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Bloggers Digging Deep into Duke's Dirty Money (OR-4 & NJ-7)

Over at Ridenbaugh Press, Randy Stapilus takes note of a story that I'm intimately familiar with - and finds a trend:

The traditional take on the politics of campaign finances is that most people don’t care where the money for their candidates is coming from, and that it will not likely affect their vote. If that is beginning to change - this being a debatable proposition - blogs could be one of the key reasons why.

Broadcast news media seldom mention campaign finances at all, as a matter of specifics about specific candidates. Newspapers sometimes note the totals, and occasionally list a major donor or two, but that’s generally as far as it goes. Some of the political blogs, however, have been digging deeper. Now, today, we’re seeing specific impact affecting a substantial candidacy.

You see, a number of blogs are digging into the money trail left behind by convicted Congressman Duke Cunningham. His leadership fund, the "American Prosperity PAC", scattered contributions of $1000 to $5000 across the GOP countryside.

Over at BlueOregon, on the day that Cunningam pleaded guilty and admitted bribery, I noted that (2004 and 2006 challenger to Congressman Peter DeFazio) Jim Feldkamp had taken $1000 from Cunningham. Meanwhile, over in New Jersey, the DumpMike.org blog demanded that Congressman Mike Ferguson give up the $1000 he received from Cunningham.

Stunningly, in under 24 hours, both Jim Feldkamp and Mike Ferguson caved to the bloggers - each donating their $1000 to charity.

Of course, that's exactly the kind of activism that blogs are best at: Connecting the dots of research available online, zeroing in on tiny but critical details, and moving fast - much faster than the 24-hour news cycle can.

Ignore the blogs at your peril. Leverage the power of friendly blogs to your advantage.