100 in 48: A Tiny "Ask" from Utah
by craig41bl, Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 09:56:51 AM EDT
On Tuesday, Utah Democrats were surprised by something many of you may take for granted, but for us was a sure sign that at least one of our congressional candidates "got it."
Via a press release, we learned that Morgan Bowen (Democratic Candidate for UT-1) had announced that if he had been a member of Utah's federal delegation, he would have voted against any bill that encouraged granting retro-active immunity for Telco's. This was huge news for any Democrat in the state, let alone the underdog of the underdogs, so surrounded by Republicans parroting Bush's every word. But the real story behind Bowen's press release is a much grander tale than a simple announcement to local media.
A part of the story you may appreciate most: We kept this a announcement a secret from your own fellow MyDDer and diary rescuer JasonThe, co-founder of The SideTrack - a voluntary part of Morgan's blogger messaging apparatus - so that he could rescue the diary if recommended without conflict of interest.
But the important story is that Utah has a surprisingly vibrant community of liberal bloggers who have fought for a few years now to play a larger part in the state party and process for Democrats in the state. And we have always met with resistance from party leadership, who seem oblivious to what we see happening in surrounding states like Colorado, Wyoming, and even Idaho. Rob Miller, vice-chair of the party, and fellow blogger himself, has been more than open to us, but he is one man doing the job of many, and working against a very established network of "old" Democrats who have closed the doors on us because, quite simply, we scare them.
In 2008, something changed. Morgan Bowen, without the support of the party, filed as a Democrat in Utah's first district, as it appeared the party's own choice was hedging on doing so. Rather than let Republican Rob Bishop go unchallenged, he filed in the final hours before the cut off, and has since seen very little support from party leadership. But Morgan had a plan, and opened his campaign up to bloggers and local activists, including Utah for Obama (encouraging each and every one of us from the start to begin by reading David Sirota's The Uprising, and researching the 2006 campaigns of Montana Democrats)). What Morgan has done, in a very short period of time is build a network of experienced volunteers and energetic bloggers, who have helped him to embrace the internet and "new media" as a means of campaigning on a nearly invisible budget. And it's starting to get attention.
With the FISA press release from a Democratic candidate in Utah (where Bush himself still meets a higher level of uninformed approval than any other state), the Bowen campaign showed that not only was it open to the blogging community, but also that it would listen. His announcement on FISA (and subsequent future releases on Net Neutrality and alternative energy) are the result of many hours spent interacting with Utah's "bloghive" and allowing the voice of many to change the course of his campaign (for better or worse).
Neither we, nor Morgan himself know where this will go for sure. Rob Bishop is known here as the "invisible congressman" (his website hasn't been updated since January 28th), and he is expecting an easy fight against a candidate without party support and therefore (in the GOP's mind) emtpy coffers.
But what we do know is that Morgan is trying something that has never been experimented with before in Utah, which is - simply - following the lead of other successful Western Democrats, something each and every one of the rest of our candidates have been effectively talked out of by "old" Utah Democrats.
And for that, we want to thank Morgan. I understand, after following MyDD and other blogs for the past (nearly) four years that this is a tiny ask, in terms of size, and important to the current movement, but please help us to send a thank you to Morgan Bowen from the blogosphere by being a part of our modest "100 Donors in 48 Hours for Morgan" campaign on ActBlue. Any donation amount is perfect (most of us could only afford $10 ourselves), as we are more concerned with showing Morgan that bloggers respond to good behavior, and they respond quickly in number. Helping us hit 100 donors by the end of the week will also help to show the party and other state candidates that Morgan has chosen well by letting us be a part of his campaign.
Thank you. And if you would like to contact Morgan to let him know what you think, please do so here.(Bowen on ActBlue)