Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bloggers - A Campaign's Best Friend

Statement: Bloggers are a force to be reckoned with.

It's true. Some people don't quite realize it, but the NetRoots Movement is on, and wow, what an impact we had on the '06 Elections.

For some of us, like me, blogging's become an outlet where we can combine our passions, writing and political activism.

When I write and post, I have no idea who reads this and what, if anything, they take away from it.

It is my hope that people who aren't as into state and local politics as I am find this blog to be somewhere where they can stay informed on the important stuff without having to read everything everywhere (and trust me, there's tons!). I think that's happened because every once in a while some of you are kind enough to comment or email me about something that you loved or something that just really stirred you up. That's good. That means I'm being effective.

Nonetheless, I've been saying all along that we can't rest on our laurels, just because we won. Democrats saw the political climate change in our favor, but I'm hoping we won't just stop with a win. If anything, this victory means pat ourselves on the back and then get going on the '08 elections. Let's focus on what we did do right, and what we didn't.

Here's what was disappointing/tragic in Michigan -

8th Congressional District - Mike Rogers has never been a friend of our district, and Jim Marcinkowski was the best candidate that's been run against him yet. He should have won. He needed to win. How do we kick Mike out in '08?

Proposition 2 - No way did we need to follow in the disgraceful footsteps of California in eliminating Affirmative Action. Talk about digging our own graves. We're too smart for that, and while everyone agrees Affirmative Action isn't the answer to our inequity, its a step in the right direction to achieving equity.

Secretary of State - I know, I know. How many of you really care about who's running the DMV, right? That's exactly what I thought till I read up on what it is the SOS really does and what they have control over, say, voting machines? Terry Lynn Land has done a poor job protecting us against ballot fraud, and Carmella Saubaugh has definitely been an innovator for the people down in Macomb County. Read more about it here.

Attorney General - Regardless of what he does in and out of his bedroom, Mike Cox is not exactly working for you and I. He's working for Mike Cox, Saul Anuzis, and the many special interests that lined his campaign war chest. Our own governor should not have to do his job for him when he refuses to protect everyday citizens like you and I (UofM Admissions Case). Amos Williams has had a long record of serving the people, even those who can't contribute to his campaign.

And these are just a few. So many areas to improve upon.

That's why I have to give props to Nirmal. His post is chock-full of brainstorms for how our community moves forward is exactly the nudge (or kick!) we all need. I'm grateful that he's posted it before we start to get together for what I hope will be a very effective planning session. What we'll come away with, I can only guess and hope for.

I hope that our party leaders, our elected officials, and all of the players in front of and behind the scenes realize the potential and power of the bloggers and online community.

Did You Know -
  • We can go places and do things that traditional media and campaigns can't.
  • We reach an enormous (and often hard to reach) audience and have an incredible pull when it comes to soliciting donations. I believe whole-heartedly that campaigns can't afford to ignore us any longer.
  • The best part is that for most of us, we're the most dedicated, hard-working, and inexpensive (sometimes practically free!) group of volunteers any candidate/campaign can hope for. We feel honored and appreciated when we're reached out too, and that initial email/conversation could reap more votes than can be counted.
So as candidates are starting to position themselves, races are considered, and campaigns are started in people's kitchens and living rooms, I ask just one thing. Don't forget about the bloggers. We are most definitely a force to be reckoned with.


David A Wishinsky said...

The great thing about blogs is reading "real people's" views. It is great to see how different people feel things effect them personally and it truly puts faces to policy decisions. It is easier to relate to someone's post on how affirmative action affected them than to read "Statistics indicate..." That is the power of the blog...

Mike said...

First I think Rogers can be beat. He's too conservative for that district. He should never have won in the first place, but I guess that's another story.

Second, I don't think blogs really have the power to persaude people to vote differently. I think, for the most part, people read blogs that they already agree with. I doubt somebody who thinks about voting rarely regularly reads blogs. They may have looked at a few to see what it was about, but I don't think they're actie partcipants. And they'll always make their decisions based on local tv news, tv ads, newspaper articles, and radio ads in that order.

However, what blogs can do is fire up people who care about an issue. They can spur people to volunteer on a campaign and/or donate to a campaign. Those volunteers then go make phone calls and knock on doors. The volunteers drag the person who saw a story on the 11 o'clock news, and wants candidate X to win, but thinks taking 25 minutes out his day is too much.

It's easy to say that blogs make the difference, and there is some truth in that. But the difference, in my opinion is tangential. Blogs help, but they only work in conjunction with other things. Of course, this is the story of everything.

So thanks for your blog. And thanks for getting people to go out and support Democrats in Michigan.