As bloggers become "mainstream" and go on staff, they will have access they never had before. The access will corrupt as naturally as any. One's opinions and views changed when allowed into the sausage factory. It's to be expected.
"Top Tier" bloggers will be on speed dial of those in Congress and given access ordinary bloggers don't get. This will lead to listening to those on capital hill rather than those in the field more by some as once access is given one does not want to lose it. Relationships and alliances will develop. It's to be expected.
And not all bad. The Blogosphere is leaving it's youth and entering young adulthood. Our baby is growing up. There will be growing pains, bloggers leaving the roost, and new classes of blogger formed. There is both good and bad in this.
It gives the overall blogosphere more credibility. It makes it harder for the citizen activist to get heard or believed over the top tier. It allows the blogs to push Democrats and messaging more, but also allows greater control of that message by fewer and fewer.
It's kinda sad and exciting all at once. I remember when no one knew what a "web log" was and the media did puff pieces explaining all about us crazy kids in our pajamas. It was wide open any any idiot with a computer and internet connect could get heard. Now the bandwidth is shrinking to established channels and the wild west is coming to a close.
Again, not necessarily bad. Just remembering the nostalgia of yesteryear in the Blogosphere way back three or four years ago. ;-)
You're moving me out of IL-06 to IL-13, but I can't disagree with your logic or boundaries. Breaking off southern IL-06 with the likes of Wheaton and Glen Ellyn would definately consolidate the district into a more Democratic stronghold.
As Adam said above, this issue has been discussed at length, and disclosure is now considered the norm I believe.
But how to stop someone from lying about disclosure when there is no way to tell is the issue. Honest disclosure is at best voluntary, and at worst non-binding. I see no real solution to this other than an acknowledgement that this practice does occur and, most importantly, buyer beware.
When I started blogging I was simple minded enough to believe bloggers where largely like myself: ordinary people arguing their opion and advocating for their candidates. My own experience opened my eyes to the reality that the bloggosphere is not the pure place I believed.
As to candidates beyond Hillary hiring bloggers, I would hope they all do. One could make a very good argument that NOT hiring a blogger or online advocate would border on incompetence. Online advocacy should be a part of every campaign. I just want it openly disclosed ala the type of work done by the likes of Tim Tagaris. There is nothing wrong with such open advocacy in my opinion, nor does such paid blogging automatically discredit the blogger's point of view.
But remember, the majority of bloggers don't post or write diaries. Commenting is blogging too. The volume of comments, the number of comments on specific topics, and the number of comments placed on specific blogger's posts should be considered.
Posting comments falsely, especially when dogging other bloggers advocating for their candidate I find offensive. But prove they're being paid to do so? If they want to hide who's paying for their advocacy you'll never do so.
As one who wound up in no-man's land where I was paid to do legitimate work for a candidate while I continued to blog on my own for the same candidate, I think this subject needs to be addressed. ANY work for a campaign should be disclosed. I made that mistake.
But there's another category of blogger that needs to be addressed. Paid bloggers do exist, and that's fine. Candidates pay media people to shape public opinion. Blogging is no different in this respect, and in some ways if disclosed it is more transparent.
But the point is disclosure is a tricky thing. I blog under a consistent handle and don't hide my consultant work. It took Adam a short time to link them together via Google. However, if I had wanted to conceal my identity what would stop me from blogging under a confidential identity unrelated to my company name and spouting off about the wonders of a candidate, shouting down others, or spreading rumors?
What would stop a candidate from hiring a consultant who they paid to do media or internet or any other type of consulting, and duely recorded this on their FEC report. But then consultant the hired me as a contractor and paid me to blog?
In a word: Nothing
Money buys a lot of things. When it comes to paid bloggers this is the area I see as troublesome.
It is sad to see the Clinton camp to play the electability card so early in the process,...
Surprised? Not even a little. This says a couple of things:
1. They are scared and feel behind.
2. It's all they got.
Electability is a bullshit strawman argument that is basically their only card they can play. Kerry was electable too, remember. That's all we heard early on: Dean isn't electable. Kerry is.
Well even though I find "electability" to be a complete line of crap, I'm more than happy for the Clintonistas to raise it. In my opinion electability works against Hillary in spades. She's Bill Clinton's wife! [Gnashing of teeth] She's.. A WOMAN! [Fear and panic]. The Right HATES her witha burning passion of a thousand suns!!! [the sky will fall and the earth end]. By God, SHE MUST BE UNELECTABLE!!!! Runaway, runaway!!
So go ahead and raise elecatbility in this primary. The charge will come home to roost.
When I read this I wonder: Is the machine a candidate has more important than the candidate and what they stand for? As you note, both Mondale and Kerry won. Neither was all that exciting, ran "play not to lose" very safe campaigns, and lost. But they had a long standing well developed mechanism to assure them the nomination.
Hillary's organization is going to be formidable and well developed. Are we in for a repeat again as regardless of other candidates she has the machine in place to take the nomination?
I guess the one knock that Hillary has that Kerry didn't is the "electability" argument. As much as I hate that argument, this is one difference between Hillary's campaign and Kerry's. Kerry was the "electable" candidate. I don't think Hillary has that regardless of her machine.
Care to substantiate your opinon there bud? I don't see anyone stopping your from posting your take on Illinois politics at SbC. The people posting at SbC are by and large all involved in the local Democratic poltical scene and involved on the ground in a variety of races.
Right now you'll find posts on the Greater Chicago Caucus - an organizing of several special interest and ethnic groups under one larger more effective group. You'll also read about the Chicago Aldermanic races.
If you want to throw insults, why not come to SbC instead and enlighten us with how we should blog correctly. In your opinion, of course.
Iraq: Stand up, stand down, no cut and run. That's Lieberman.
Trade: The sixth has one of the largest light-manufacturing bases in the country, and not just by O'Hare. You seriously don't know this? Free trade is not Fair trade, and Fair trade is not isolationism.
You're bold quote says nothing other than I feel your pain. It is not a position. It's Beltway speak for "vote for me."
Patriot Act: She said she'd have voted for it as presented. Revisitng does nothing once it has passed and breaks the Dem caucus on an important point. It showed a lack of party unity.
NCLB: IEA endorses any Democrat. She didn't know NCLB. Not even close.
Depleted Uranium: You might want to read my previous diaries as I heard this one direct and she got her rear handed to her on this question by both Lindy and Christine. I think it's an issue that she didn't think much of it and gaffed the answer.
Why do you always assume it's a liberal thing? Endorsements mean little. Emily's List? Come on. VFW endorsed Roskam for crying out loud. I'm sure he was better for Vets, right? Endorsements are a game of bandwagon and calling in chits for the most part.
You asked my opinion. I gave it. She didn't convice me she was sincere or consistent on the issues, and was doing mostly cramming or talking points.
Bottom line, Christine had the message correct for this election: Anti-Bush, Anti-War, Anti-GOP. Duckworth was weak on her understanding of the issues, her message was inconsistent, all over the place, and didn't resonate, and it cost her the election.
We disagree. You worked your butt off for her, and that's admirable. Time to move on.
Well whoever runs, hopefully we'll be on the same team this time so we can beat up on Republicans instead of each other.
Relating to differences: To me (and others) Tammy's position on the war wasn't strong enough, nor much different from Lieberman's. She was for free trade, would have voted to reinstate the Patriot Act, and really didn't understand (at least when I saw her) NCLB. She thought our use of depleted uranium wasn't an issue. Her positions shifted, and she often said things that seemed to contradict. Saying she'd consider raising the retirement age is another big difference as Christine would never have even entertained the GOP premise that Social Security was in need of fixing. Again, this is just off the top of my head. There were more.
I believed Christine. I didn't believe Tammy. That was the key difference.
You asked my opinion. There it honestly is. Tammy didn't close the deal for me, and I'm a solid Dem voter that was a sure thing.
Thankgiving talking politics. Still family though when all is said and done, even if I don't care much for my idiot cousin Mark (kidding).
Two points and a question:
As for the rest of her criticisms of Tammy she's just full of shit. Bridget really has no idea how to win the the 6th, she's just regurgitating the same stuff all 20,000 Cegelis supporters believe. That might work here or on Soapblox Chi. but 99% of IL-06 is nothing like these blogs.
Nobody ran Cegelis out of the Democratic primary. She ran her campaign and she lost and I don't hear anybody bitching about Lindy Scott undercutting her candidacy.
First, I cited Bridget's comment, but she's not the only person to make these claims. She's not some volunteer, but has run campaigns and is trained. She may not know how to win in the 6th, but apparently you don't either as, remember, it's now Congressman Roskam.
IL-06 is more like this blogs than you'd like to think. Definately not as progressive, but definately not Pro-Bush or Pro-Iraq at the moment. Roskam campagned with Cheney who's approval in DuPage is what? 20% Sounds a lot like these blogs to me.
And regarding SbC, I know the people who post on that blog. I worked side by side with many of them. They live in the district, they're active in the district, and they all worked for candidates in the district. But that blog isn't like the district? Check your polling on issues. I think you'll find that the major issues with voters in IL-06 are quite similar to those viewed as major issues on the blogs.
I'm pushing a point here and understand the fault in my argument. But you're trying to paint bloggers as left wing fringe whackos again. That isnt' going to fly here as the message your candidate was pushing didn't resonate or she would have won easily.
As to your second point of attempts to push Cegelis out of the primary, you really have not idea what you're talking about. Really.
No one complains about Lindy because he ran his own campaign, represented his segment of the voters well, and ran a good clean campaign. I respect Lindy. I didn't agree with his positions as much as Christine's though. In the end, I didn't hear much about Duckworth reaching out to his volunteers or about his not campaigning for Duckworth either. Again, big mistake as he had a real connection with the Hispanic community in IL-06. Or are you going to tell me that Hispanics don't exist in IL-06, just rich white Republicans?
So to my question: Now what? You going to push for Tammy to run again? Do you still believe that a centrist approach that ignores the base is the approach to take in IL-06? Candidate bashing aside, what are you thoughts on the race.
I agree with some of what you've written believe it or not. But this part still grossly distorts what happened:
We'll never get that help with people who think they can defy the world and build their own little fiefdom in the marquee race on the ticket. Any candidate in the 6th is going to need the help of our senators, the DCCC and be able to raise lots of money on her own. With Christine at the top of the county ticket you can kiss off Durbin, Obama, Emanuel helping out here because shechose to burn those bridges.
Serious, where do you get your sources? This is so far off reality it would be funny if I didn't live here and experience it first hand.
Durbin and Obama both pledged their support to Christine if she won the primary - Durbin in writting and Obama personally via phonecall. Emmanuel withheld support and probably would have if Christine won, instead publicly through surrogates and privately to just about anyone who he could talk into running undercutting her campaign. He wants to win that bad you know. So badly he undercut a local candidate and tried to run her out of a Democratic primary. Want to tell me who wants that fiefdom again?
As to burning bridges, exactly how did she do this since no one from their offices or Duckworth's campaign contacted her after the primary, and the only contact prior was tell her to drop out or that she was a loser, or to threaten her volunteers with their political careers. She freed her people to work for anyone they wanted - inculding Duckworth. She stuck up for people who suggested that her organization should go work for Duckworth less than a week after the primary.
She ran for office as was her or anyone's right, and nearly beat the weight of the entire national party. How dare she do that! The nerve. If you call that burning bridge then we are not on the same side of the isle as that sounds much more like a GOP call for unity than a Democratic set of values. There was no reach out, contrarary to what was said in the Tribune. Again, I'll cite Austine Mayor, but could as easily cite any number of other local bloggers:
Some of them were no doubt turned off by the DC Dem's ham-fisted power-play -- not everyone loathes Peter Roskam enough to bite their tongue, swallow their pride and fall in line behind the nominee like I did -- but even more of them were not just turned off by the Duckworth campaign, but actually turned away. Repeated efforts to reach out to the nominee's team were rebuffed -- often in the snidest and snottiest terms.
I don't know if they were embarrassed because their primary race was razor close or if they simply have no respect for grassroots workers, but the early message from the Duckworth team was crystal clear. It couldn't have been clearer if the folks in the nominee's camp literally said, "We don't need Cegelis workers. We don't want Cegelis volunteers. Fuck you and fuck off!"
Regarding Christine's numbers against Hyde, she did better than anyone had done previously against him, with no help what so ever from the state or national party, and only started campaigning a short time prior to the primary, in her very first run for office. You're giving Duckworth a lot of credit for things she often just had to show up for. She had a great story and got better as a candidate, but she made plenty of mistakes as a candidate as well.
If you compare numbers, try looking at what Tom Berry did in 2002. With no money and no campaigning he pulled in only approx 14,000 votes less in DuPage than did Duckworth in 2006 (this is off the top of my head, so feel free to verify). He was running in an off year that saw great GOP support as opposed to Duckworth running in a year that saw a Democratic wave and anti-Bush, anti-GOP sentiment at it highest in years.
Duckworth raised at least $3.2 million and had the entire party behind her. Yet even with Obama cutting ads, Emmanuel dropping millions, Durbin holding meet and greets, the best ad people in Democratic politics, she could only pull in 14,000 more votes than a guy who didn't raise anything, didn't campaign, and was running against a 30-year incumbent. $3.2M = 14,000 votes approximately?
I'd hope we could agree that Duckworth's campaign underperformed. Disappointingly so. Cegelis had the right message for this election: Anti-Bush, anti-War, anti-GOP. Cegelis could have done no worse, and left the party in a better place locally than what Duckworth's campaign has.
So enough of this. Time to move on. You stop slamming Christine and I'll drop it. Who you going to back for 2008? It's time to take out Roskam.