Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Ray Meier and Brad Jones Afraid of Voters

Republican congressional candidates Brad Jones and Ray Meier both have their campaign web sites up now, so we can get a good look at what kinds of candidates they really are. The two Republicans seem to differ somewhat, but I can see one clear similarity:

Ray Meier and Brad Meier are both afraid of the voters.

Go on and take a look at the Brad Jones for Congress web site and the Ray Meier for Congress web site, and one of the first things you'll notice is what is not there. Both Brad Jones and Ray Meier refuse to provide any way for voters to openly discuss the issues on their web sites.

Regular readers here know that I have had some strong words for one of our Democratic candidates when he shut down the discussion forum on his campaign web site. Well, now my criticism on this issue is bipartisan.

I don't care if a candidate is a Republican or a Democrat. No politician should be suffered to run for Congress without making himself or herself fully available to voter questions and comments in every medium possible. If a congressional candidate wants to put up a campaign web site, that candidate ought to have the courage to put a means for interactive and open-to-the-public communications from voters.

It doesn't have to be a discussion forum. Les Roberts has a blog on his campaign web site that allows readers to leave comments. Bruce Tytler had started a similar blog on his campaign too, before he cut his campaign short.

Candidates are perfectly able to moderate blogs and discussion boards. It's easy to configure them for quick moderation, and even to block access to cyberstalkers or spammers who want to cause problems instead of adding to a substantive debate.

I have no problem with moderating online discussions - it's the smart thing to do. I do have a big problem with candidates who won't even give their supporters the chance to speak.

Putting up a campaign web site without any place for voter discussion is an arrogant thing to do. Ray Meier and Brad Jones both ought to be ashamed of themselves for being so afraid and disdainful of the voters of New York's 24th district that they won't allow the voters to speak.

Why, it almost appears as if Meier and Jones know that the voters won't support their campaigns... Hm. Uncanny, that.


Norway said...

At least Meier and Jones offer some way for voters to email the campaigns, either in "Contact Us" and in Meier's case, for each "Issue" he lists. That puts both of these conservatives one up on Arcuri. There is really no way to talk to Arcuri's campaign. Does he even have a campaign office?

Steve said...

This is silly. Do you really think between the campaign and the web designer that someone is fretting about message boards on the website? Do you really think anyone even thought to have one?

24 Independent said...

Well, Steve, no, I don't think that the Brad Jones or Ray Meier campaigns are worried at all about giving voters a chance to be heard in this campaign.

THAT'S the problem. Jones and Meier want to gain their victory by stiff-arming the voters off the public stage, and controlling information and the expression of ideas.

That's a very troubling attitude, because it suggests that, as the 24th District's representative in Congress, neither Jones nor Meier would be at all interested in listening to the concerns of average voters.

So, then... just who would Brad Jones and Ray Meier be representing in the House of Representatives, if it's not the voters? I don't like any of the possible answers.

Anonymous said...

Ray Meier will represent the same people he represents now. Himself and his friends.

Anonymous said...

Why did you remove your comments about being harassed?

24 Independent said...

I removed the link to the post because that post is about me, not about this campaign, and I want to write about the campaign. It was necessary for a short while to address some very silly things being said and done by a couple of people who don't understand the nature of the Internet, but now it's done with.

On to the race, and it's issues! Today, power and power lines...

Anonymous said...

if you want to post this in the power line issue section when you write it. I got the sense from reading the Oneonta article that the candidates aren't really sure what to make of it. To me on its face it seems like an o.k. idea as long as there really aren't any health effects (I hate agreeing with Koziol on anything). Really though, it sounds to me like a study of the effects will be necessary before any really firm positions are settled on. If you have a map of where the power lines will go can you post it?