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Kerry Pitches $30 Billion Tech Investment Plan

Sen. John Kerry on Thursday unveiled plans for a $30 billion package of technology investments during a policy speech in San Jose, Calif.--and picked up the endorsement of former Chrysler Corp. chairman Lee Iacocca, who campaigned for President George W. Bush in 2000.

Speaking at San Jose State University, Kerry, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for president, said if elected he would create tax incentives to invest in startups, research and development, and broadband networks for rural areas and cities. Kerry also said he would spend $30 billion to create high-tech jobs--and would pick up the tab by selling unused TV transmission spectrum after the country moves from analog to digital television.

Kerry attacked Bush for putting "ideology" before science.

"We're not going to get very far with a leadership that slashes science and technology budgets," Kerry said. "At the dawn of the 21st century, the possibilities are limitless. But they won't just happen. We have to invest more in our people and their ideas."

Iacocca, credited with helping to resuscitate Chrysler in the late 1970s and '80s. also campaigned for former president Ronald Reagan in the '80s. But he said he's throwing his support to Kerry, who can best create American jobs. "We can't compete unless our technology is world-class and cutting-edge," said Iacocca, who added that he will offer advice to Kerry during the campaign.

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