Millions, not billions ?
As the title says, the opensecrets.org implies the donations are in millions, not billions. Still a lot of coin, but there are only so many politicians, so I'm not sure you could spend billions even if you tried.
Billions of dollars and people hours are spent each year to lobby US politicians over legislation and lucrative government contracts. Telcos, hardware, and closed-source software companies are not strangers to this game. Now Linux and open-source are getting their act together. Seventy open-source companies and organizations …
Sorry to be all negative here but the US doesn't have the reputation of being built on the almighty dollar for nothing. If there's not enough money in the support contracts then I cannot see anyone high-up being that interested, not like Apple, MS or Oracle, where's there's really big money to be made all over the shop. Quite frankly politicians and governments couldn't really give a toss what software they use providing the plebs using it can call someone and moan when it fails and those making the purchasing decisions get nice big lunches and free jolly's. OSS companies overheads are most likely a lot tighter than the big boys, so free lunches and jollies will most likely be out!
Have to agree with you. I'd go one farther and suggest that if there's not enough extra money built into the support contracts to line some pockets or provide some really great jobs for those in positions of power then OSS, which I use, will never gain an equal footing.
On the other hand, the lack of security provided by the software most commonly used will always provide us with reasonable excuses for not allowing governments to keep huge databases of personal information.
LOL, I know, I know - like they don't now.