Dean's Fundraising Vote
I thought I'd break from my usual format for this newsletter on Politics & Technology to let you know about some late-breaking news, a great bit of analysis, and a couple of opportunities to learn more about how technology is changing politics.
First, the news:
If you're not on Howard Dean's email list, you may not hear about this astonishing development until it's announced this weekend. Dean has asked his supporters yesterday to vote online on a simple question:
Should he accept the federal matching funds - and the $45 million cap that comes with it? Or, should he decline the match (like Bush) and be free to raise and spend as much as the Bush campaign?
Here's where it gets even better: Supporters that vote to decline the funds are asked to make a pledge to push him closer to Bush's $200 million goal. By the end of the day today, Dean should have tens of thousands of additional pledges - totaling millions of dollars.
Learn more here. If you want to tell Dean what to do, make sure you vote by 9 p.m. PST today.
Second, some analysis:
There's a lot of breathless chatter about presidential campaign websites, but most of it won't be new to readers of this newsletter. In this month's Wired Magazine, however, Lawrence Lessig - one of the brilliant minds of the age - explains how the changes we're seeing are really transforming politics. And, in some ways, aren't changing politics at all.
As Lessig points out, "the lesson of the Dean campaign so far is that community can't be broadcast. It gets built not from slick commercials squeezed onto a Web page, but from tools that enable, and thus inspire, hundreds of thousands of people to something that American politics has not seen in many years: hundreds of thousands of people actually doing something."
Finally, some opportunities to learn more:
Next weekend, I'll be speaking on the role of technology in our changing politics at the Engage Oregon conference in Hood River, Oregon (organized by the good folks behind the Oregon Bus Project.) The registration deadline is today, so if you haven't gotten on board, get crackin'. More info at SecretPlan.org.
Next month, I'll be teaching a session in Portland as part of the Camp Kulongoski training for candidates and campaign workers. They're bringing in a great bunch of speakers and trainers to help build the human capital necessary to win in the 2004 cycle. Visit CampaignCamp.net.
This item was originally posted at MandateMedia.com on November 7, 2003.
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