Campaign 2.0

Get ConnectedHow are 2008 Presidential Candidates using the Internet in their campaigns? That’s what I wanted to find out when I started putting together data for Campaign 2.0: 2008 Presidential Campaigns and their Use of Web 2.0.

It all started when Don sent me a link to John Edwards’ page on Social Networking. I was astounded when I saw that his campaign had setup profiles on 20 different social networking sites. At first, I couldn’t believe that someone spent that much time getting setup on so many different networks… but then, I realized this might be really, really smart: his campaign can now be seen on twenty different, established networks.

Reviewing the websites of candidates that have formerly announced and/or filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission was eye-opening. Most Democrats are utilizing RSS feeds, and have setup accounts on one or more social networks. Few Republicans are offering an RSS feed. Only one is using a social network. All three Libertarian candidates are using RSS feeds, and two of the three are on multiple social networks – and one has included options to Digg the site, add to Del.icio.us bookmarks or view their Technorati profile. I’m not surprised that the Democrats are using technology like they are… but I am surprised by how little the Republicans are using the web…

This brings up a number of questions that I hope to have answered between now and November 2008:

  • Will using social networks (or Web 2.0) make a difference or will homegrown social networks be the real winner?
  • Will social networks “accept” candidates as legitimate participants in their communities? More specifically, will users “friend” candidates, comment on content submitted to the community, etc.?
  • Will candidates increase their use of existing social networks as we draw closer to the election?
  • Will Republicans use the web more?

For now, I’ll be detailing which social networks candidates (and providing links to their profiles and/or groups on each of those networks). As additional info becomes available, I’ll be updating the site. Of course, you can help with this too… if you know of any additional information that would be helpful with this table – let me know! You can email me at chris@cdharrison.com.

Referendum Passes

Here’s what we voted on:

FINAL RESULTS LOCAL REFERENDUM

“Shall a one percent sales and use tax for educational purposes of the Columbia County School District (the “School District”) be reimposed within Columbia County for a maximum period of time of 20 calendar quarters, for the purposes of providing funds to pay (1) the cost of acquiring, constructing, and equipping one new elementary school and one new middle school, adding and equipping new classrooms at existing high schools, acquiring land for future schools, adding to, renovating, repairing, improving, and equipping existing school buildings and other buildings and facilities useful or desirable in connection therewith, and acquiring any necessary property therefor, both real and personal, (2) the cost of acquiring instructional and administrative technology improvements for existing schools and acquiring school buses, the maximum cost of the projects described in clauses (1) and (2) above to be $42,067,795, and (3) the cost of retiring a portion of the School District’s General Obligation Bonds, dated September 1, 1976, General Obligation Refunding Bonds, dated December 1,1992, General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 1993, General Obligation Refunding Bonds Series 1994, General Obligation Bonds, Series 1994-A, and General Obligation School Refunding Bonds, Series 1998, by paying or making provision for the payment of the principal of and interest on such bonds coming due on April 1, 2003 through October 1, 2007, in the maximum amount of $27,932,205?”

“If reimposition of the tax is approved by the voters, such vote shall also constitute approval of the issuance of general obligation debt of the Columbia County School District in the principle amount of $16,000,000 for the purpose set forth in clause (1) of the above question, to pay capitalized interest incident thereto, and to pay expenses incident to accomplishing the foregoing.”

Final Tally: YES 4841, NO 626

Taken from the Columbia County Website

“So?” you’re probably asking. “What’s the big deal?” Well, for one, it is a good thing that the referendum passed. Columbia County has long been touted as having one of the best school systems in Georgia, and the money the one-cent sales tax generates will definitely be of great benefit to the county and to its schools. It is also a good thing that it passed so overwhelmingly with 4841 voters for the measure and only 626 against. But, when you consider that the number of voters only accounted for roughly 9% of the county’s registered voters, the figure is pitiful. Reports have indicated that the only people who really voted for the measure were primarily teachers and parents with school-aged children.

The county advertised the measure pitifully. Sparse sign placement, random radio announcements and an editorial in the Augusta Chronicle were all that made mention of the measure. It’s no wonder hardly anyone voted. No one knew about it! If they wanted people to participate, they should have advertised the measure better!

I, for one, did vote. I was among the 5,467 voters who did make it out to the polls. Voting is important, regardless of the issue. Why? Because these kinds of things affect the whole county. A one-cent sales tax raises prices, albeit rather insignificantly, but it can possibly make a difference for some people. It’s important to get out there and vote. That’s the whole point of democracy. People that don’t vote shouldn’t bitch, because they didn’t join the few that DID decide.