted third party achievement data I could find is consistent. It shows that
from the time he was elected in 1994, scores have gone flat or in some cases,
significantly declined. And the achievement gap has widened. Sure,
miniorites in Texas score well on exams, but it's been like that for over a
decade. It's deceptive to take credit for that as Bush has done on his web
I read the RAND study when it came out on October 24. It made this all clear
to me. Unfortunately, the Bush campaign was able to create doubt by citing an
earlier RAND report and claiming a conflict. And they also brought up really phoney
claims like "bad timing" and "missing data." That's
bullshit. Now that really made me mad that they are
fooling the American public.
I love mysteries! And this seemed pretty easy to figure out who was
telling the truth. After all, all the external indicators like SAT scores, etc.
say nothing is going on in Texas. I called RAND and they said both reports were
right and told me to read the reports. So I did. And I discovered why there was
no conflict. Now you know too.
Here is a little bit more about me if you are wondering what my ulterior
motives are in creating my political web site:
- Ranked #96 in Worth magazine's annual list of the "100
Most Generous Americans"
- Ranked #8 on the 1999
Slate 60: The 60 largest American charitable contributions of 1999.
- Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year
by the Silicon Valley chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising
- "Outstanding Leadership Award" for promoting the use of Zero
Emission Vehicles from the American Lung Association of the Bay Area as part
of the 2000 Annual Clean Air ENVY Awards
- "Inspiration Award" at Reaching for Stars 2000 Annual
Awards Dinner (San Jose Chamber of Commerce and Tech Museum)
- Named one of the "Top 10 Entrepreneurs of 2000" by Red
- "Heart of Silicon Valley Award" from the City of Sunnyvale for
my $1M lead gift to bail out the United Way. I was the first major donor to
step forward and offer to help and I was one of only 3 individuals
to give a gift of $1M or more.
story in Silicon Valley Magazine (on ethics and philanthropy)
- Visionary Award" from the Software
Development Forum (where I urged my fellow CEOs to get more involved in
helping the community)
- I donated $2.5M to MIT for construction of an auditorium for education of
engineering students [MIT1,
- I donated $2M to DeAnza College for construction of a the Kirsch
Center for Environmental Studies which we hope will serve as a national
model to educate new generations on becoming environmentally aware citizens.
- I donated $1M to Mills College for construction of a public policy/social
- I'm an Aspen Institute Crown
Fellow (The purpose of the Henry Crown Fellowship program is to promote
community-spirited leadership in the next generation of business leaders.
The program honors the career of Chicago industrialist Henry Crown, a strong
proponent and practitioner of ethical values in business.)
- My foundation's website, www.kirschfoundation.org,
reflects our values and is one of the top philanthropic websites on the net
(or so we've been told many times over). We donate over $5M per year to a variety of causes. You can also view
our annual report
which is really cool since it is only available online in PDF form (saving
- I worked extensively to author/pass two bills in the California Assembly
provide consumer incentives for driving clean air vehicles and spoke (via
Quicktime video) at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) hearing
that reviewed the ZEV mandate. If you don't think I'm passionate about the
environment by now, please check
out the video.
- A history of support for campaign
finance reform. In fact, I was the guy who first told John McCain
about Public Campaign and their
remarkable accomplishments in the campaign finance reform area in the
States. And journalist Bill Moyers and TV producer Norman Lear both know
very well my history and passion in support of this important cause. Ours is
one of only 9
foundations that support Public Campaign and we are the 3rd largest
donor. It's a great organization with
awesome traction. It's already working in Maine, Massachusetts, and Arizona
and it's on the ballot in Missouri and Oregon. And honest politicians love
it because they
don't have to spend anytime raising money. So isn't that sad that only 9
foundations want to level the playing field in American politics?
- Numerous awards and honors
- Donated $500K to the DNC
I have BS and MS engineering degrees from MIT. Iíve been
the CEO of 4 successful high tech companies with a combined market
capitalization of over $5B. Iíve
had the opportunity to observe and learn from some of the worldís leading
CEOs, educators, military leaders,
and politicians, on a personal basis, including both presidential candidates.
Iíve also hired hundreds of people in the 20 years since I started my first
company, including a number of CEOs.
For more about me, see the Steve Kirsch Home Page
For more information about my charitable activities, please visit the Kirsch
If you are interested in attacking the RAND report, see the handy
guide I've put together to help you attack the report and attack me. Please
try to use a new technique that is not listed there as none of the listed
techniques will work here.
Steve Kirsch Political Home Page