Sunday, August 25, 2002

weblog vs. email candidate for congress

Delaware congressional candidate Steve Biener captured some media attention with a little practiced method of campaigning. It consisted of sending out emails to as many people as he could, in an effort to get them to vote for him. In July, his method of acquiring a constituency was reported upon in in an article entitled Political Spam: A Worthy Campaign Tactic? Larry Kesterbaum, of Polygon the Dancing Bear had some interesting comments on the subject, including this one:
Sending mass unsolicited email messages is spam and is always a bad idea for a political campaign. Absent a massive cultural and technological shift, it will always be a bad idea for a responsible mainstream candidate.

As Isenberg points out, the First Amendment surely immunizes political messages from any existing or future anti-spam laws in the U.S. But that doesn't mean it's a good tactic for someone who is trying to win an election.
I'm not certain that the email campaign is working too well for Mr. Biener. If the very slim turnout in front of the Daniel Herrmann Courthouse a few weeks back for his campaign speech was an indication of the efficacy of his methods, he might consider incorporating a more mainstream approach.

Another candidate of Congress is also using the internet as a base of operations for her campaign. A North Carolina candidate, Tara Grub started a weblog to present her views and experiences while campaigning to the public. The press that she has received has been much more positive than that for Steve Biener. I do agree with some of the comments on this Metafilter thread that it would be helpful to have a more complete web site that explains her views on other issues, in addition to the web log. Dave Winer, at Scripting News may be helping her do just that.

I also find myself inclined to be much more positive about Tara Grubb's campaign than Steve Beiner's. And that's without really knowing their perspectives on different issues.

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