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Monday, December 13, 2004

State Democratic Party Websites

Posted by Bob Brigham

It is Day 2 of my project to focus on modernizing Democratic State Parties. With MyDD and DavidNYC weighing in, the crisis received many more eyeballs.

Yesterday I complained, but today I am taking the first step towards helping solve the problem.

As I noted in my study of State Democratic Party blogs (or lack thereof), the California Democratic Party has a strong blog written by Bob Mulholland.

For almost a year Mulholland has taken advantage of his blog to ruthlessly bash the opposition, energize the grassroots, organize and raise money.

The CDP website also has a neat feature titled, "Ask the Chairman" where readers can send emails to CPD Chair Art Torres that he can then answer online.

So today I sent an email to Chair Torres, here is what I had to say:

As you know, Bob Mulholland does a pretty damn good job of blogging.

However, a new study has shown that three-fourths of State
Democratic Parties do not even have a blog, much less one like Bob's. In 2006, 80% of the states that will host US Senate races are lead by State Parties that do not even have a blog.

Recently, this has received much attention online with Democratic activists worried that most State Parties are ill-prepared for modern campaigns.

So here is my question, as State Chair can you have Mr. Mulholland spend an afternoon writing an email to the other State Parties sharing his experiences blogging? Instead of forcing the other states to learn through trial and error, can you to deploy our best practices and lead the other states?

Thanks for reading my question.

Bob Brigham

Hopefully, this email will spur some action.

While I'm writing, let me give you a taste of one week on Mulholland's blog:

Last Friday: "If Nader had not run in 2000, Al Gore would have been re-elected on Nov 2. Instead Kerry will receive 252 Electoral Votes and Bush Jr. will get 286 (270 needed to get the White House keys)"

Last Thursday: "Rumsfeld should be court-martialed for putting Americans in combat without armor."

More from Thursday: "That���s right ��� 50 percent of Bush Jr.���s own Congressmembers in California gave him the finger."

Last Wednesday: "The United States and Australia are holding out for God to stop global warming."

Last Tuesday: "So after years going on Middleast TV talking about democracy, Bush Jr. has finally learned a lesson ��� the one he slept through at Yale."

Last Monday: "Schwarzenegger once again sells out California���s interests. He does what Karl Rove tells him."

These are just a few choice quotes from the 16 posts Mulholland wrote last week. After a year of blogging, he has really hit his stride. It would be a benefit to the entire Party if he could share some of his experiences with his counterparts in other states. Not only does he write a blog that is popular with activists and the media, but he writes from the perspective of a state Party mouthpiece.

Posted at 08:25 PM in Activism | Technorati


So what tact can we take to help them enter the 21st century? The best approach is probably not an adversarial one, but to help work with the state chairs to accomplish the necessary task of modernization.

If the Michigan State Comm. Director doesn't respond to my questioned posed in the thread below, I am going to start contacting the Chairman himself, telling him that we in the netroots want to work with them to help move the party forward at the state level.

As a matter of fact, I think I might do it anyway.


Posted by: Tim T. at December 13, 2004 09:00 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Mulholland is a great guy, back in Feb of 2003, he let Markos and I in to blog the CA Dem convention, introducing him to blogging.

Posted by: Jerome Armstrong at December 14, 2004 12:42 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Mulholland is a great guy, back in Feb of 2003, he let Markos and I in to blog the CA Dem convention, introducing him to blogging.

Oh man, that was a seminal moment in blog (and Dean) history. I remember being incredibly excited that you guys had been given press credentials, and that you were actually there reporting on the event. I thought to myself, "Finally - a version of events I know I'll be able to trust!"

And boy was that Dean speech a barnburner. The best of his campaign? I think you could easily make that argument. I still get shivers thinking about it.

Posted by: DavidNYC at December 14, 2004 12:47 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I really wish I could have caught that speech live. I had an opportunity to be a proxy vote, but I had a kickoff the next week...you know how it goes. Not only was it a great speech, but the fact I rewatched it from DVD at the next meetup really tied together the whole package.

Mulholland certainly isn't scared of change. I think he sees technology as a plus because he is confident enough in his abilities to know they will flourish online. And they have. The California political press refreshes his blog religiously while many a press release sit unread.

So I'm hoping he steps to the plate. Vertical leadership hasn't worked and I don't want to wait two months for our new reform chair when it could be done this afternoon. So here's to a little horizontal leadership.

Posted by: Bob Brigham at December 14, 2004 12:04 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Thanks for the reply. I guess this is a time of great confusion. We need leadership so bad.

Posted by: Pamela at December 14, 2004 10:10 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment