Danny Tarkanian may be campaigning against Harry Reid, but he’s clearly trying to run with the memory of Ronald Reagan:
This ad has shown up all over the blogosphere (I saw it on HuffPo and Burnt Orange Report today, for instance, with a version also appearing on the pages of Epolitics.com itself), and it links back to a landing page that features video from a Ronald Reagan trip to Nevada to rally the faithful against Reid back in 1986:
I’m doing a presentation today for the FamiliesUSA Health Action 2010 conference, on the subject of how organizations can use the internet for advocacy — rather a familiar topic around here, don’t you think? Alan Rosenblatt will also be on the panel, along with Donna Norton, who handles online strategy at Mom’s Rising. Should be a great discussion, and I’m posting a copy of my presentation for posterity, hilarity and the general good of humankind. Enjoy!
Did you notice all the internet talk in last night’s speeches? From Barack Obama’s highlighting of new government info online (including the White House visitor list) in his address to Congress, to Bob McDonnell’s mention of solutions.gop.gov and his open solitication of opinions via Facebook and Twitter, the net’s central place in the political communications world was obvious. Even MoveOn.org got a shoutout! Oh wait, that was on the Daily Show. And the online advocacy organization got more than just a mention; they received a Very Special Delivery, courtesy of the Acorn Pimp:
Excellent detective work, Jon — now that we know the source of their strategy, we’re one step closer to beating them. If The Law hasn’t already beaten us to it…
Interested in the idea of boosting voter involvement? Be sure to check out the recent internet-radio interview that the E-Voter Institute’s Karen Jagoda held with Summer Nemeth, the founder of Imagine Election. Summer’s site is trying to put out good and clear information about elections around the country, while also providing candidates a platform to reach voters in addition to their own websites and other online channels. You can listen to the discussion here, and be sure to head over to the Imagine Election site as well.
Quick announcement — after two years sailing the fickle waves of capitalism all on my own, I accepted a full-time job at New Media Strategies last week and started today. I’m now a Strategic Manager in their Public Affairs Practice and am currently being orientated (the electrodes don’t hurt nearly as much as you’d expect).
Regular readers needn’t you worry your pretty little heads about Epolitics.com, though, since NMS is all in favor of employees having public intellectual and creative lives, and they actively encourage blogging, Twittering, Facebooking, et al. While I’m adjusting to a new work environment (and to actually waking up in the morning), the publishing rate may drop off a bit, but working with the team here should provide plenty of fodder for pieces down the road. And with a whole group of talented folks for backup, we might just get a lot more interesting stuff done than I was able to take care of on my own. Keep me (and NMS) in mind as you’re planning your online outreach — I’d be happy to chat any time.
Ethics in political advocacy? That’s crazy talk! But the folks at GW’s Graduation School of Political Management are planning an event this week that proves that they aren’t afraid to take on an apparent oxymoron:
A generation ago, rare was the public policy issue that brought with it an assault of TV advertising, tons of direct mail, dinnertime “robo calls”, or the other features associated with modern “grassroots lobbying”. Now such campaigns are commonplace.
The first amendment affirms the right of citizens to speak freely and to petition the government to redress grievances. And the public policy debates of today are high stakes affairs. So “grassroots campaigns” will be a permanent fixture in American politics and government.
But questions arise: How can the honesty of such campaigns be assured, if at all? Should the public know who is paying for them? Do “town hall meetings” have to turn ugly and near violent to be effective? Are the institutions within our representative democracy strong enough to endure and survive these barrages?
These questions — and others — are being debated every day in Congressional offices, in newsrooms and on the web, in consultants’ quarters and in think tank conference rooms. The Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University believes that is high time that the discussion needs to take place in public, with all sides represented.
Mark your calendar today and plan to be there on January 27. The topic is timely, the argument will be fierce, and the outcome will be important.
Hi y’all, here’s a nice Friday afternoon distraction — the folks at Sum of Change have posted video of Charles Lenchner and my animated discussion about online politics and local campaigns at December’s Organizing 2.0 Conference, with a particular emphasis on the lessons of the Obama campaign. We fielded a ton of great questions from the audience and got to hit on most of the really important issues involved. Check it out — a true feast for the eyes and ears alike.
Check out the following guest article for a view of the Brown/Coakley race different from what is rapidly becoming conventional wisdom in the online politics world. My friend (and Blue State Digital staffer) Henri Makembe was on the scene, and while he’s not happy with the outcome of the race, he’s here to defend Coakley’s new media team from accusations that they were asleep at the proverbial switch. For more from Henri, see his LocalPoliTechs site.
In Defense of Martha Coakley’s New Media Team
By Henri Makembe
Running on cheese pizza, RedBull, cold Dunkin Donuts coffee, cookies and the memory of the late Ted Kennedy, I spent the last few days volunteering for Martha Coakley alongside some of the best Democratic new media operatives. Some analysts are describing this as the most important election in the last 50 years — not including presidential contests. Despite our best efforts, Scott Brown won the seat that was held by someone who continues to be regarded as one of best, if not the best, senator of our time. Mr. Brown has some big shoes fill, and while I will be working hard against him in 2012, I wish him and his staff the best for the sake of the people of the commonwealth of Massachusetts.