Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Good News

While still a long way from where we want to be, there are signs that the GPCA is making progress in its ability to get into the media and to participate in the interplay of ideas and values that should make up politicl discourse in this state. The evidence is there and includes:

Dr. Forrest Hill has gotten incuded in at least one debate between candidates for Secretary of State. That debate focuses on electoral reform, Hill's signature issue. As the one candidate with a practical solution to our problems, he should more than hold his own.

Byron De Lear (28th CD) is getting getting into the press and is running an Ad (along with Peter Thottam, Candidate for Assembly) in the L. A. Weekly.

Bill Paparian (29th CD) has garnered the endorsement of Danny Bakewell, owner of the largest African American owned newspaper in the state and also that of Bob McCloskey, who lost the Democratic Primary to incumbent Adam Schiff. Schiff is now making trumped up charges, not against the Republican Candidate, but against Paparian and uses the Nader effect as a scare tactic.

In general, Green Candidates have become more sophisticated in the manner in which they use the media to extend their reach and attract more voters. Some of this direction is coming from the Media Committee and from the GPCA Press Secretary, Cress Velucci.

As a blogger, one area where I know we can improve is the use of the internet and blogs as a tool for increasing the community of users and motivating grassroots support. In the campaign where I am most active, that in the 11th Congressional District, the staff of the Democratic Candidate, Jerry McNerney, has learned how to utilize this community (PomboWatch, SayNoToPombo, CA-11, Progressive 11) to help the campaign. The bloggers have played a major role in organizing activists from the Bay Area to participate in door-to-door canvassing, show up for rally's, protest at Pombo events. They have been effective enough at this that Pombo even complained about it to a local (Manteca Bulletin) reporter.

At the same time, they have used the diaries in DailyKos to encourage participation and to help manage the perception that McNerney can win. In this case, the target was really the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who was so sure that McNerney could NOT win that they backed someone else in the primary.

In a TV interview for NBC 11 (San Jose) McNerney gave credit saying that "the grassroots are on fire." The final result is a late campaign addition of DCCC produced television ads in the district, already up on You Tube and SayNoToPombo concurrent with being shown on TV in the district.

The key is to not lose what we have learned, not to let those media contacts be lost, but to carry this forward, past this election, aiming to use the media credibility we have established and to be in a position to define the next big story.

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