Blog Financing and Tax Implications

I am a co-blogger at the Newshoggers and we have a good problem that I hope the collective wisdom of the MyDD community can help us solve.  

We have been in an aggressive growth path once the four of us small, individual bloggers joined together as a comprehensive group blog with a focus on strategic theory, international relations, domestic politics and biting snark.  Our average daily readership has increased by an order of magnitude, Technorati rank has tripled since the start, and our incoming links have increased by an even greater fact.  Our comments threads are active and we are building a good corps of regulars who add significant value there.  

We have added a couple of small revenue making segments; Google AdSense, and Cafe Press items are currently up and running, and we are a member of the Advertise Liberally network on BlogAds although we have yet to receive an ad.  There are a couple of other potential revenue streams that <u>could</u> come online in the next six months.  

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Freshmen defectors on McGovern bill

Time to start digging on what the freshmen defectors were saying in October 2006 and what they are saying today.  Those who were consistent in supporting Bush's failures deserve a challenge for supporting a disaester.  Those like Congressmen Altmire and Rodriguez who seem to be playing the vast majority of the Democratic Party and its most fervant supporters for chumps and fools need a serious reality check.  Primary challenges, and fundraising cut-offs are the two strongest measures.  A barrage of phone calls and LTEs are the softer measures that might have impact.  

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Assumptions on power, politics and the netroots

I am getting some good feedback and pushback on my recent post speculating that if there is any direction to netroots given by opinion-leader blogs such as MyDD, Firedoglake,Americablog,Daily Kos, Eschaton etc, the direction for 2008 should be away from the presidential campaigns and towards more localized races. Within this argument were numerous assumptions about power, politics and process.  I want to make those assumptions clear in four sections.  The first is how I perceive the political incentive and thus power structure.  The second is the role of coalitions while the third looks at power aggregation within coalitions. Finally, I have some significant assumptions about the netroots and small donors.

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Meehan, MA-5 and Opportunity

I want a progressive majority in Congress.  That means a progressive Democratic majority in Congress.  Building this type of majority is a long term project and over the next three or four cycles, it has no chance of completion as basic political reality will have the progressive Democrats being led about by conservative Democrats as the conservative Democrats have a longer demonstrated history of being willing to strategically flip their votes.

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Clinton, Netroots and 2008

Right now Hillary Clinton looks to be the presumptive favorite to win the Democratic nomination, and with it, the White House in 2008.  Her pathway forward is fairly clear, and will take a page from 1999 George W. Bush, and push that she is the inevetable winner and that the entire party should get on board and ignore the early February excitement of a fizzling last ditch opponent to her.  The problem for me and people like me, as the Hotline Survey demonstrates, is that the netroots activist class has a very divergent and negative opinion on her. 

I think that she can win the White House, but I also think that she will be at best a mediocre president trapped by her incrementalist and anti-progressive instincts.  Her political instincts rely on slamming her allies to attract marginal support from the fickle and the opposed.  This style works for her, else she would not be a major national political figure, but it does not strengthen the Democratic Party or progressives in general.  For instance, despite spending over thirty million dollars to cruise to a commanding Senate victory in 2006, her campaign was unable to move several swingable House races to good Democratic candidates. 

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Govern first, campaign later

Democrats have to govern now that they have majorities in the House and Senate.  And one of the effects of governing is the ability to make choices with real world repurcussions.  These choices will produce multiple winners, multiple losers and exist in a mutli-dimensional issue space with plenty of trade-offs.  The Democratic majority was elected to do three things: restore accountability and reality to government, check Bush on Iraq, and to clean out stupid waste and fraud.

The First 100 Hour Agenda for the House Democrats is primarily an agenda to address the third issue --- cleaning out stupidity and mindless inertia on the security and economic fronts.  One of the big signature votes is H.R. 3 to allow Medicare to negoatiate with drug companies for better prices for Medicare Part-D.  Forcing potentially the largest drug buyer in the world to take list price is just stupid, so mandating negoations is a good idea.  However implementation of this idea seems to seriously suck as Robert Reich points out:

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General Election Mocking Lieberman Domain Names

I have made it a habit to grab the occassional politically interesting domain name and just keep them in storage while. Right now since I am going on vacation next week, I really don't have the discretionary income to go pick-up three interesting names. However for anyone interested in the CT-Sen race the following domains are just begging for satire and mockery to be placed on them:

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2008 Primary Challenge Decision Rules

Matt Stoller at MyDD is thinking intermediate term on how to force a fight within the Democratic Party on what it means to be called a Democrat, especially one from safe blue seats.  He was riffing on Chuck Shumer, and ripping into him pretty effectively, but at the end drops this tidbit:

Assuming that progressives care about taking power or even being relevant, it's soon going to be time to make lists of candidates who deserve primary challenges in 2008.

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PA Nader Ballot Access

I was reading the dead tree edition of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette morning as part of my normal morning commute and there was an article of interest written by a New York Times reporter. She was reviewing the state of Ralph Nader's attempts to get on the Pennsylvania ballot for the November election.  It looks unlikely for Nader to qualify with enough valid signatures.

Already judges have declared invalid about 10,000 signatures collected
statewide for Mr. Nader, and there are still 25,000 to be ruled on here in
Philadelphia. Judge Colins has said he expects some 70 percent of the city
signatures to be declared illegal.

We know that Ralph Nader's campaign submitted roughly 52,000 signatures and they need 25,697 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. Assuming that Philadelphia is the only area of significant number of challenges left we can perform the following feasibility analyis. We can assume that roughly 27,000 signatures have been analyzed and judged.  10,000 signatures have been tossed out, so we should safely assume that Ralph Nader, excluding Philadelphia, has roughly 17,000 valid and verified signatures of registered PA voters.  Therefore we can assume that he needs to have roughly 8,600 valid signatures coming out of Philadelphia County.  This is extremely unlikely  as that would require a failure rate of only 65% while the judge expects a higher rate, and Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) had a failure rate of roughly 66%.  

Crossposted at Fester's Place

Allegheny County New Voter Analysis

The Post Gazette is reporting that through the middle of September, the Allegheny County elections division has received and registered approximately 40,000 new voters.  Among these voters are 21,859 Democrats, 9,369 Republicans, and 9,265 independents.  More registrations are expected in the next week as registration ends on Monday, Oct. 4.  Democrats are out-registering republicans 2.3:1. This is a rate that is higher than the current voter registration rates in the county.  Now what does this mean?  

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