In response to the special prodding challenge I made to Bruce Tytler and Mike Arcuri earlier today, some have asked me how much it would cost for Tytler and Arcuri to get their web sites up online.
It's a good question, and the answer is quite revealing. Web site costs typically involve two aspects: 1) Domain name registration (Tytler and Arcuri have already done this, securing tytlerforcongress.com and arcuriforcongress.com), and 2) Web site hosting.
Over at Network Solutions, domain name registration costs just $34.99 for one year's domain registration, which is all that a challenger candidate really needs. Other domain registrars offer the service for even less money, but personally, I prefer the Network Solutions interface.
A company called Blue Host offers perfectly good web hosting service for $6.95. That includes everything that a web site needs until it reaches the A-list of the very top web sites around: Blog, discussion board, e-commerce capability, etc.
Round those numbers up and add them together, and you get a whopping big price of $42.000. Bruce Tytler and Michael Arcuri can afford this.
Now, it is true that a good number of congressional campaigns get schnookered by political consultants who convince them that they need to hire a firm to design their web sites. It ain't so, especially when it comes to the introductory form of web site that all campaigns start out with.
We've got a load of intelligent, capable people in our district who know how to design web sites. Arcuri or Tytler could easily find a student at Utica College, SUNY Cortland, or Cornell with all the skills necessary, hungry for experience like working on a congressional campaign. Give the kid some pizza, and you just might be able to negotiate an unpaid internship. $300.00 plus a glowing recommendation would be the most I'd offer for the initial work of getting a good, yet basic, web site up.
For Tytler and Arcuri, getting a campaign web site up is not a matter of money. It's a matter of a little bit of work. We need candidates who are willing to do the work it takes to win. If they're incapable of getting a web site up in a reasonable amount of time, won't else they be capable of?
My challenge grant offer to both Tytler and Arcuri is still on for four more weeks. The contributions that these guys could get from me would easily cover the costs of getting online, so there's no excuse for either of them to wait any longer. One long night of work could get them online. Don't we 24th district Democrats deserve at least that much effort?