Richardson Blog Round Up for Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Governor Richardson is in Iowa today on Day 2 of his six-day trip around the state. He spent yesterday at the Iowa State Fair before delivering the keynote address to the Wells Fargo Heritage of Latino Americans (HOLA) Leadership Conference in West Des Moines. Meanwhile, the governor has two new ads running in Iowa focused on Governor Richardson's economic policies and record of effective job creation efforts. The Channel '08 Ad Watch at WashingtonPost.com described and posted video of both new ads:
The first ad, called "Focused," is similar to the biographical ads produced in the past. It talks up New Mexico's economic rebound.

"Candidates" continues the "Job Interview" ad series featuring some office workers shuffling through resumes of potential job candidates who are applying to be president. Richardson appears at the end of the ad.

These new ads, touting the governor's economic policies, come two days before he unveils a jobs and economic development plan in Iowa.

Click here for more information about the two new ads, and click here to watch the ads.

The governor had a great time at the Iowa State Fair yesterday, and so did the Iowans who met him and heard him speak. Jason Clayworth covered the governor's State Fair speeches for the Des Moines Register:

Richardson's passion shines at the Fair

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, was the second speaker Tuesday during The Des Moines Register's Soapbox for presidential candidate appearances at the Iowa State Fair. Richardson called for an end to the war in Iraq and urged a $40,000 a year minimum wage for teachers...

Richardson in recent months has run an aggressive television advertising campaign, accompanied by frequent Iowa visits. A Washington Post/ABC News poll released this month showed he had 11 percent of support among likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers...

Richardson stressed his environmental plan and energy plans, which call for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 90 percent by 2040, telling the crowd: "We need an energy revolution; we have to shift from fossil fuels to solar to wind, to biomass, to biofuels, biodiesel." ...

In addition to ending the war and improving energy options and the environment, Richardson advocated for a "hero's health card" for all military veterans that would allow them to receive medical care at virtually any hospital in the nation. He also stressed that a Richardson presidential administration would closely follow the Constitution. "I want you to know, I would say to my vice president, 'You are a member of the executive branch,' and I'm going to say to Dick Cheney, 'You're out of a job. Leave town and go hunting.'"

To watch Governor Richardson at the Des Moines Register's Iowa State Fair Soapbox, click here.

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Bloggers Unions and Organizing Online Workers

One of the more interesting outcomes of YearlyKos was the discussion about organizing a blogger's union.  The idea was seeded by a post on Susie Madrak's blog, where she discussed her efforts to establish "a non-profit to help progressive bloggers".  The panel at YearlyKos, which I unfortunately had to miss, moved this idea a bit further down the field by discussing methods to pool together resources for health benefits, and things like that.  (Incidentally, if you were at the panel, please chime in with more notes on the panel - I'm kicking myself for missing it as I type this.)

There's been a bit of a media frenzy surrounding this idea, touched off by an AP report on the idea.  Salon covered both the right-wing's response:

And here's how Tom Blumer over at Newsbusters ("Exposing and combating liberal media bias") reacted to the affair: "Maybe I'm missing something, but when you want to form a union, isn't it sort of necessary that there be a mean, oppressive employer, or a group of them?"

... and a reasonably even-handed defense of Madrak's idea:

Susie Madrak ... understands that bloggers aren't employed by anyone, and that consequently collective bargaining wouldn't work. What Madrak is organizing, instead, is very different: a kind of grass-roots insurance pool to pay for health emergencies of progressive bloggers

So far, so good.  Madrak's idea is preceded by similar ideas housed at the Freelancer's Union, the National Writer's Union, and, coming soon, Qvisory.  It's a pretty good idea, but it's not really about unionization so much as insurance purchasing.

But it's worth thinking through the concept of unionizing bloggers.  Is it really such a ridiculous idea, or is there something to it?  More over the flip...

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Labor Unions Looks to Learn From "Netroots" Community

Despite the enviable combination of financial resources, strategic thinking, the capacity to mobilize its members and accountable leadership; UHW believes it has a lot learn from the "netroots" community.

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A Critique of YearlyKos

Though I know copy-paste diaries, which provide almost no original thought from the user and are simply repostings of already-published articles, are frowned on at MyDD...I thought I'd do one anyway. Hey, a copy-paste diary made the recommended list this morning...what's to stop me from copying and pasting on my own? Also, I think the article, written by Eli Sanders in Seattle's alternative newsweekly The Stranger, is an important thing for the blogosphere to read. In general, if you ever make it out here to Seattle, try to pick up a copy of The Stranger, which is available in most coffee shops, independent movie theatres, and on street corners. Despite the pages of hooker ads in the back, it is usually full of insightful and worthwhile (and sometimes hilarious) content.

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Conte nt?oid=284694

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Why Barack Obama and the Netroots Just Don't Mix

As both a Barack Obama supporter and a fairly new participant in the blogosphere, I must admit that I have been honestly surprised and disappointed by the reception I've seen for the junior senator from Illinois in the so-called "netroots." Perhaps naively, I assumed when I started paying attention to the liberal blogs that Obama would have a rather large following. I assumed this for several reasons:

- the stereotype of a blogger seems to be someone young and idealistic; this is also the stereotype of an Obama supporter

  • Obama is the most popular candidate on Facebook and MySpace, leading to the assumption that he has widespread support on the internet
  • based on his 2004 convention speech, book sales, and his high favorability numbers, he seemed very popular with Democrats; I assumed this popularity would translate onto Democratic blogs

However, I have found that Barack Obama is by no means beloved by the netroots. Of course, there are many vocal Obama supporters on various liberal blogs, and they shouldn't be forgotten. But we're all aware that the candidate of the left blogosphere in 2008 is John Edwards. And while Obama has netroots support, he also seems to be the target of much of the netroots' scorn. Even the scorn directed at Hillary Clinton isn't the same, as Clinton is widely accepted in the left blogosphere (with exceptions of course, there are pockets of vehement support and unspeakable hatred) as a moderate, competent, unexciting candidate. Often the charges against Obama hit closer to home, as many accuse him of not being a true progressive, of selling out, of being an empty suit, of not having any real ideas, of being inexperienced, of not being a true leader, of not being ready, of being a celebrity candidate, and on and on. Just in the last few days I've seen, in addition to the diaries and comments defending him, a swarm of virulent anti-Obama diaries and posts regarding his spat with Clinton over foreign policy.

I admit that this initial hostility from many bloggers towards Obama confused me. But spending time on MyDD has lead me to these observations (and keep in mind these are of course personal opinion): here are my Five Reasons Why Barack Obama and the Netroots Just Don't Mix.

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