July 10, 2006

Hare is on the Internets *

As noted by John Beydler, Phil Hare now has a campaign website of sorts.

And great googly-moogly, it even has a means to donate online! This is a heretical idea which, when proposed months ago by myself as one reason candidates need to have a web site, (here and here) was met with jeers and slammed as stupid and impractical by a few troglodytes which were able to comment back when I left the gate unlatched.

Their wisdom: (spelling errors theirs)
I think that you are wrong. What is the gain to the pol. What can they do to get people to vote for them. People have to go to the pols site. If they do they are already for or against. I think it is way overrated.
The DOPe's views on blogs are way out of the mainstream Politcans don't need stinking blogs they need votes. Votes move politcans, not blogs...
And on on-line donations:
It's like the old Sinefield episode where George puts a tip in the tip jar and the person didn't see him so he takes out the money to do it again but gets caught. Blog donations no one sees and no one hears. People want to go to fundraisers to be seen. You think everyone just wants to stay in their basement and do everything anon. Not in the real world. People actually like to leave the house and see and be seen. You are way off base.
Someone better tell Hare he's "way off base".

Of course, those comments reflect a huge ignorance of how things work and weak logic.

The list of things to be gained by a politician having a website is a long one.(which should be apparent so I'll spare you.)

A website most definitely can translate to votes, for "politcans" or even politicians.

A website also allows people who normally wouldn't check out someone they feel they oppose to do so easily and perhaps be swayed.

And online donations are most certainly "seen" and recorded. The pol knows exactly who donated and how much. You just don't have to go stand around in someone's living room eating dubious hors d'oeurvres and making small talk to do it.

And the politician doesn't have to spend thousands of bucks setting up fundraisers, securing sponsors, getting a place, designing and printing invitations, donation cards, envelopes, thousands in postage, paying a mailing service to get them all out, recording who returns the donations, who came, etc. which means the first huge chunk of donations are eaten up entirely by the cost of the fundraiser.

But again, I guess the idea of utilizing online fundraising is apparently "way out of line".

A commenter to Beydler's post also notes that Hare's site is set up by some outfit out of D.C. rather than locally, which may explain the move into the 20th century despite the obvious ignorance of many in charge as to the use of the web.

* Click Here


At 7/10/2006 5:37 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Politicians have no idea how much the internet can help their campaign. The 21st Century is the perfect era for the reemergence of the "grassroots campaign." Hopefully Hare's "DC outfit" can figure this out.

At 7/10/2006 6:17 PM, Blogger democraticman said...

No one care and I bet that less than 1% of all donations come from the internet.

At 7/10/2006 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I'm among the 1%. I've donated EXCLUSIVELY through the internet for all candidates I've supported. If they don't have a website to support online donations, I send them an electronic check.

At 7/10/2006 7:13 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Ah, my spell challenged friend is back!! "Democratic Man" Is that like Java Man by any chance?

Well, whether anyone care or not, I agree that donations online will be a small fraction of the total take. But take away all the PAC money and other huge donations and it may look a little better.

Even then, I don't imagine it will amount to much in Hare's case, as his campaign isn't exactly a hot one just yet, nor is it expected that much effort will be made to attract any "netroots" support.

The site will likely receive little or no promotion, and neither will they take advantage of advertising on other politically oriented websites and/or blogs.

It should be noted however, that even those who would normally contribute to Hare's campaign, specifically groups and individuals from around the country and in D.C., could donate on-line much more quickly and easily than traditional methods, and so may just do so. In that case, the total online take might be higher than expected.

And as we've seen demonstrated here, at least a few of his supporters are backwards as hell and view the internet as some sort of demon-infested whachamacallit, and are clueless, hostile and almost proud of their lack of understanding.

(We don't know nothin' much about it, but we damn sure don't like it. If The Dope says it's good, I'm agin it, that's alls I know.)

But, nevertheless, it must be nice to have the luxury to afford giving up even a relatively small amount of contributions. Seems mighty dumb if someone did.

But before we go down this old road again, let's be clear.

If you think I'm arguing that ALL fundraising should be done exclusively online, you couldn't possibly be more wrong.

Again, let's get this clear, because I know some folks don't read very well.

I am NOT saying that a candidate should rely exclusively on on-line donations. That would be very stupid indeed.

I'm simply saying that to ignore it entirely is equally stupid and that if it presents the opportunity to bring in even $5, it shouldn't be ignored.

Are we clear now?

At 7/10/2006 7:39 PM, Blogger DookOfURL said...

As some may have noticed, I'm no left-winger, but I think it's hilarious that the party that pioneered internet donations and activism (that would be the Dems), still has pockets of resistence who only believe that NARAL, unions, trial lawyers, etc. are the only legitimate sources of money. Too funny! Watch the GOP your lunch.

At 7/10/2006 7:40 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

LOL. I love it, Dope. I mean first, it was the "politcans" and now "No one care" . Now THAT'S funny!

I wonder if Hare will ever catch up in terms of even "traditional" fundraising. I mean if you're a fundraiser or a national PAC looking at this race from the outside, if you're smart you will sit this race out.

I mean you'll see a guy who came to the race late, with no name ID... and even though the district is Democratic, it is so badly gerrymandered that there's no way he can pull it together.

It's one thing to strong arm all these precinct captains, but "average voters" at the grass roots level don't know Phil Hare from a hill of beans. And when voters see a picture of him, the hill of beans is preferable.

Me think Zinga will win by default, by 2 or 3 points. Me think it will be a much more interesting race when she runs for re-erection in 2008. Then finely, with redickstricking and Hastert's retirement, this will finally be a "compact and contiguous" district the way it should have been in the first place.

At 7/10/2006 7:53 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Likewise Huck, I've sent all of my contributions to any national or out of state candidates or party organizations by contributing online.

It only makes sense. It's quick, easy, and doesn't involve any paperwork, checks, envelopes, postage or having to spend an evening going through the motions at a fund-raiser.

I think what some people miss is that some of us donate to candidates without expecting some sort of favorable treatment in return.

In other words, we truly support what a candidate stands for and his views, oddly enough.

It's not simply based only on what he can do for us individually, or whether he can "fix" things so that we make even more money or get even more breaks or get hired here or help my company get a contract or anything else to do with the exchange of money for influence.

I think the sourpusses that can't imagine donating online are operating from the viewpoint that it's not worth giving a dime if you can't go and bend the candidates ear about doing something to enrich yourself or your company or profession and then handing him a check to seal the deal, or at least to make sure they know that they owe you their time.

Why donate if you can't go try to be a bigshot and "network" and try to kiss up to the powers that be, they seem to wonder.

The fact is that it's enough for many of us to simply contribute in the spirit of helping a candidate.

Quaint, I know.

We don't need to do the wine and cheese and hob-nob with other political types in return.

In other words, we don't feel the need to "be seen", as one commenter put it. We're not in it for ourselves.

To those who that is really important, by all means, go to fundraisers. Enjoy the sparkling company and coma-inducing speeches.

But don't make the mistake of thinking that the small circle of people whose incomes and jobs depends on politics (and that's really who the people at fundraisers are.) are the only pool of donors.

To limit yourself to this group of people who are beholding to you or hoping you'll help them if elected is to limit yourself.

There are many, many people out there who'd gladly make donations online if they reached and appealed to.

I know that politicians consider anything under a $500 donation pretty much nothing, but a lot of smaller donations can add up and shouldn't be ignored.

And for a cynical pol, consider the beauty that these folks won't really expect any personal favors in return! All they want is for you to live up to your campaign rhetoric.

(You can still rely on the big donors to provide your issues and positions. Don't panic.)

The only time I haven't donated online is if I simply handed it directly to the candidate. (Which they probably drank up later that evening... but oh well. I figure that's a contribution, isn't it?)

At 7/10/2006 8:03 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Interesting perspective. However, I'd challenge your optimisim about Ms. Zinga.

I think it's going to be uphill all the way for her. And don't discount the fact that, though Hare isn't familiar to all Dems, and probably not their first pick, he's still the only Dem in the race.

I know I'd prefer just about anyone to Zinga, and just about any Dem to any Republican at this point in history.

It may be that many people share my view to a greater or lesser degree which will either, A. Translate into votes, even if grudging, for Hare, or B. Contribute to even lower voter turnout, particularly among Dems who feel beaten up and abused by the replacement process.

Just a thought. Needless to say, the election is a long way off.

As to your hopes for a more sane system of redistricting, I can only say that I think that day can't come soon enough.

As others have pointed out here in the past, Iowa's system is rational, sane, and looks fairly neat on the map.

And by statute, it isn't nearly as vulnerable to out of control political schemes, the results of which show plainly on the Illinois district map.

At 7/10/2006 9:23 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

Tell me, how does Iowa do their redistricting differently? I had heard that they do and yes, their map does look better. If we didn't have Chicago, we could do things a lot more "honestly" in this state.
Rock Island County should be put in with Rockford or else Peoria. The Democrats would scream, but there is really nowhere else to go with it. With either of those cities the Dems could still hold the seat, especially if the district was a block of the entire northwest part of the state and they got back Whiteside County.
I remember after the 1990 census, a confident Phil Hare actually wanted Lane Evans to run against Bob Michel of Peoria, Minority Leader at the time. Who knows what could have been!
Now the other day I was looking at my old Illinois Bluebooks, which go back to like 1913. And if you think this current map is crazy, I will send you a map I found from the 1960s (I think it was) when the congressional district was L-shaped and went all the way into Champaign and the Indiana border.

At 7/11/2006 12:37 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Iowa's redistricting statutes are just more common sense, though I don't have the details at my fingertips. I'll try to see if I can find a site which can fill in the details.

They've figured out some way to equitably split the state into relatively same sized districts which are at least roughly rectangles.

I bet the historical districts are interesting. Send along any you find of interest and I'll post them for others to see as well.

And your post points out just how difficult it would be getting any real district reform done when it would mean that one party or both would have to feel some pain.

I don't know if the will to get things in order would outweigh the reluctance to give up even an inch.

And of course, you always have the Chicago factor. But you could treat that as a separate area. Hell, draw a line around it and let them battle it out? ha!

At 7/11/2006 12:50 AM, Blogger tiz said...

Iowa has a rule that districts cannot split counties. Most of our counties are nice and rectangular, so that's why it looks so nice. There's also a pretty much even split in the state senate/house, so any changing the rules to allow for funny business (like an alley in Decatur) is less likely to happen.

You can see how the county and district lines match here.

At 7/11/2006 1:29 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Thanks for that Tiz. It's a great help. Good work!

At 7/11/2006 1:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iowa's districts were designed by farmers--logical, sensical, honest, forthright, and the districts are even shaped like a farm.

Illinois districts look like they were designed by agenda-driven crooks with alcohol dependencies.

Imagine trying to plow the IL 17th District.

At 7/12/2006 11:07 AM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Whether it's one percent or 20%, it's stupid to leave it on the table. Because it can happen so quickly, e-funding is also an effective way to make an urgent push when an issue or charge gets hot.

HDean in Iowa Showed us you can get a pile of $ in real fast when you're hooked up and you get people excited.

At 7/12/2006 12:52 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

We all need to support Phil Hare for Congress. He is the guy who supports the issues important to the working families of our district and the best person to represent us all.

Zinga is the queen of mean and nobody likes her that I have talked to about the race. The only dopes (sorry dope) who will vote for her are the same fools who voted for George (idiot) Bush twice and there is no helping those slugs....

At 7/12/2006 4:52 PM, Blogger DookOfURL said...

So Maybe, what "issues important to working families" does Hare support? During his Master's tenure, we saw a loss of union jobs and Arsenal jobs. Plus RICO is 8th on the list in IL for poverty.

I suppose since Evans and Hare are pro-abortion, they are hoping that there will be less people in the District to be in poverty and to suffer job loss.

Go Hare!


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