Your correspondent's point of view here is somewhat naive:
> By asking for government mandates on software
> purchasing, they're practically inviting the
> commercial software developers to lobby for
> legislation forbidding Open Source, in response
> to 'our' efforts to require it.
So, if we play nice, they will too? I don't think so. We need to start playing for keeps here, because the other side is already.
I also think you are missing a point by saying:
> But the more I think about it, the more you I
> realize that having governments specify
> software licensing policies is a bad idea.
You think the government should not specify licensing policies for the government? Um, who should?
Remember, we're not talking about the government imposing requirements on individuals or corporations here. Governments need to be able to make internal policies just as other bodies do.
This is not to say I necessarily think this is a good move at this time. I can see practical problems that could drive Califirnia's IT people nuts. But that's a matter of practicality, not ethics or ideals.