Thursday, September 07, 2006

Recognition from Squidoo on Mike Arcuri Lens

It's no secret that the Democrats in Oneida County aren't too fond of me. They took early exception this year to my independent writing on the congressional election here in New York's 24th congressional district. In response to my critical writing, urging Michael Arcuri to do a better job in reaching out to voters outside of Oneida County (advice that still needs to be heeded), I got all sorts of threats and insults. I was going to be exposed, they told me.

Since then, most of those who aimed rhetorical buckshot my way have faded from the scene. But, I still get some satisfaction at the recognition that comes from outside the district every now and then. Today, that came in the form of earning Lens of the Day distinction over at Squidoo - just for putting up a lens focusing on the Michael Arcuri for Congress campaign.

Megan Casey of Squidoo had this to say on her blog today.

"Lensmaster Jonathan Cook is a self-described New York State Democrat who lives in the 24th District, in the village of Trumansburg, in the town of Ulysses, in Tompkins County, in the Finger Lakes.

And he's quite a smart political thinker.

I don't say that because I'm a supporter of Michael Arcuri for Congress (my political persuasions shall remain a mystery!), but because I'm a supporter of people who get that lenses are incredible tools for grassroots politics.

I especially like the advantages v. liabilities breakdown on this lens.

What candidates are you supporting? What do you want from your party? What infuriates you about the issues? One by one, lenses contribute to online political opinion. And you better believe the candidates are watching."

Thanks, Megan. I do wonder, however, if the candidates are watching, in this case.

The presence of supporters of Michael Arcuri on the Internet has faded, not increased, as Election Day gets nearer. From the beginning, many close to Mike Arcuri have been steadfastly insisting that the Internet doesn't matter to congressional campaigns... and then watched as other Democratic candidates outcompeted Arcuri and got rewarded for their online activism by groups like Democracy For America and the Progressive Patriots, 2008 presidential candidates like John Edwards, and even the DCCC, which so proudly held up Michael Arcuri as a favorite recruit earlier this year.

It's flattering to get positive attention of the sort that Squidoo provided me with today, and so I'll toot my own horn like an obnoxious ass tonight, but the truth is that I really haven't done anything that requires any particular political smarts at all. In the 2006, online campaigning should be an obvious choice, because it provides scope and control of outreach at an outrageously small cost.

Yes, I put up a lens about Michael Arcuri's candidacy on Squidoo. That's no big deal, really. It's easy to do, and it's free. The important matter to consider is why the Michael Arcuri for Congress campaign didn't do it, and why they're still not doing it.

I really, truly, honestly don't get it. Why won't the Arcuri campaign people, or even his volunteer supporters, use the power of the Internet to help Arcuri's candidacy? Do they consider the Internet to be beneath them, or something?

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