Our MySpace Experiment

Here is the other side of the story. That Anthony changed the password changes things a bit, but I still think he should be compensated for the amount of work he has done. Hopefully, negotiations on that front will continue. Also, I don't like the "we are making this up as we go along" part of the explanation--Chris

I won't have time to post today, but you should read this post from TechPresident. The account written here does not quite accord with what Micah reported--Matt

Hi, I'm Joe Rospars and I'm the New Media Director at Barack Obama's campaign. There have been a lot of questions and comments in this community related to our MySpace profile, and so I wanted to come by and clarify how we got here and answer questions.

Our campaign started quickly. People around here say that this has been like building an airplane in mid-air, having already taken off. This is especially true of the New Media operation. While the campaign in general is going from zero to sixty, our team is at the same time charged with exploring the new ways we can build relationships between Barack and his supporters, and foster relationships among supporters themselves.

When it came to MySpace, we decided to take a leap. We decided to make the attempt to combine the organic support and community-building of a grassroots effort with the official campaign outreach efforts.

In many ways this mirrors what has happened on the campaign's own web site. On February 10th, the day Barack announced his candidacy in Springfield, we launched My.BarackObama.com has an unprecedented public utility for supporters.

Even on the campaign's own web site, the organizing efforts and community-building by the grassroots has outpaced the growth of the traditional campaign infrastructure. On the site, over 11,500 people have created their own blogs about everything from their issue priorities to their personal experience campaigning locally. Thousands of events have been planned using the events tool (social events, planning meetings, small fundraisers), and tens of thousands of people have RSVPed to these grassroots-driven gatherings.

And over 5,000 grassroots volunteer groups have been founded -- in many states, these groups will be the only organizational presence the campaign has. Even in the early states, staff organizers are hitting ground in places where volunteer groups have already been meeting and organizing. One of the first orders of business for new staff on the ground is getting to know the grassroots who have already started building the movement.

When it comes to MySpace, I'm not sure if a campaign of this size has ever teamed-up with a grassroots volunteer on this scale, but we wanted to give it a try.

Joe Anthony's great work was building community at the www.myspace.com/barackobama address, and so we contacted him.

At that point, the profile had about 40,000 friends, and to our delight, Joe agreed to work with us. Indeed, he seemed relieved to have some help -- he gave us the password, and we began to exchange content, work together, and continue growing this community from the ground-up.  We created images that he (and others online) could post, and began going through the process of preparing the profile to be "official" by combing through the content and establishing a plan to ensure that everyone who tried to contact the campaign through the profile received an answer. (People wrote messages and comments in huge numbers, virtually all addressed to Barack or the campaign -- "Will you come speak at my graduation?", "Where do you stand on issue X?", "How can I help locally?", etc.)

We started talking to Joe about formalizing the arrangement, preserving his work building the community, and talking through how to preserve his involvement in the direction and development of the profile.

For a time, both the campaign and Joe had mutual access. Soon after, MySpace launched a promotional campaign to direct traffic to the official candidate pages. The campaign allowed MySpace to promote this unofficial profile because, strictly speaking, there was no official presence. And so MySpace began featuring the profile in candidate promotions -- and the friends and workload grew.

We knew Joe had a full-time job already, and, early on, we floated the idea of moving to Chicago to work for us full-time (potential staffers were moving to Chicago and join the team at that time, and there were openings). I totally agree when Chris Bowers says that the New Media/online outreach efforts of campaigns should be a priority -- and we have built an operation here in Chicago and in the early states that reflects that posture.

But Joe seemed to prefer to volunteer part-time from the outside with the campaign to continue building the community. He said he was honored to help out, and we were honored to work with him. We worked through the complications that arose: letting Joe know that he shouldn't work on the site from work, educated him about the rules governing campaign promotion of official Senate material, etc. Joe was right with us, and things continued down the path towards making this unofficial community into an official space run with help from volunteers.

As we progressed, we began to work-up paperwork that would codify this arrangement -- ensuring that the campaign would have full access (what if someone put up an obscene comment during the day while Joe was at work?), and assuming the liability burden (legally, ethically, and politically) for what happened on the site.

At the same time, though, the community had skyrocketed. Nobody expected the grassroots to respond this campaign in such large numbers the way they have, and the rapid growth of the MySpace profile once the MySpace Impact Channel began promoting the various candidates is yet another example of the appeal of Barack. We were well over 100,000 friends, and the burden of administering such a profile became immense.

Unfortunately, at that point, Joe changed the password on the profile, and didn't give us the new one, like he had done in the past. This changed the previous dynamic, and we could no longer access the profile at a moment's notice if need be. We asked Joe what was needed to restore access, and subsequently we received the list of itemized financial requests that have been discussed elsewhere.

This made us uncomfortable. Every day, MySpace was driving tens of thousands of people to the page on the premise that this was more or less our "official" presence -- yet we had no access to the content on the page, and no ability to be responsive to the thousands of messages coming in from supporters seeking information or action from the campaign.

We talked to Joe and made clear that we truly wanted to incorporate the community into the campaign's official presence, but that if these financial demands were a precursor to the campaign having access at all, that we would need to start with an official profile separately and have MySpace promote that instead.

And so it became clear that we needed to have MySpace point people at something we had at least basic access to -- immediately. In MySpace, politicians, musicians, and other public figures have the right to their own name (www.myspace.com/barackobama, www.myspace.com/hillaryclinton, etc.), and so we asked MySpace for use of that URL and to ensure that any promotion of "official" profiles for candidates be directed to the new profile our team created.

The community of the 160,000 still exists, and we've made sure that MySpace will let Joe have access to the community he helped build. And we hope we can continue to work with him to make that as effective as it can be.

At the end of the day, this is all new for everyone -- this Joe, that Joe, and everyone participating or commenting on it. We're flying by the seat of our pants, and establishing new ways of doing things every day. We're going to try new things, and sometimes it's going to work, and sometimes it's not going to work. That's the cost and that's the risk of experimenting. Joe launched this profile for all the right reasons, and for a while grew it with us.

But the ultimate purpose is building a community around the idea that ordinary people can come together and affect change in this country. Barack Obama is the candidate I believe can transform the process and make that change happen.

And, to the extent that more and more people every day come to that same conclusion, my bet is that both profiles will continue to grow.

Cross-posted at BarackObama.com and DailyKos.com

Tags: Barack Obama, MySpace (all tags)



Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Too little.

Too late.

by ManfromMiddletown 2007-05-02 03:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

At the very least, you could offer a little constructive criticism. Personally, I think that if it is true that Anthony changed the password and cut the campaign off from having access...well, that's a fairly valid point for taking the site over.

by PsiFighter37 2007-05-02 03:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

I'm sorry.

I have a serious problem with a campaign launching an assault on the character of one of their volunteers into the blogosphere.

Candidate have to earn the trust of volunteers, not the other way around.

by ManfromMiddletown 2007-05-02 03:34PM | 0 recs
And volunteers...

are by definition blameless?  Everybody's right from their point of view.

by rashomon 2007-05-02 03:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Assault on whose character? They are putting their side of the story out there for everyone to judge. That is called transparency in my book.

by kekuta 2007-05-02 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

I'm wondering about that as well.

It's possible this guy Joe Anthony is a destructive, egotistical crank, and has been unreasonable.  Though changing the password does not seem to be evidence of that.

What Joe Rospars does not seem to address is when in the course of any discussions or negotiations the password was changed.  Did he change it in response to some less than good faith or fair negotiation over the handing over of the site?

We don't know the relationships management and factos going into that decision to change the password, which could simply have been Mr. Anthony's protection of his work product after discovering the campaign was trying to go around him and play bigfoot with MySpace.

Unfortunately, Mr. Rospars has now invited Mr. Anthony to give his side to this public pushback from the Obama campaign, and this could turn into a flame war between Mr. Anthony and the campaign.  

I had always hoped Obama would learn how to pick some real fights without singing kumbayah, but I never imagined his campaign would do it with one of their own volunteers on the pages of MyDD.

by Pachacutec 2007-05-02 03:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

He cut them out, and said pay me and I'll give you the password after they had worked mutually on the website for awhile.  What they did made sense to me.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-05-02 04:59PM | 0 recs
If you have a BEEF, it is with MY SPACE..

the rules are crystal clear about people who create sites/content of famous people.  If the creator has an inflammatory/liable site against a "famous person" that person has a right to take their name from the creator.  It is that simple.  Obama, again, DID NOT take his "friends or content" only his name and he had the right to do so.

It seems the campaign was trying to work with this person, even offered him a JOB at the onset, but he refused and continued to donate his time for FREE.  Again, VOLUNTEERED for FREE.

Lastly, if you do not understand this "time is money and money is time" and you are trying to get paid "after the fact", whose fault is it that you got fucked.  And that is what happened.  He should have NEGOTIATED from the get-go, but did not.  So, he live and learn.

by icebergslim 2007-05-02 06:03PM | 0 recs
Re: If you have a BEEF, it is with MY SPACE..

Agree.  If the site was called, "Fans of Barack Obama" or whatever, then the site founder should do be able to do whatever he wants.  

But the MySpace page was called "Barack Obama." (www.myspace.com/barackobama) and as far as I am concerned, Barack Obama has every right to take over THAT MySpace page whenever he wants, and for whatever reason.  

by Winston Smith 2007-05-03 12:04AM | 0 recs
an assault on his character!?

what the hell? i don't get that at all from reading this.

"it's business, its not personal. you takin' this very personal"

by the green and bold 2007-05-02 07:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Will you please point to the character assault?

by faithfull 2007-05-03 04:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Too late!  Is that a joke?  How fast were they supposed to respond?

by Sam L 2007-05-02 04:24PM | 0 recs
it's not about the blogosphere

it's about whether they asked this guy to come up with an amount  (with no intention of actually paying him) - and than never bothered to counter offer..

it appears they were stalling until they could get an agreement with myspace/Newscorp before seizing the account.

negotiating in bad faith

by TarHeel 2007-05-02 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: it's not about the blogosphere

As opposed to John Edwards' rapid response on the question of whether he'd retain the bloggers he hired?

There's no evidence of bad faith.  Read the Rospars account.

by Adam B 2007-05-02 06:32PM | 0 recs
not exactly right

the element of alleged bad faith was asking for a $$ amount then just going to myspace to lock the guy out.  if anthony just called them up and asked for $39k +, then no, it's not bad faith.  but if they asked for an offer first i think it changes things.

and rospars account and his answers to questions on the dkos version of this diary are conspicuously silent on that point.  all rospars says is that anthony proposed a fee.  that seems a big point and he didn't deny it (sounds very well worded) and that he ignored the question (and if you didn't see it, no it wasn't way way down thread).  

that's not evidence of bad faith i guess, but the accusation was there and not rebutted.  but it's at least a reasonably inferrence.

by corn dog 2007-05-02 06:49PM | 0 recs
Re: not exactly right

Well, Anthony locked out the Obama folks first from an site the Obama folks treated as official and to which they therefore needed access, after Anthony had first approached them for payment.  (They just asked him, "Okay, how much?")

by Adam B 2007-05-02 07:13PM | 0 recs
Re: not exactly right

it sounds a little different on the techpresident update.  in fact he pretty much calls BS on their explanation of this point.  he claims his sources are campaign people who spoke on background.

as far as the locking out goes, if it were me i'd have been really concerned about them doing it to me.  game theory, ya know?

by corn dog 2007-05-02 07:55PM | 0 recs
"I am John Edwards and I approve this


Your partisanshipo makes it impossible to take that comment seriously. You just want to bash Obama and found an opportunity here, that's all.

Too late? WTF

I think that Joe should get some compensation, and I trust the Obama team that he will, but his original demand was absurd and he acted like a greedy fool with the password thing.

by Populism2008 2007-05-03 01:26AM | 0 recs
Re: "I am John Edwards and I approve this

They asked him to name an amount.  They could have countered.  Instead they acted like assholes.  Sorry, no other way to portray it.

by Rooktoven 2007-05-03 04:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Great post, and thanks for clearing things up.

Bottom line, he was running a site based off BARACK OBAMA. Members joined the group thinking it was the official campaign presense. Since that clearly was not the case, you had every right to make an official page.

Thank you.

by mattmfm 2007-05-02 03:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Clearly the Obama campaign did the right thing, but did it in a clumsy way.  My impression is that Joe Anthony is a bit of a nut, and of course they had to regain control of what had been a quasi-official site when he changed the password and started extorting them.

Would it have been more prudent to simply pay off this extortionist wackjob?  Maybe.

I have to say that I'm pretty disappointed that MyDD would fly off the handle, smearing Obama before looking at both sides of the story.

by grimm 2007-05-02 05:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

great Job Joe and thanks for posting I wouldn't be this charitable to Joe but understand why you have to be to me if he was  a real supporter that cared about seeing Obama elected he wouldn't be whining like a little baby.

by nevadadem 2007-05-02 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Wow.  So...all the people who jumped to a conclusion having only heard one of the story should be pretty embarrassed by now, right?

by RickD 2007-05-02 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Don't count on it. They have a motive: to put negative stories out there about Obama.

by kekuta 2007-05-02 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Yeah, everyone I don't agree with has a secret motive for disagreeing with me.

by lorax 2007-05-02 04:50PM | 0 recs
Well, it's obvious

Edwards supporters like TarHeel are the one jumping on this one.

For a reason.

by Populism2008 2007-05-03 01:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Not quite. I find it very hard believe Rospars here, especially given his history, that Anthony changed the password on the account for no reason, and followed up with a bill.

More of this will emerge.

by Josh Koenig 2007-05-02 04:33PM | 0 recs

What's your angle here?

I looked you up and I see that you work with Zack Rosen, who worked with Joe during the Dean campaign.

You've recently begun a firm with Zack which, as far as I can tell, is a competitor of Blue State Digital, right?

And you're trying to suggest that Joe Rospars has done something bad with the DNC? A potential client of yours, perhaps?

Please explain yourself or stop with the innuendo.

by Vermonter 2007-05-02 04:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Josh...

Please explain yourself or stop with the innuendo.

Sure thing.

Zack and I met via a spontanious project which he (Zack) began to try and get web professionals to use their talents to help the campaign. It was called DeanSpace and while the technology was only partly successful -- it lives on as CivicSpace -- but as an organizational model for how a campaign can work well with a group of motivated high-value grassroots supporters it was pretty groundbreaking.

None of this requires "looking me up," by the way. I post inks to my business and personal blogs in my signature. You may also find this old blog series to be interesting.

Anyway, as for my suspicions about Rospars, there's no innuendo. In 2004/05 Joe Rospars was both a partner at Blue State Digital and technology director for the DNC, most of which was built by... Blue State Digital. This is all well known.

On the upside, they did good work, and in the end that's the main thing, but Joe's been at best evasive and at worst deceptive about his role(s) with those organization, or as to how he navigates the ethical fog of such arrangements. This means that, to me, he's a less credible voice.

Also, his posts read like press-releases.

We're hardly set up to be competitors with Blue State, and the truth is that the marketplace we're addressing is growing much faster than any of our little businesses.

by Josh Koenig 2007-05-02 05:06PM | 0 recs
on dKos

Rospars dropped by to ask some questions...

PSI who I think is an Obama supporter asked about whether Obama's campagn asked Anthony to name a price...

Respars didn't answer

by TarHeel 2007-05-02 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Josh...

Thanks, I was a volunteer (meaning I never asked for money) with the Dean Web Team at Dean HQ, working primarily with Jim Brayton, now Obama's Internet Director -- but I did meet Zack.

I'm very familiar with the DeanSpace/CivicSpace Drupal project. And, by "looking you up" I meant that I clicked on your "work" link.

Do you really think that it's appropriate to be accusing Joe Rospars of unethical behavior in a public forum without any proof?

Good luck with the start-up.

by Vermonter 2007-05-02 05:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Josh...

Coolio. I was up there for a weekend in September 2003. Great times.

As for proof there's this paper trail coupled with my own experiences of seeing Rospars shuck and jive when asked about it at the Personal Democracy Forum.

I'm not saying he's a Bad Person, just that when I read a post like this, it feels like spin, and since there are details that just don't make sense, I just don't believe them. He hasn't built trust, so he doesn't get the benefit of the doubt.

by Josh Koenig 2007-05-02 05:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Josh...

Apologies for bad spelling/grammar in the above. I'm on my way out the door but I'll check back if you have any other questions.

You may also find this paper trail to be interesting.

by Josh Koenig 2007-05-02 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

There is no reason in the world that Joe could justify changing the password and not letting the campaign have access to the site. No justification.  

What if the obama camp had changed the password on Joe??? Think about that.

by RadRobin 2007-05-02 08:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

They took the whole site not just changing the password.

by pioneer111 2007-05-02 08:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Them's the rules on myspace.  If I started a PaulMcCartney site, I would expect Paul to take it from me, given my acceptance of the myspace terms.

by RadRobin 2007-05-02 08:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

They didn't take "the whole site"; the friends list remains with Anthony.

by Adam B 2007-05-03 06:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

I freely admit total embarassment!

Shame on me.  And shame on everyone who can't see the dirty-handedness of Joe Anthony changing the password.  That's a huge no-no.  That's not evidence of a person who wants to work anything out.  He was probably drinking some beers with his lawyer bosses and they got to thinking greedy thoughts.

I did a blogpost from the one-sided view.  But I have now updated my blog.

by RadRobin 2007-05-02 07:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

thank you for clearing this up and getting the other side of the story out there. It is especially important to me that you offered him the opportunity to move to Chicago and take a full time position with the campaign. Thanks for reminding me why Barack Obama is my candidate.

by commoncents 2007-05-02 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

I think the right thing to do at this point, in terms of smoothing things over and moving past this, would be to pay him the equivalent of what you would pay any other organization for a list of 160,000 contacts, be it more or less than his initial request.

by Sam L 2007-05-02 04:27PM | 0 recs
uh, they didn't get the list

so why would they pay for it?

by John DE 2007-05-02 04:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Sounds like there wouldn't have been a problem if you would have just brought him on part-time without the demand to move to Chicago. For internet stuff, it seems kinda silly to think you need people in the building.

Thanks for stopping by, hope all's well buddy.

by Bob Brigham 2007-05-02 03:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

ignore manfrom middletown, he or she is an avid supporter of someone else, and is always looking for ways to ding obama

by dpg220 2007-05-02 03:42PM | 0 recs

In the future, could we please try to let a little time go by to find out more of the story before everybody flies off the handle in the latest of episode of "Honey, I Told You Obama Was a Fraud?"

by Vermonter 2007-05-02 03:52PM | 0 recs
Re: So...

I really don't see how this changes anything. Rospars would like us to believe that Anthony locked out the campaign for no reason just as the pressure was mounting and he'd need even more help to deal with the group. I don't buy that.

The point of all this was that the Obama campaign wants volunteers-as-pawns, tightly controlled message, and top-down direction, which is allegedly what they're going out to change.

by Josh Koenig 2007-05-02 04:35PM | 0 recs
Re: So...

People blindly say that "the truth is in the middle" all the time, but I think that is actually the case here.  I think this comment is exactly right--I doubt that Anthony suddenly, out of the blue, changed the password, and I really doubt whether the campaign didn't actually start ratcheting up pressure as the group got larger.  

by Valatan 2007-05-02 04:58PM | 0 recs
Re: So...

What national campaign doesn't use volunteers as pawns?

I wish it were different. But, it's never "your campaign."

I'm a volunteer for Obama, have put in over 300 hours over the last six months, have talked to Chris Hughes on the phone (nice, sincere guy, by the way -- just as Anthony describes) and I would have given over control of that domain in a heartbeat. And never would have asked for money retroactively for work that I had done.

by Vermonter 2007-05-02 04:58PM | 0 recs
Re: So...

What national campaign doesn't use volunteers as pawns?

Not to beat a dead horse, but Dean For America? There are certainly others that have made use of more actively-engaged volunteers, and certainly every campaign everywhere uses volunteers who want to be pawns as pawns (hopefully!).

The question is where the rhetoric of "people stepping up to solve problems and make America a better place" rubs up against the reality that the campaign wants you to do as your told.

I wish it were different. But, it's never "your campaign."

We'll just have to agree to disagree here.

by Josh Koenig 2007-05-02 05:14PM | 0 recs
Re: So...

How exactly did Dean for America do things any differently than Obama's campaign?

People love to idealize the Dean campaign, but let's be honest. There was an inner circle of establishment politicos in that campaign as well (especially as it gained momentum).

I'd love it if some campaign actually internalized the great work done by Zack Exley to describe how to actually bridge the bottom-up/top-down divide.

But, I've never seen it done. Maybe at the local, but certainly not at the national level.

If you can give me specific examples where 'roots folks have actually gotten a real seat at the decision-making table, it would be much-appreciated.

And that doesn't mean just getting invited to hang out with John Edwards at his house.

by Vermonter 2007-05-02 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: So...

I already mentioned DeanSpace as an example. I also personally took a trip with my friend Britt Blaser to Burlington in September 2003, when things had definitely "picked up." We walked in and started work, and within 48 hours we'd taken over the promotion and branding of the (at the time) biggest political conference call in history.

That's what I'm talking about.

by Josh Koenig 2007-05-02 10:33PM | 0 recs
Re: So...

I should add I never met Dean other than a quick handshake at a fundraiser. That was never the point. I mean, I really liked the guy as a candidate and especially as a speaker, but it wasn't about him, it was about being able to come in and participate meaningfully in a campaign that I believed in, and that I felt some small degree of ownership over. It was about being able to use all my skills and run my little corner of the operation in my own way.

They gave us that freedom and it was a huge benefit for the campaign, and would (I believe) have carried over in encredible ways to the general election and (dreaming here) governance.

Also, for what it's worth, the inner circle was Kate O'Conner, nobody's idea of a power politico, but just as problematic -- if not more -- in her own way.

by Josh Koenig 2007-05-02 10:38PM | 0 recs
Disagree about the lessons of the Dean campaign

The power Dean gave supporters had it's costs. People in Iowa were freaked out by his young, out of state supporters and how wild they were for the Governor. In large part, people are defined by their supporters. If Obama pulled in an important campaign surrogate, like, say David Geffin, and told him to shut the hell up with the anti-Hillary crap, no one would accuse Obama of dissing the grassroots, because David Geffin is a powerful man. In today's day and age, Joe Anthony is also a powerful man.

Dean, you may remember, got his ass kicked in the primary. If I'm Joe Rospars (who hopefully learned something for his experience at the campaign) I would want to exercise a little more control over message than Dean did for exactly that reason.

by Ozymandias 2007-05-03 01:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Disagree about the lessons of the Dean campaig

People in Iowa were freaked out by his young, out of state supporters and how wild they were for the Governor.

I don't really know how much of a factor that was vs hype. "Purple-haired kids from seattle" was one of those memes from the Perfect storm that wasn't really true.

Now, it is true that the Perfect stormers were inexperienced and had no local connections to draw on, and as a result the campaign both lost ground to local organizers (in particular Vilsack's people who went to Kerry in the 11th hour) and were unable to give a clear picture to HQ about just how much ground was being lost. I had several friends there, and in hindsight they realized they were marking all sorts of people as "ones" (hard supporters) who were probably twos or threes.

I'm sure there were a few instances where an inexperienced and energetic supporter may have turned someone off, but on the whole the ability of the campaign to expand via existing social networks -- supporters nationwide making inroads within their indigenous communities -- was a huge factor in how we achieved national frontrunner status. It worked out incredibly well. In that light, the Perfect Storm was a strategic error from the start, because it was built on the idea of bussing in strangers rather than building organically.

The issue for a campaign that wants to operate this way is about message coherency, not message control. If you want to build a network campaign, you have to allow your individual nodes to behave autonomously and speak their own language. They'll have their own set of priorities for issues and use frames that make sense for them and their community in building the campaign. You can't "control" the message in that context, but what you can do is try to make sure that the Official Message is coherent -- that it actually makes sense in addition to sounding good -- such that intelligent people can create their own variations and harmonious riffs without contradicting the national drumbeat.

One of the issues we face in this light is that most political "message" these days is almost pure unadulterated PR, and may or may not have any internal consistency or logic. Consultants think in buzzwords because its easier than real ideas. The Bush administration is a pinnacle of this -- their language amounts to a ball of trigger-phrases designed to play on fears and prejudices -- but many Democrats go for a watered-down version of that (it ends up sounding like pandering) and have a lot of the same problems over time.

In the dean HQ, they had a three bullet point list tacked up all over the place, that explained "what this campaign is about." These were not talking points to be repeated, but an internally consistent framework of ideas that supported a coherant campaign message, sympatico with the actual behavior of the campaign, and creating space for volunteers to do their own thing.

by Josh Koenig 2007-05-03 09:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Do you have an axe to grind?

Look, you all ready said you have a problem with Rospars.  My guess is that there is more to that story than your concern for the DNCs bank account.  

Then you start commenting, rather definitively, about a situation in which you do not appear to have access to the real inside story.  When somebody claims something smells when their nose is many miles away, I generally think they have an agenda.

Why should we believe you any more than Rospars?  The obvious question, besides your relationship to Rospars, who are you supporting?  My guess is that the answer isn't Obama.

by upper left 2007-05-02 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Do you have an axe to grind?

arrrrrgggghhh.  why does it always come to that??  "who do you support?"  like having an opinion only counts if you can support Candidate X.  and apparently the only way to prove you support Candidate X is if you only say good things about them.

the most recent big news out of the DOJ is the utterly disgusting way in which the political appointees asked potential career hires if they were democrats or republicans.  what you're doing isn't far off philosophically - they're both loyalty tests.

by corn dog 2007-05-02 06:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Stop spinning

My point is that few people are coming to this debate from a very objective point of view. If you read through all of the comments here, you will notice that most of the people who are giving the Obama campaign a lot of grief over this situation are people who are vociferous supporters of other campaigns or people who take pot shots at Obama whenever gives half a chance.  

Obama supporters are inclined to give the campaign, and especially the candidate, the benefit of the doubt. Most opponent are willing to indite and convict on the barest of circimstantial evidence.  I don't think any of us who are on the outside know enough to comment intelligently about the situation.

We have no knowledge of the evolving relationship between the campaign and the volunteer. I can see this going either way.  The campaign could have had a lot of legitimate reasons for becaming uncomfortable with the situation.  It is after all Barack's image we are talking about.  They tried to be cool and decentralized and it didn't work.  They tried to exert more control and the volunteer who had put a lot of effort into the project naturally got defensive and territiorial.  The breakdown in communication and cooperation isn't hard to imagine.  OTOH, the campaign may have people in it who are control freaks who were inclined to centralize and were just looking for an excuse and an opportunity.

My point is that we don't know.  Most of what is being said by both sides is spin.  Most of what is being said in this thread is spin.  Everybody should stop talking like they do know.  My guess is that there aren't more than a dozen people who really know what really went down.

Ths situation is very unfortunate.  It says little about the campaign, and less about the candidate.  

by upper left 2007-05-03 05:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Do you have an axe to grind?

FWIW I don't support any of these candidates yet. Still waiting for someone to show me something. Click on my blog and you'll find my current fascination with Gravel. :)

I'm not sure what "inside situation" you're referring to. In this case, I don't have any more details than what are available here, but I trust the word of a motivated volunteer with a blog than a consultant who's been less than open in the past (see my other comments here for the details there). That's all.

by Josh Koenig 2007-05-02 10:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Do you have an axe to grind?

Please see my reply to corndog above.

by upper left 2007-05-03 05:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Do you have an axe to grind?

I see your point, and there are a lot of known supporters of others (mostly edwards) who are piling on here.

I'm not one of them, but rather someone with a critical eye towards all the campaigns. Call me a skeptic or (if you like) discount me as a jerk. I do try not to spin here though. That sort of ruins the point of MyDD for me.

by Josh Koenig 2007-05-03 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Do you have an axe to grind?

especially since Joe Rospars has serious cred. If anyone tries to tell me that Joe Rospars is full of shit, it's they who have their head up their ass.

That said, the techreport article does point out some discrepancies between Joe's account here and other sources from within the campaign. But all in all it doesn't really matter much.

by azizhp 2007-05-03 06:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

This is getting silly. get over it people.

by jed 2007-05-02 03:52PM | 0 recs
You still locked him out of his own page

....though didn't you? That crosses the line.

"...we've made sure that MySpace will let Joe have access to the community he helped build."

This is also extremely troubling. He built he should continue to have access to the community regardless of whether or not the campaign feels it's fine or not. Honestly this entire episode wreaks of strangling spontaneous citizen activism--and that's not the message your guy is pushing is it?

Or at least, it's not supposed to be.

by MNPundit 2007-05-02 03:56PM | 0 recs
Re: You still locked him out of his own page

My read is as follows:

The URL belongs to the individual named:  Barack Obama.  They have asked the MySpace people to give Joe all the content of his site and all of his friends at a new URL.  This is because the existing URL is listed as the offcial MySpace site of the campaign and is being fed by the MySpace campaign space.  It makes sense to me.

by upper left 2007-05-02 06:16PM | 0 recs
I'm curious about the "make a bid"

did Obama's people ask Joe to make a bid or did Joe ask for money first?

by TarHeel 2007-05-02 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

So it boils down to Joe Anthony just cut off access by changing the password and then demanded money? At the same time you want Obama supporters to treat him kindly and you hope to continue to work with him? Good luck with that.

by alarabi7 2007-05-02 04:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

said this before Joe's comments but they still apply:

"This is hurting the Obama campaign in more ways than one. It seems obvious to me that Anthony deserved compensation and 40k seems like a modest amount.  Clearly, the Obama campaign has now heaped upon itself a good million in bad publicity.  Not only that but the Obamites posting here seem so fanatical in support of their man they are willing to throw common sense out the window.  If Obama survives the primaries I will support him, but looking at his zealous supporters now, I would be reluctant to support him any earlier."

by syvanen 2007-05-02 04:10PM | 0 recs
for a direct comparison

Here's Joe Anthony's description of what happened:

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseac tion=blog.view&friendID=159248288&am p;blogID=259712152&Mytoken=8738375F- A57E-4AB4-900496ABAA3F3FF11236719

On the details, we seem to have a "he said/he said" situation.

by asahopkins 2007-05-02 04:12PM | 0 recs
Re: for a direct comparison

That's a helpful link, and I don't see Joe Rospars addressing any of the content in Mr. Anthony's message.  The changing of the password does not seem at all to me like an act of bad faith, especially since Mr. Rospars offers no clear context for when in the course of conversations or negotiations this occurred.

Mr. Anthony says he experienced the campaign's behavior as bullying and dishonest, and not just at the end of the process when they strongarmed him and did an end run.  Frankly, I would not blame him for changing the password in such a context, and had I been advising him as I do my negotiation clients, if his fact explanation (which is also incomplete) is close to true, than I would have advised him to change the password.

Jo Rospars' post does not add up to me, and I hope he'll come back to clarify these things, or, better yet, work out an agreement with Joe Anthony to Mr. Antony's satisfaction.  That's what should have happened in the first place.  After all, it seems Anthony made an offer, an opening bid, and rather than receive a counter, he got circumvented.  That's not good faith negotiation on the part of the Obama team, if it's true (and Rospars has not denied it or addressed it).

by Pachacutec 2007-05-02 04:25PM | 0 recs
this might help

Sen. Obama called Joe on the phone to talk about it.  

by Adam B 2007-05-02 05:12PM | 0 recs
Re: this might help

It seems appropriate for Senator Obama to call Anthony at this point, and I'm glad he did.  Anthony is asking everyone to stay cool on things and see where it all leads, which seems sensible.  

But it's also true that Obama making the call is evidence that this has been a major fuckup by his staff.  It should never have gotten to this point, and the only reason it did was their incompetence (at best).  This is not the kind of story you want out there about your campaign, at least, not if you're a Democrat who is supposedly not an authoritarian who is running as a people powered candidate.

Obama is trying to fix this, but it should never have gotten to a level where the campaign is trying to undo damage in public in its relationship with a very successful and high profile campaign volunteer.  I hope, and Mr. Anthony does, that Obama will take a good hard look at his campaign operation and make any necessary changes to address the underlying problems, where ever they lead.

by Pachacutec 2007-05-02 05:41PM | 0 recs
Decision Maker

t should never have gotten to this point, and the only reason it did was their incompetence (at best)

I'm with you on this Pach - this never should have risen to this level. One of the strongest pieces of evidence as to Obama's grassroots appeal has been his huge support on social networking sites. techPresident has done a great job of tracking social networking presence and this is how I first learned of this kerfuffle.

What I want to know is who's responsible for letting Obama's MySpace presence get so fouled up? Having one of your largest quantifiable strengths for netroots-related metrics become a liability overnight is a huge mistake. Separate from whatever personality differences may have contributed to Anthony splitting off from Obama, someone at some point in the Obama campaign decided that their relationship with Anthony and the friends he'd brought in was not worth $xx,xxx. That was the point a mistake was made.

This is an accountability moment. Maybe my impression about how presidential campaigns are relating to the netroots and to social networking communities is off-based, but this makes it look like the Obama campaign's internet shop was operating with zero intentionality. Separate from how it will affect his campaign (probably not much), it makes internet organizing look petty and bush league. Obama should hold his staff accountable for this failure.

--Matt Browner Hamlin

by PhiloTBG 2007-05-02 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Decision Maker

i agree pretty much 100%.  one of my first thoughts when i started seeing this pop up everywhere in a negative light today was, "who's gonna get fired?"  

because no matter who's right in this joe vs. joe back and forth, someone on the campaign's internet team seriously screwed this up either at the point this incident happened if you believe anthony or long before if you believe rospars because they never should have let the situation happen in the first place if this was so important.

while i don't put any blame on obama for this, it must go higher up in the campaign in terms of culpability because either way it's a huge lack of oversight.  this sounds like they had the lawyers involve very early which means some one more senior than the web guy was involved and aware of this.  there's no way an attorney doesn't point out that someone else controlling the website is a risk.  and there's no way that an attorney doesn't make sure someone of sufficient authority is aware of the legal risks the campaign is taking.

by corn dog 2007-05-02 07:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Decision Maker

Frankly, the Obama campaign should have demanded the myspace url the day Obama announced he was running.  But if you think about it, they did seem to want to run with what Joe A. had going.  That was a mistake.  It's as big a mistake as if Joe A had bought the domain barackobama.com and the campaign didn't immediately seek its remedy of getting the domain back.

Very unfortunate circumstances.

by RadRobin 2007-05-02 08:12PM | 0 recs
Nothing about compensation

And that does matter.  They DO need to offer some compensation to Joe Anthony for the work he has done

I know it can't be helped, but - would people please not jump on anything negative that Jerome posts about Obama, until a couple of days pass by?

These one-sided broadsides (running 7-to-1 against Obama in Jerome's posts) that Jerome launches, are becoming tiresome.

I'm an Edwards supporter as well - and Jerome is going to write what he writes - so my request is for everyone else to chill, or at least recognize the pattern of Obama-sniping by Jerome.

by jc 2007-05-02 04:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Nothing about compensation

Exactly. I thought he was nuts for supporting Mark Warner but why run around launching fusillades about it?

by MNPundit 2007-05-02 04:21PM | 0 recs
why was this allowed to happen?

This old 30-something has never used MySpace and does not have a clue how it works. But since David Axelrod has been having Obama followed with a camera for years, preparing for a possible presidential bid, why was Joe Anthony allowed to operate the Barack Obama MySpace page for so long without any connection to Obama's people?

It seems like two years ago at least, one of Obama's staff people should have negotiated an agreement to take over control of the site. And if they didn't want a volunteer without any connection to the campaign to be running this MySpace page, why did they start directing people there in February?

I just don't get it. If Edwards' staff pulled something like this, it wouldn't change my mind about supporting Edwards, but it would make me mad. It seems like a lot of unwise decisions were made by Obama staffers, and now they've got a lot more than $50,000 in bad publicity.

by desmoinesdem 2007-05-02 04:20PM | 0 recs
Re: why was this allowed to happen?

Um, most people on this site constantly push for more open campaigns that are moved by activists.  You're welcome to feel the opposite, but that's sort  of odd given that you're a registered user on MYDD.

by Sam L 2007-05-02 04:30PM | 0 recs
Good to see you Jerome

While we've got you, is it too much to ask for Barack to stop taking potshots at the netroots like we're some big angry absolutist monolith or something?  He's got you working for him, so he obviously knows that's not true.

by Nonpartisan 2007-05-02 04:23PM | 0 recs

Joe, that is. *slaps self

by Nonpartisan 2007-05-02 05:44PM | 0 recs
Money talks

It appears the netroots can walk.

by dpANDREWS 2007-05-02 06:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Good to see you Jerome

"is it too much to ask for Barack to stop taking potshots at the netroots"

What potshot are you refering to?

by upper left 2007-05-03 05:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

While there will naturally be blowback from stuff like this I am glad the principle of the matter was a bigger issue than worries about others criticism.

by sterra 2007-05-02 04:24PM | 0 recs
Spin it up, Rospars

Joe, dawg, I have a hard time with your version: that Anthonay changed the password for no apparent reason just as the pressure was ratcheting up, and the next communique you got from him was a bill.

Frankly, you're a nice guy and pretty smart, but after how you played it w/Blue State and the DNC, I don't believe you. Either open and be honest, or just be quiet and conserve whatever credibility you have left.

by Josh Koenig 2007-05-02 04:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Spin it up, Rospars

I see upthread you back away from this rather aggressive pose. Still, linking to FEC reports is at best an insinuation, you haven't even explicitly spelled out what ethical lapse you think Joe R. was actually guilty of. You just paint a few dots and ask us toconnect them?

Joe Rospars has a long history since 2003 as a core member of the original netroots cadre who propelled Dean to the top. As I said upthread, Rospars has serious cred. You cant waltz in here and expect anyone who was a veteran of the Dean campaign and phenom to swallow this whole.

Either make a specific accusation against Joe, or admit you got nuthin' and stop littering the thread with vague FEC diclosure links.

by azizhp 2007-05-03 06:19AM | 0 recs
Anthony got some Obama time...

As he writes on his blog (complete with exclamation points):

"TC from Barack Obama (!!!)

I just received a phone call from Barack Obama himself.

He expressed his appreciation and we agreed that there is something to be learned by everyone involved at this point. (Frankly, I was a little surprised by the call, and was too nervous to remember any exact quotes)

I assured him that this is just a horrible thing that happened and obviously he wasn't responsible and shouldn't be held responsible. It's his campaign that perhaps mismanaged this whole thing. He of course stands by his campaign, but again. . . much to be learned by all.

I'm sure he has mixed feelings in speaking with me about this, but it was nice of him to call, and quite an honor to finally speak to him!

I guess I have mixed feelings as well, but it was still a great honor.

I urge you all to consider this situation carefully. It'll take time for me to work this out and decide if I will personally continue to support Obama, regardless of how I feel about his campaign's handling of this situation.

It's not right what they did to me and this profile, but it's also wrong to let this change your views of Barack Obama as a candidate.

After all it was Obama that inspired me to do all this.

What a day. I'll keep you posted. . . ."

by Vermonter 2007-05-02 04:33PM | 0 recs
Anthony could change the name of his site

Fans of Obama

And Obama gets possession of his name.

Here I think Obama had the right.

by jasmine 2007-05-02 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Thanks for taking the time to tell your side of the story.  Most of us have no idea what to believe, naturally, but I'm not sure it matters.

I think it's obvious that there is simply no way this dispute can be of any benefit to the campaign.  It really doesn't matter if you are 100% in the right here; for it to have reached the point it's at, someone screwed up somewhere.

I like Senator Obama a great deal and I'm sorry to see his campaign having to do all this damage control.  I hope you find a way to move on from this issue as soon as possible.

by Steve M 2007-05-02 04:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

If he gives in to the extortionist, I will be severely disappointed.

Fans of Obama did not donate to the Senator for him to give $40k to a guy who had a myspace profile, they gave him the money so he can win and change America.

by paragon88 2007-05-02 04:46PM | 0 recs
The Ultimate Folly...

...of the anti-Obama faction in the netroots is this...

If, after all the anti-Obama rhetoric over the last few months (and likely for the entire campaign season), Obama still wins the nomination, all of this will prove the netroots activists to be as irrelevant as the establishment says we are.

I don't want to see that happen.

by Vermonter 2007-05-02 04:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment


You've made a terrible PR mistake and it's blowing up in your face. You should have just settled with him and taken over the site. While it's true he used the Obama "brand" to build the site, the number of site visitors is very high. He wasn't "squatting." He built the site. You're a New Media expert. I won't list averages here, but you certainly know the rates and fees associated with eyeballs whether those eyeballs are associated with advertising, marketing, subscriptions or any other form of end-user web site access. 100,000+ "members" is a big, big site. It's not about where he was (ie., 60K). It's about where he is.

The thing to do would be to fully recognize Joe Anthony's contribution and seek some reasonable mutually acceptable agreement.

It is VERY IMPORTANT that the political organizations in this country realize that Internet social networks provide advantages in product diversity, scalability and time to market that are not achievable with any other form of media. Bloggers and other social network developers should not live in poverty. Where political New Media is concerned, they are the true entrepreneurs.

If you want to dominate this medium you must find a way to compensate them in some equitable manner. It is likely that over the next 5-10 years that Internet media (and that includes bloggers and other social network developers) will surpass print and TV news and op-ed as the dominant marketing mechanism where politics is concerned.

Michael Harold

by mdharold 2007-05-02 05:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

I appreciate you coming out onto the blog to explain what happened.  Thank you for taking the time to do this.  Shows how committed some people in Obama's campaign are to the blogosphere.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-05-02 05:01PM | 0 recs
leave the editorializing off the post

let the diary speak for itself. we already know your opinion.

by colorless green ideas 2007-05-02 05:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

it would have been nice to see thos "worked out" but the name Barack Obama" belongs to him no matter who sets it up ect....changing the password and then demanding money is simply extortion and the fact that he did a good job and for a while teamed up with the campaign doean't change that fact at all. Perhaps they should have paid as the "leverage" Anthony had was huge due to the PR shitstorm today, hopefully this now can be worked out.

by nevadadem 2007-05-02 05:05PM | 0 recs
Thanks for Obama's side Joe

But bottom line, I agree with Jerome. The campaign should have bought him out when he declined to move to Chicago. There are plenty of reasons a person might not want to up and move to work at something that may just be no more than a year or two long gig at best. So buy the guy out. Do it graciously. And do it quickly.

As Jerome points out, the price was not out of line, and definately would have cost more if done through a "professional." Obviously the campaign needed control of this, it was in Senator Obama's name, so doing the right thing here would have cost less than $50K for something that gained much more than this in good press and good will alone.

But how much does this situation cost? What's that Warren Buffett quote: it takes a whole career to build up trust and five minutes to lose it? Seems the Obama campaign chose to panic, rightly or wrongly, and throw away the trust of not only Anthony here, but a lot of people. Over what? $50K for a guy who's efforts became more successful than he bargained for? And an unqualified success it was at a time when the campaign had no presence what so ever. Don't discount that. Make it right.

For those of you chiding the "greedy" volunteer, take a breath and step back. It's easy for a volunteer who is successful to find himself quickly in a role in which he finds himself still a volunteer, yet integral to the campagin in some way, along with the associated pressure and responsiblity. And a full time job at the same time.  And working more hours "volunteering" than at their full time job often results. There is a huge sense of pressure not to let the campaign down. If you put a volunteer in a role in which they begin to feel overwhelmed and underappreciated or even taken advantage of and bullied, they will react not always in the best ways. Especially when tired, stressed and overwhelmed. They will make mistakes. People working two full time jobs will often make mistakes.

Hence it was probably in the best interests of the Obama campaign to assume control of the site. But not TAKE the site. That burns bridges. Straighten this out with Mr. Anthony and make things as right as is possible now. Stop painting him as greedy or a threat to the campaign, but instead realize and aknowledge what he did for the campaign. Accept that under pressure he may have made a mistake or had the very human response of reacting in anger to something the campaign did or implied purposely or accidentally.

Just accept it, make it right, and move on. Buy him out and do it real quick.

by michael in chicago 2007-05-02 05:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for Obama's side Joe

merits of it all aside as a big Obama supporter I agree with you, I'm glad Obama called him and hope that the campaign is in the process of "moving on" it doesn't matter who was right it's like an fight with your girlfriend you can't win and Obama can't win here so it's best to make it right "unless Anthony starts asking for even more money" have Obama personally thank him for his work and find a way to make him happy, this shit wasn't worth saving 40 K over and that was the mistake the campaign made, the one of not realizing that this shitstorm would occur.

by nevadadem 2007-05-02 05:27PM | 0 recs
no worries

You did the right thing; the guy was shaking you down. I'd bet 95% of people who donated money to you are applauding what you did.

by jforshaw 2007-05-02 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: no worries


but what about me?  i didn't donate because i haven't settled on anyone (none of the above!!)  obama doesn't need to convince the donors, presumably.  but he does need to convince me and everyone else that isn't already supporting him and donating money.

what you're saying is like a mom saying that she still supports her son.  news at eleven.

by corn dog 2007-05-02 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: no worries

I'd have to disagree.

Think of the lost hours spent by paid staffers to resolve this, the lost donations and support by the bad PR.  That adds up.  

It sounds like this situation could have been avoided by better negotiations and communications.  The $39K on the table originally proposed was never countered...and it should have been.  A reasonable compromise could have been reached so both parties could avoid this debacle.

Donors would prefer a smart use of funds and an even smarter use of supporters, volunteers and PR.

It's not like we don't know how much money of our moneys gets used for things like flowers, private jets to debates & rallies and the umpteenth ad saturating Iowa.  Paying a supporter for his time on a campaign and avoiding bad PR seems as smart as any of those other uses.

by jamiek 2007-05-02 05:52PM | 0 recs

This was a dumb pile-on by the netroots, and that was the only reason it became a big deal in the first place.

There has been a subtle but huge shift among netroots in John "K-12 for the whole world" Edwards' favor as Obama has gradually usurped Hillary as the establishment candidate; it was a matter of when, not if those knives would come out.

Also, some of the netroots has really developed a ring-kissing complex ad odds with their own relative mass in the political universe.

The guy was pretty clearly trying to blackmail the Obama campaign. When someone crosses the line into blackmail, you don't respect them. You don't make a counteroffer of half-blackmail. You ruin them, because they have already chosen to stop respecting you. Welcome to the real world.

This isn't a matter of me cheerleading for Obama. It's basic survival, especially in the political world.

The netroots simply f'd it up.

by jforshaw 2007-05-02 07:24PM | 0 recs
Its more than the netroots

check cnn etc.

by okamichan13 2007-05-02 08:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Joe Rospars, I'm glad to see you respond on behalf of Obama about this situation. I hope to see a resolution in the near future.

I find that most of what you're saying coincides with Joe Anthony's account here: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseac tion=blog.ListAll&friendID=159248288 &invitedToReaders=1&Mytoken=1E05 E690-90A5-48C1-B5751F01502478BE9030466

In it, Anthony claims that a "Chris" from the Obama campaign asked him to come up with a one-time fee for the website transfer. In response to Chris' request, Joe Anthony came up with a number at a meeting the next day. Anthony then said,

"It was clear at that time that there was no "one-time fee". I felt like it was a bit of a setup so that they could have a reason to take the profile without my consent.

I was accused of using this profile for commercial purposes. I was threatened that I would be responsible if the profile was deleted (they even followed up via email to be sure I knew it was my fault!) The conversation really was about them taking control of the profile. There was no counter offer, or anything to suggest that they had any intention of paying me anything at all."

Is Chris' behavior as described by Joe Anthony accurate? Did the Obama campaign ask him for a number and when Anthony came up with one, did Obama staffers not provide a counter-offer and in fact, tried to pressure and/or "threaten" him as Anthony claims?

That is the root of the matter...was Joe Anthony, an Obama supporter, treated fairly and respectfully throughout this process?

by jamiek 2007-05-02 05:31PM | 0 recs
Addendum to my post

Looks like there still needs to be some clarification, according to the latest from techpresident (http://techpresident.com/node/305).  Expecting a rebuttal soon from Joe Anthony, the myspace blog guy.

"As for Joe Rospars lengthy post on "Our MySpace Experiment," you can read the whole thing for yourself. Most of it tracks with my own reporting on how the relationship between Anthony and the Obama new media team started out, all the way up through their initial discussions with him about possibly coming on board and working out an understanding for shared management of the site.

But what strikes me as odd about it is Rospars' claim that Anthony's "list of itemized financial requests" came unbidden, after the workload on the page exploded and Anthony cut off the campaign's password access to the site. Rospars would have you believe that Anthony was in effect extorting the campaign by witholding access, but my notes of my conversations with Obama staff, which were "on background" make clear that Anthony only produced that proposal (the $39,000 plus the $10,000 for possible advertising spending by the campaign on MySpace) at the request of Chris Hughes [from Obama campaign].

I should add here that I know Rospars a little and based on our past conversations and his general reputation among politech folks, he's a straight shooter. I don't think he's saying anything other than what he believes were the actual version of events. But what I don't know is whether Rospars was personally involved in all the details of the relationship with Anthony, or what he's written here reflects what others who were more directly involved are feeding him.

It's possible that we will soon see a clarification of this issue, since Anthony tells me that Rospars offered to let him post something on the campaign blog, or at least send in some kind of correction or clarification. "I'm going to call him or email him the things I don't agree with," Anthony told me, "and at least give him the possibility to correct that before I blog about. I'm still somewhat an Obama supporter," he concluded."

by jamiek 2007-05-02 06:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Joe Anthony deserves no respect from anyone.  The idiot took over a name he knew he had no right to, offered to work for free, got 160k friends simply for having the right url, got turned down on 49k, locked out Obamas's team (huge no no), got the url taken (as it should have been), and cried in public with this pile of b/s.  Now he "somewhat" supports Obama?  Give me a fn break.  Obama has to dance around the issue because he doesn't want negative press but anyone else in this situation would have told Joe to blow it out of his ass.  His name will be mud from now on and Obama lost the 150k people who added what they thought was HIS profile to their friends list.  Joe is a tool.

by geekygirl23 2007-05-03 01:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment


Does your post above reflect the Obama presidential conflict resolution model - i.e. humiliate, demean and denigrate your opponent even if he started out being on your side?

What happened to the renowned Obama spirit of conciliation and ability to see all points of view?

Just exactly where in this post do you seek common ground with Anthony? An amicable resolution of the conflict?

If the negotiations between you and Anthony broke down, how does that justify your seizure of the asset he created? He had every right to change the password if he thought you were negotiating in bad faith because he created the site. You might have been able to go around him to get MySpace management to deny him access to the site he created, but all you have ended up with is a purloined asset that most non-Obama enthusiasts believe is ill begotten.

I am less concerned about the so-called formal rules of the game by which MySpace now operates than the fundamental immorality of your actions here.

Until you and Anthony come to mutually acceptable terms, you have no moral right to the fruits of his labor. He was two years ahead of you in creating the URL and put in two years of work on the profile before Obama was even a candidate and you were a paid staff member. You fail to give him a smidgeon of respect for having built the nucleus of the community and maintained it for years on his own initiative. That was where the hard work really took place.

All this gobbledygook about his only having 40,000 friends and changing passwords is just a smoke screen to demean his efforts. Having read your post, what I am most concerned about now is not the mistakes that were made before your post but your inability to acknowledge them in the post and seek common ground.

Your rhetoric at the end fails to conceal the fact that you still have not put together an acceptable deal with Anthony. In the past it was easy for heavy hitters like you to snuff out the "little guys". But as you will see, Anthony and his progressive netrooter friends will have their say via the web until the cows come home...or you craft a deal that speaks well of both parties.

by Nancy Bordier 2007-05-02 05:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Obama called him personally and Anthomny seemed happy with the call so maybe that speaks to Obama's conflict resolution ability, blame staffers all you want but don't blame Obama anymore than I would call Edwards anit-catholic because of stupid posts by a blogger who worked for him.

by nevadadem 2007-05-02 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

it's off topic, but the correct comparison if you're gonna go with the edwards blogging issue would be whether or not edwards deserved blame for firing/not firing/accepting resignations from the two bloggers.

if i recall, criticism at that point was pretty heavy on edwards himself with very little discussion about the staff.

as to the phone call, my reading was that he was happy with the call but that's not the same as being happy.  (heck, if george bush called me i'd be pretty excited.  i have nothing but contempt for the man but he's still the president.  but the call wouldn't change my contempt.)  and anthony definitely sounded like he was still not happy about it though he didn't lay the blame at obama's feet.

by corn dog 2007-05-02 05:57PM | 0 recs
Yes, that's it.

You articulate concisely what I feel about this:

I am less concerned about the so-called formal rules of the game by which MySpace now operates than the fundamental immorality of your actions here.

by Dean Barker 2007-05-02 07:16PM | 0 recs
well look i think they should just pay him of too

all this is now is a dispute about money Anthony already agreed to work with the campaign he gave up his "outsider" claim , then when the dispute about the money escalated he used his "leverage" and said the candidate he supposedly loved couldn't be supported even though it was obviously a staff matter, Obama like anyone else has a right to his name but his staff should have handled this more smoothly, he never should have had to brought in to this but now he has to clean it up.

by nevadadem 2007-05-02 06:04PM | 0 recs
My interpretation

What I'm confused about, is if you're trying to make a deal to pass the website off completely, why change the password and refuse to give it to the campaign?  That set negotiations off course entirely, made intentions look hostile.  It turned from negotiating the issue to being hussled for money.  

Using the rules of myspace to resolve the issue?  I don't see any harm or foul in that.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-05-02 06:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

This whole thing sounds like Bush-like incompetence.  So many misjudgments were made, I don't know where to begin.  The line, "At that point, the profile had about 40,000 friends, and to our delight, Joe agreed to work with us," begs the question:  Why didn't someone on Senator Obama's staff know to draw up an agreement, spelling out everyone's privileges or responsibilities to the site, or attempt to take ownership then or disavow yourself from the site?  Simple management skills would have nipped this in the bud right then.  It wasn't like MySpace was some rinky-dink newsletter a fan was putting out.  

The line:  "At the end of the day, this is all new for everyone," begs the question:  Well, if Obama's staff can't handle a simple negotiation/transaction like MySpace and the fan because it's "new to you," then, I hate to say it, then how new will the presidency be and how will you handle that?   I can't believe you admitted it was "new" to you.  Show some professionalism and at least act like you know what you're doing.

The line:  "We're flying by the seat of our pants," definitely does not instill confidence.

If the owner of the fan site is a bad guy and trying to extort you, you know how to call the authorities to handle it.  If the fan is really a fan and has his heart into supporting Obama, why didn't someone, anyone, protect yourselves when you got involved with the fansite?  Or just disavow it.  Either way, you certainly didn't handle it right.  (When I say "you," I mean anyone who dealt with this issue.

I don't know Joe Rospars or anyone on Senator Obama's staff, nor do I know anyone here on this blog (as many seem to know each other), nor have I ever worked for a candidate or a media outlet or the like, so I have no agenda here, other than to get a real leader in the oval office who can start to fix everything Bush has destroyed.    I've just been reading the forever long he said/he said explanations, and if the example from the Obama campaign is any indication of what we can expect as a leader, I'm scared.  (I haven't made up my mind whom I'm going to vote for in the democratic primary, but this mismanaged escapade is making me question a lot of things.)

by gooderservice 2007-05-02 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

To the Obama Campaign:

You all are still asshats.  How much money have you raised?  How much value has Anthony added to your campaign?  In the future, don't be dumbasses.  

Good advice for the campaing. Good advice if your man gets elected.  

by Reece 2007-05-02 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

now I fully understand the reason  Obama won't post on these blogs, comparison's to Bush over this,moronic posts like Reece's most people that read these blogs are worth reaching out too but it's not worth getting into a pissing match with some of the idiots that have used this incident to bash a candidate they never would consider supporting.

by nevadadem 2007-05-02 06:40PM | 0 recs
The campaign is the problem

It is amateur hour.

by dpANDREWS 2007-05-02 06:45PM | 0 recs
Unclean Hands Around

I get the idea that both Anthony and the campaign were looking to "get over" on the other, to enrich themselves inequitably against the other.  There is a saying in the law, "to get equity you have to do equity."  I certainly hope that they would consider rapid arbitration to keep this out of the spotlight any further; one sees McCain's Karl Rove-wannabe slapping his thigh and howling with laughter at this two-way penny ante garbage.

by Bruce Godfrey 2007-05-02 06:38PM | 0 recs
Sad. Dude ....

"People around here say that this has been like building an airplane in mid-air ..."

Spare all us the scripted talking points.

by dpANDREWS 2007-05-02 06:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Sad. Dude ....

OBAMA camp should've just called the FBI and reported the "myspace" stalker for extortion.  NO ONE can use the name of a politician and pretend they are speaking for him or her. That is illegal.

by vamonticello 2007-05-02 06:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Sad. Dude ....

what are you talking about??  people love overused cliches!!

by corn dog 2007-05-02 07:09PM | 0 recs

Send the guy a check.  ASAP!

by ChicagoDude 2007-05-02 07:13PM | 0 recs

You do not send an EXTORTIONIST money.  He would probably set up another page using Obama's name and do the same thing all over agin.

by vamonticello 2007-05-02 07:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

The more I read on this thread the less I really understand.  All I really know is that there are more important things at stake here for people who have no dawg in this fight but who have everthing at stake with the ultimate outcome.  This all seems pretty inside baseball...play ball! But it does seem like time to stretch & look up at the sky and think about what the game is really all about.

by howardpark 2007-05-02 07:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

I have a different take on Joe Anthony.  As I read his narrative, I got the feeling of someone whose frustration - both with the amount of work that he was handling and with Obama's staff - that the money issue became a symbol of his frustration and an easy way to deal to with myriad issues that complicated the relationship between Anthony and Obama's staff.

Anthony may have handled himself naively, but he was an Obama supporter who worked hard on the site.  It just seems foolish for Obama's staffers not to pick up on this and deal with it more adroitly.

This is not about legalities, but relationships.

by workingclassanna 2007-05-02 07:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

I don't know a lot about it but $39,000.00 for 2 1/2 years of work maintaining a web site that is an important part of the campaign does not seem like a lot of money especially when you consider the millions the DC insiders and consultants will make from the campaign.

by robliberal 2007-05-02 07:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

I don't think the clock starts running until the first contact from the obama camp and Joe A agreeing to work with them on it, ie, the day Joe A gave them the password.

Up until that point, it was 100% a 'hobby' fan site -- unofficial at that.

I said above that the obama camp's primary screwup was not demanding the url on the day obama announced.  Cause guess what?  The friends who joined the site after that were joining to JOIN Obama -- not to join some kid in California on an unofficial site.  

Does anyone think that over 100,000 people would become a friend of a myspace site that was called WeLoveObama!practically overnight?  I don't think so.  And Joe A should give his 'subject' (obama) a little credit in the site's success after the announcement. /understatement.

Does Joe A really think he is such a myspace wizard?  I'd like to see him run another site on something else and see how he does. He traded on Obama's reputation and success.  

Disclaimer: I am NOT voting for Obama.  I don't want him to win the primaries. The only issue I have with this is the internet integrity and ethics matter. I also bought into the Joe A BS and blogged about it -- have since updated that to include developments.

But changing the password under any circumstances and shutting the campaign out when there are voters asking the CAMPAIGN (not asking JOE!) questions?????  How can Joe A even try to OWN the idea that people were asking him personally questions?  That's the height of arrogance.

Sorry for the long rant. I am ashamed of myself for buying into Joe A's side of the story. What a greedy lil brat.

by RadRobin 2007-05-02 08:31PM | 0 recs
kudos chris for putting Joe Raspars response up

It's most welcome.

That being said, I think that what Atrios/kos/Jerome and y'all did today on this topic took everything we've worked on these last years in the netroots and did it a vast disservice.

The blogs rushed a story out in a one-sided, controversial manner, hurt a campaign, generated buckets of ill-will...and put all of us in the netroots in a situation where there was no good solution and everyone's sick of it.

It would have been nice to hear from the Obama campaign BEFORE everyone got sick of it instead of afterwards.

Bottom line, one should get one's facts straight before you launch accusations against a campaign.

The password thing is not a small detail, and Raspars account is credible and fair...it's a lot more plausible than Mr. Anthony's.

The more I read on this story, the worse we all look.

by kid oakland 2007-05-02 08:39PM | 0 recs
Joe Raspars response up

The Obama campaign has a history of responding slowly to things.  Look at how long it takes him to decide whether or not he's going to participate in a debate (he recently followed Hillary in deciding to attend the WMUR debate in New Hampshire next month).

This story was too big and relevent to the Netroots to simply sit on until the Obama staff got its act together and could throw together a response, as Rospars attempts to do.

I note that Rospars didn't mention money, and Anthony's central claim is that the campaign made an offer--something Rospars doesn't deny.  

This response is a dollar short and a minute late.

by Vox Populi 2007-05-02 09:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Joe Raspars response up

The obama camp took their time to respond?

Less than 24 hours?

Oh, that's right. They haven't anything in the world going on besides dealing with a website issue. Um okay. Right. Gotcha. Geeze.

by RadRobin 2007-05-03 01:46AM | 0 recs
Re: kudos chris for putting Joe Raspars response u

I don't necessarily agree.  I think it is fine to rush the story out.  The problem is that it wasn't taken with a grain of salt.

Mr. Anthony just sounds like he had a moment of immaturity and voiced his frustration.  

That is something that is going to happen, I think the main problem is how the netroots is sacrificing its crediblity.  

Though I don't think that is a problem if it does not deserve credibility.

by sterra 2007-05-02 10:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Nice attempt painting yourselves as the victims.

All this hand wringing about legal, ethical and political liabilities and the threat of all those nasty comments.

But all this time it was just an unofficial site, emphasize, unofficial. Big disclaimer for everyone to see. Obviously you want such a popular place to be as accurate and friendly as possible but it was still just an unofficial fansite.
100 benefit, 0% drawbacks, no chance of any legal, ethical and political backfiring.

So a little less fake concern about a calculated business decision and a little more acting according to the campaigns values.

by Anastasius 2007-05-02 08:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

If they went the path they did go, that put Obama up a step.  He started with 60,000 friends on myspace.  Why not look the most appealing?  Clinton has her polls to make her look appealing.  Obama has myspace and facebook.  Just playing off his advantages.  That was the incentive for working together vs. starting over.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-05-02 08:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Wow - I've never read through a comment section on this site, and several of the posts are harsh. I'm a democrat - not committed as of yet - so I think I have a pretty objective view of the Joe Anthony situation. I've spent many years producing charitable events and fundraising as a volunteer. I have to say that for me, the pleasure and "payment" was always in watching the projects grow and succeed. From that perspective, I'm not sure I can understand Joe A.'s point of view in wanting compensation for an undertaking in which he so deeply believed.

One thing I do believe about Senator Obama is that he is a decent man. My guess is that he probably didn't know anything about this situation until it was brought to his attention by his staff or through media. I truly believe that no one meant to hurt Joe A. There are so many legal ramifications involved in a situation like this to which we are not privy - for example, the campaign is legally responsible for any information that is put out through an official site. I would guess that as much as they appreciated Joe's help and incredible support, there had to be a boundary drawn once information was being exchanged at such a rapid rate. I'm sure Joe A. is very competent, but I would also guess that he doesn't have legal counsel on retainer and just wasn't equipped to handle such big flows of information without constant supervision/advice. That's an awesome responsibility for anyone to take on - and I would once again guess that the campaign staff had honorable intentions when attempting to take control. The fact that some believe it was first and foremost to demean Joe's work and time seems illogical and unfair. It also seems odd to me that payment would even be an issue. To use an analogy - if a caring friend volunteered to help paint my house, and the job took two days instead of one, I would be surprised and disappointed if he/she then sent me an invoice. I would hope my friend would simply be thrilled that my house looked fantastic once we had finished the job. And I would probably offer a gesture of thanks (non-monetary) to show my appreciation.    

It truly seems to me that this situation occurred because of a lack of validation, not money. I'm going to guess that appreciation and inclusion were worth much more to Joe than dollars. Having worked on campaigns in the past, I know that staffers are called upon to juggle many balls at once, and at times may seem abrupt. Maybe it's possible that the manner in which the situation was discussed or handled simply led Joe A. to feel dismissed, and that's not a good feeling. I don't believe that was the intent of the Senator's staff, but unfortunately it seems to have been the result.

Finally, I believe Joe. R. when he says that they tried something new - allowing a volunteer to help manage a web site - and it didn't work out. There's nothing wrong with that. And I would bet that if Joe. A. stepped back and thought about this from a practical versus an emotional viewpoint, he would agree.

Just my two cents - I'm certainly open to reading others' thoughts on what I've written.

by CA psych 2007-05-02 08:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

As an undeceided voter a few thoughts come to mind...

1) THE commonest way to work yourself into a job in a field is to first become a Volunteer in that field.  In this case it's political PR work.

2) PR is what Rospars' folksy little piece at the top of this page is.  Rospars is putting the best "spin" he can on something he and Obama should be ashamed of.

3) I think that what actually happened is that the Highly Paid Professional PR People and Consultants felt threatened by someone who was doing a great job of gaining Obama supporters, better than a lot of them were doing.

4) So they torpedoed him to Obama and Obama went along.

Bottom line?  The "Old" Boys and Girls at the top didn't like having some upstart come along and threaten their "rice bowl".


by stevetexas 2007-05-02 10:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

I sure hope Mr. Anthony wasn't looking to base a career on this because NOBODY in their right minds will work with him after his immature, irrational, ignorant handling of this situation.  Tool tool tool.

by geekygirl23 2007-05-03 01:17AM | 0 recs
I've seen this before

Huzzah to Joe for being so upfront about this situation. I worked for the Dean campaign's meetup operation and we saw this kind of thing all the time: people who would build up their lists and then not share it with the campaign. It is certainly important to genuinely empower supporters to use their lists as they see fit. In this particular situation, it appears the campaign intended to continue to let Joe have access to the site. However, too often over zealous volunteers consider their list a personal fiefdom and become intoxicated by their leadership role. It is perfectly reasonable for campaigns to insist upon volunteers lists, and I frankly can't imagine a situation where a volunteer has a legitimate reason to withhold a list.

What could they be trying to accomplish?

by Ozymandias 2007-05-03 01:15AM | 0 recs
Re: I've seen this before

This situation was much more important because the Obama campaign very much needed access to everything legally and for obvious reasons such as defamatory statements not erased fast enough.

by geekygirl23 2007-05-03 01:18AM | 0 recs
Re: I've seen this before

And ya know.... such a volunteer who has gathered such information and contacts is in his right to withhold such info from a campaign.  But... there's something quite seedy about Joe A not exclaiming (before changing the password) "No, it's mine. Mine. All mine. Bahahahahaha".  In which case, the obama campaign could have said, "alright then... whatever, dude."

But, no. This guy looked for a fee of $10,000 per month for his time. WOW.  He could have been so totally grooved into his own integrity that the real issue was what he built. In which case, no dollar amount would have justified selling it.

But, gee.  I would imagine MORE THAN A FEW of the friends would have sought out the OFFICIAL site.

by RadRobin 2007-05-03 01:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

I happen to be a supporter, and I think the campaign showed poor taste, little class, and quite honestly, the symbolism of it is what disturbs me most. You have 25 million dollars. The guy had done the best job of anyone's campaign site, and had gone above and beyond the duty.

You can't run a ' campaign about the people', and then turn around and try and crush ' the little person'.

It's just rank and fowl, and leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

And, it continues to be, another knotch, in the belt of what is becoming a series of missteps where one has to ask, just what the hell is going on at the Obama campaign?

You all are missing ' the small stuff'. What should be obvious.

An 800 pound gorilla doesn't go around smacking around a gnat. It's just unseemly.

Someone running for President, who is Black, doesn't go around insulting his colleagues, who are his shortcut to their constituencies, by NOT doing a fundraiser for them.

Someone running for President, who is Black, doesn't insult his longtime pastor, by disinviting him, mere hours before his kickoff.

Someone running for President, who is Black, doesn't WAIT until everyone else has weighed in, on a matter that is clearly offensive to the Black community (Don Imus).

Someone running for President, and trying to do so on a platform of 'reform', doesn't make a Simple Simon move, with the Fax machine, breaking a simple and obvious rule.

These missteps add up.

by rikyrah 2007-05-03 03:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

To me, the fault lies solely with the Obama campaign.

Anthony has had the "barackobama" page up since 2004, after hearing obama speak at the Democratic Convention -- in other words, when Obama was still running for the Senate.  

So for well over two years, Bacack Obama demonstrated no concern over Joe's MySpace page that bore his name.  Joe had built up a decent sized community of Obama fans by the time Obama decided to run for President, and the campaign and Joe agreed to work together on the page -- with Joe doing most of the grunt work.  The Obama campaign promoted the MySpace page, vastly increasing the amount of work that Joe had to do to maintain it, to the point where it became a second full-time job.

At that point he asked to be compensated, and Obama's people said "propose a lump sum payment instead."  Joe did so in good faith -- and the Obama people did not respond, acting in bad faith.

The resolution to this should have been simple.... If the Obama campaign didn't want to pay Joe, they should simply have demanded that Joe put a disclaimer on the top of his page of the "this is a fan site, not the official campaign page" variety with a link to the campaign page.

by plukasiak 2007-05-03 04:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

I think this whole story shows clearly just what type of campaign Obama is really waging, despite his attempting to wear the mantle of purity. Then again, I do remember him bragging that he was used to Chicago style politics. What a fraud!

I have created a myspace account for Joe Anthony or anyone else that would like to take it over for the right reasons. It would be very cool to have it populated with 160,000 members just to start things off properly. The link follows:

http://www.myspace.com/barackobamaisalyi ngthief

by Rob Joseph 2007-05-03 06:21AM | 0 recs

MySpaceGate in addtion to dissing the Congressional Black Caucus point to poor decision making on the part of Obama and bring into question his ability to run an effective campaign.

by ChicagoDude 2007-05-03 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re Adam B post

Maybe Anthony should also pay Obama for using his name and getting all the e-mails.

He wont have 160,000 emails/friends if he did not use Obama's name and make it look like an official MYSPACE campaign site.

How about Obama charge Anthony $39,000.00

How Much Are 160,000 Friends Worth? (Adam B)
As part of his fantastic reporting on the Obama/MySpace situation, Micah Sifry asks leading consultant and bloggers how to put a price tag on a MySpace page. Bottom line: Joe Anthony may have been selling himself short

by jasmine 2007-05-03 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Our MySpace Experiment

Bull Plop.

The very first page of the site said in big letters that it was not Obama's official site.

"Reading is Fundimental".  Try it!


by stevetexas 2007-05-03 07:36AM | 0 recs


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