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Friday, August 05, 2005

Netroots Win Political Play of the Week

Posted by Bob Brigham

Image hosted by Photobucket.comCNN:

Netroots activism. Ever hear of it?

You will. Because this week marks its arrival as a force in American politics. [...]

Like Bob Brigham. He and his partner Tim Tagaris run a Democratic blog called swingstateproject.com. Brigham is in San Francisco. Tagaris is in Ohio.

They never met until this year when they discovered a cause, or more precisely, a candidate -- Democrat Paul Hackett, running in a special election for an Ohio congressional seat that most national Democrats wrote off as hopeless.

But Hackett, a Marine who served in Iraq, showed fight.

"We have to say it loud that we are proud to fight for what this great country stands for," he said.

Damn straight. Voters respect straight talk and bold action.

The liberal blogs got organized.

"A hundred to 150 bloggers helped raise money, turned out volunteers, got people down to the district and emailed their friends in Ohio," said Bob Brigham of swingstateproject.com.

Ever hear of a blogswarm?

According to CNN blog reporter Jacki Schechner, "This was a pretty decent example of a lot of people getting behind one thing at exactly the same time." A blogswarm.

There is a slight typo in the transcript. There should be a space between 'blog' and 'swarm' when referring to the action. As a single word, it refers to an individual. But back to the award:

On the final day of the campaign they needed $30,000. "So Bob from Swing State sent out an email, made phone calls, said, 'Here is what we need, we need $30,000 in a very short period of time.'" Schechner said. "And the next day, ActBlue delivered a check for $60,000."

ActBlue is a Web site that raises money for Democrats.

ActBlue rocks on every day, use it.

"This was a success," Hackett said in his concession speech. "We should all be proud, so let's rock on."

People often compare the Internet to the Wild West. Here's an update.

"The lone gunslingers of the blogosphere could work as a posse, and that's what let us raise an army," Brigham said. And carry off the political Play of the Week.

The bloggers made their point -- on their Web site, of course: "The Republican Party is on notice. For that matter, the Democratic Party establishment is on notice; get with the program or we will leave you behind.''


Posted at 08:45 PM in Activism, Netroots, Ohio, Site News | Technorati


Very cool, and very true!

Without the blogs, and Swing State Project in particular, Hackett would have had MUCH less money, way fewer volunteers, and wouldn't have come nearly as close.

Tim and Bob, thank you!

Posted by: Fran for Dean [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 5, 2005 10:26 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

More like the Play of the Year.

Rock on.

Posted by: quaoar [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 5, 2005 10:56 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Congrats on the valiant effort in OH. I've been basically living at C&L,but after reading about your site and abilities to motivate,consider me a new friend. I live my life emmersed in a red state surrounded daily by "W-The Pres." bumperstickers, silently wishing and preparing for the demise of the neocons. I believe that together we can still bring this great nation back to the values and glory it was founded under;Liberty,Plurality,Truth,Happiness for ALL citizens. Once again,congrats and consider me on board.

Posted by: Dr.Franklin [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 6, 2005 02:30 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I like the fact that within a couple of days the push to minimize the netroots started.

Blogs can't...fill in anything because there is someone sure you can't.

There was a day when someone swore that TV would never replace radio.

The head of IBM once claimed that one day there would only be five maainframes and we would all have dumb terminals.

Let the Republicans hang on to the top down monolith--it is the dawning of distributed democracy.

Certainly it will be difficult to get as much attention focused on one candidate when we go to the general elections. I like how detractors act as if you can't do the math.

It seems however that they are overlooking the difference in energy that direct and participatory communication has compared to projected media.

I think many of us felt, really felt, part of the campaign in a way that was only slightly removed from actually being there. And for most of us the experience was actually better. Sure it was vicarious, but we had access at a higher level than many volunteers physically present. The little thank you video from Paul was awesome. You can't fit 5,000 people backstage, even if you want to.

For others contemplating a blog to support their candidate I think you really need to keep in the back of your mind--if you want to energize me you have to create the flavor, the smell and taste of being with you.

That means new video clips and pics all the time. Just snips of Hackett shaking hands with people and the small talk of the campaign really added to the appeal. Remember most of the audience are not jaded politicos. They don't/can't hang with a campaign 24-7 so much of what might be considered mundane after you've been there all day is fresh for me. I am only dropping in for five or ten minutes anyway.

So brush up your quick editing skills and work on the transcript writing--Tim, I think, was live blogging from the debate and trying to keep up. If you can get a team-blog you might be able to get more of the dialogue and have a better chance at commentary. Not trying to criticize Tim--it is a difficult task to cover three people speaking and to try and focus while they overtalk.

Again great work and great fun.

Tester needs some momentum ActBlue is not moving 43 $1350.17

Posted by: Bill Section 147 [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 6, 2005 03:48 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The insurgent campaign waged by Paul Hackett in the 2nd District shows that guerrilla-tech politics are the way to even and overcome the odds. All of the young people who became involved in this campaign should be proud of it. They did what the Dem Party political establishment would not and could not do, reach out and touch like minded folks across the nation to assist in local campaign in Ohio. This is a true demonstration of democracy at work, and I am sure that the powers that be in the Dem Party and the pundit-cracy are concerned, for this could lead to a real movement of the folks.

For too long, the Dem party has went out and recruited candidates to run in these lop-sided races like the 2nd district and then basically left them sitting in their dust after filing day.

The Dem party is afraid of issue based campaigns for how do they stack up on the issues? The truth is that they use healthcare, education, and the economy just like the GOP uses Gay bashing, Abortion and Prayer in schools, as wedge issues, to get folks to line up on one side or the other. When push comes to shove, the Dems for the most part, fall to the way side. A classic example, is the Clay bill that was passed time after time in the '80's.

The Clay bill would have made it illegal for federal contractors to use strike breakers or scabs (a bill that came about because of the PATCO strike in 1981). During the Reagan and Bush I regimes, the Dems passed it time after time, to have either Reagan or Bush I veto it. In 1992, when Clinton was elected, the Clay bill never seen the light of day in either the house or the senate in '93 or '94.

But in '95, when, the Gingerichites were passing the "Contract on America" legislation, the Clay bill was reintroduced and was fought over on the floor of the house and the senate, with Clinton finally issuing an Executive order that did the same thing (that Bush II promptly revoked in 2001).

So when the Dems had the house, the senate and the Presidency to make the Clay bill, law, it was conveniently put on the back burner. But when they needed a lightening rod to cement backing from the labor movement, it became important for they knew that it would not become law either.

Just a little Democratic Party History 101, but don't get discouraged for you have the power!

Again, well done, it is good to know that there are some young people out there with the fire in the belly for a good fight, for good reasons.

Posted by: Truebeliever [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 6, 2005 01:23 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

One other typo by CNN... They said... "This was a success," Hackett said in his concession speech. "We should all be proud, so let's rock on."

It should have been... "We should all be proud, so let's rock on!" (Exclamation point)

The future litmus test for those running for office... Passing the Clay Bill!!!!!!!

"ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...."

I don't worry cause we're sittin' on top of the world."

Posted by: The Smoke eter [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 6, 2005 03:16 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Gov. Taft and State GOP Woes, Not Iraq, Made Ohio a Tight Race

by John Gizzi
Posted Aug 5, 2005

To believe the national media, the election for the open U.S. House seat in Ohio's 2nd District on Tuesday was nearly won by a Democrat because of mounting opposition to the U.S. presence in Iraq. Republican Jean Schmidt, former state legislator, barely clung to the most Republican congressional district in the Buckeye State by a margin of 4,000 votes, or 52% to 48%, over Democrat and Marine reserve officer Paul Hackett. In a race that drew national attention because of Hackett's opposition to the Bush policies in Iraq (and reference to the President as an "S.O.B."), the Democratic nominee handily carried four counties that only last year had gone for Bush (Pike, Scioto, Adams, and Brown). Conservative GOPer Schmidt, however, was saved by a big margin in her home county of Clermont, drawing 58% of the vote in Warren County (which had gone for Bush with 72% of the vote in '04), and a slim 51% margin in Hamilton County (Cincinnati).

In the Washington Post and other national publications, Hackett was almost always identified as "Bush critic." Yet several local figures who talked to HUMAN EVENTS said that the scenario of a referendum on Bush's Iraq policy was a creation of the national media, that the Democratic camp made far more of an issue in the special election of the scandal-tinged Republican governor of Ohio than the U.S. presence in Iraq.

"This should be a wake-up call for Ohio Republicans," said Portsmouth lawyer Eddie Edwards, a longtime Republican activist in the 2nd District, who said that Iraq was only a small part of the Democratic broadside against Schmidt. "When we came home on the Saturday before the election, there were more than seven political messages on the answering machine. The call for Hackett charged Jean with being tied to [GOP Gov.] Bob Taft, who is being hurt by this Noe scandal [the controversial investment of state retirement funds into a private coin collection owned by Thomas Noe, a longtime GOP contributor], that she was a lobbyist for gambling interests, and that she voted for the biggest tax increase in state history."

Schmidt may have stumbled badly in the twilight days of the campaign, when she told the Cincinnati Enquirer she "had no recollection" of lobbying the governor's office on behalf of Cincinnati businessman Roger Ach's Internet Lottery business while she was in the legislature. The story came out when the Toledo Blade reported that the records of a Taft staffer included a memo stating Schmidt "continues to bug me on the Internet lottery;" a year after the memo, Schmidt received a $1000 donation from Ach. Hackett hit this hard, charging that Schmidt was too close to the ethical problems surrounding Gov. Taft.

Posted by: kevin6497 [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 6, 2005 03:45 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment