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Scott Chacon for Congress: Turning Everything Inside-Out

Scott ChaconScott Chacon faces an uphill battle. He's trying to unseat entrenched incumbent Congressman Richard Pombo.

The typical approach for such a tough race is to raise buckets of money from big-money donors, unleash an attack ad blitz, and spend every waking moment stumping across the district.

Well, Scott Chacon is anything but typical. He's a software developer running for Congress - and he's using his campaign as the testbed for an open source project to create a new kind of campaign management software. He's also doing just about everything differently.

Groundworks, the software package, aims to be more than just a website manager. It's a campaign management tool that "will power the ChaconCorps team of precinct captains and volunteers for the Chacon 2006 congressional campaign."

Meanwhile, over at the Chacon for Congress campaign, he's turned all kinds of concepts on their head.

Want the candidate to show up somewhere? Just make an appointment on his "open schedule" and he'll be there.

Want to talk to the candidate? Just ask for a call online, and he'll call you. Or check out the blog - he's writing it himself.

Want to give money? Contribute to micro-goals that purchase specific things for the campaign. Oh, and you'll only be allowed to give $100 - a self-imposed limit. And he'll disclose it immediately.

Want to volunteer? Take charge - be a 'community captain' and decide how best to organize your neighborhood: Each captain "is given the tools to run their own small campaigns, to reach out to their communities as they see fit."

It's a new way of thinking about campaigns. Inside-out, really. Check it out. JoinTheConversation.org