Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Mystery of the Disappearing Mike Arcuri Blogs

I'm working this week in a place where the hotel's Internet access system is not in good shape. It's a struggle to get to any web page, or to send information out, so I'm finding that I have to exercise some economy in the amount of work that I'm doing online. As a result, my appreciation for the Internet has grown quite a bit in over the last couple of days.

So, I've been mulling over the importance of blogs to a congressional campaign - and to a member of Congress. Someone left a message here last night questioning why people who leave comments here would believe that Michael Arcuri would pay attention to what they have to say. The truth is, I don't know whether the Arcuri for Congress campaign and the Meier for Congress have people who go out online to see what people are saying about the candidates, and make a periodical report back to the campaign committee. If they don't have anyone doing that job, they're making a mistake.

I'm not saying that a blog like this one has much influence in a traditional sense. However, an intelligent candidate will use resources like blogs, and the comments that are written on them, as check on the slanted vision of reality that can be created inside a campaign. An intelligent candidate would want to know how other people perceive the campaign.

When I look at the blogs covering the 24th district, I see a wave of turmoil hitting the Democrats in Oneida County, right in the middle of the campaign.

I see Democratic bloggers suddenly quitting. I see blogs disappearing. I see Democrats writing messages indicating a schism in the county's party, talking about Democrats who are loyal, and those who are not.

I see that, not long after Bob Hyde, fanatic supporter of Michael Arcuri, announces he won't be writing about the Arcuri-Meier contest anymore, the pro-Arcuri blog written under the pseudonym YouGoMike is grinding to a halt. The blog writer suggests that threats of some kind have something to do with it.

Over at http://michaelarcuri.wordpress.com/, the blog has been deleted.

The National Journal recently increased the ranking of our congressional contest here in New York's 24th District. We were the 16th hottest race in the nation. Now, we're reported to be the 11th hottest.

Democratic bloggers ought to be flocking to write about Michael Arcuri, against Ray Meier. They're not. Those blogs that have been around are stumbling apart, shutting down, or being taken out.

Something about this smells.

6 comments:

NDAlumJRM said...

Democrats aren't happy unless they're fighting amongst one another. In my county, our good chair/election comish is constently bombarded by attacks from some moron faction who loves nothing more than to screw us come election time. We can't run anything without them constently gumming things up led by a bar owner and her washed up lobbiest crony. I mean, the only bad thing the chair has done is, in my opinion, is screw around with his lawyer buddy's girlfriend.
Leave it to democrats to screw up a perfectly good thing.

Anonymous said...

Just a theory...

Is it because this race has become just a pawn for the DCCC? Democrats in the district are being stepped on, and true grassroots campaigning is out the window. It is now just about big $ and the DCCC agenda. It's losing touch with what local Democrats are about, and alienating people within the party.

More national support, less local support... and local support is where the people who care enough to blog come from.

Anonymous said...

Message control.

Anonymous said...

Yep, I fear it might drive likely dems into the independant party, simply so their issues don't get sidelined

9i7ox3 said...

This is an important race, so teh DCCC would be completely irresponsible not to throw its resources here. Instead of getting snarky about it, we need to work with them in the best way possible. Sure, there will be turf issues that need to be overcome.

I am as dissapointed as anyone that the high profile of this race is not being used to build an effective grassroots organization throughout the district.

However, local progressives who give up because they feel slighted are really being counterproductive. If the Washington-based campaign staff come in thinking they don't need local help, the onus is on us to show them--in a positive way--what needs to be done with our help.

We need the campaign to do local fundraisers that bring people together. It's not just to get money to the Arcuri campaign, but to energize those who will run for local office in the next couple of years.

We need the candidate to work all the editorial boards in the area at least once a month.

We need press releases that local papers might actually publish. Not the "Candidate calls for..." releases that go in the trash, but those that have an angle in the circulation area and show how Arcuri will apply Democratic values to making those things better for the district.

Anonymous said...

I used to come on here and argue all of the time about who the best candidate would be, but lately I'm just been too damn busy. In fact I think it has been at least a month, maybe more. However, it is getting close to crunch time, and I suspect that I and others like me will flock again to blogs and rallies and the like. Agree?