The (Mini-)Revolution was just Televised

Brian Leon just wrote an insightful piece on netroots activism over at his blog. He used Alabama Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate Loretta Nall as his case-in-point. He clearly understands the mechanics of Internet activism, as provided here:

Netroots political support in elections is becoming more important now. Originally just mere commentary pages on the state of local and national elections, coalescing communities like on Daily Kos or Red State or noted political pundits like Atrios can rally support behind a candidate and provide a conduit for funding and logistical support from all across the nation. Through constant blogging of commentary and event notifications, they can heighten a candidate’s profile to the point that traditional media, which people still get most of their information from, start to notice a candidate and increase the awareness of the candidate throughout the community.

His timing couldn’t have been better, as Loretta Nall hit the mainstream media the previous day specifically because of her Internet activities. As a result of her Flash for Cash campaign, Nall was a guest on the Alan Colmes Show last night. She was also the number one search on Technorati’s blog ranking service. MS-NBC covered Nall’s Internet campaign yesterday on national television.

Nall missed watching the television coverage and we can’t find it on the MS-NBC site, Google News, or with a LexisNexis search. We believe she was covered on Alison Stewart’s “The Most” between 3 and 3:30 PM EST. However, we do have two accounts of the coverage provided. The first came from an e-mail of a mutual friend and colleague in the drug policy reform movement. Here’s her take:

MSNBC just did a piece on you by the senior producer on how influential your website has been on the debate on the drug policy debate!!!! I’m watching it in the bank and you got a couple of smiles in support.

Another view of the coverage is a consolidation of cell phone calls both Nall and I received.

They covered Loretta’s campaign for governor on television, talking about her website, fundraising campaign and the controversy surrounding it.

As near as we can tell, they covered her Technorati position, several of her websites, and this more critical view of her campaign.

Since Leon was absolutely correct about Internet exposure leading to a greater level of MSM coverage, let’s take a look at his next few sentences:

However, it is too easy to say that netroots candidacy can be sustained by the Internet alone. Tried and true methods of getting out the vote still are important.

Leon is still correct. If you don’t believe me, just ask Howard Dean.

Nall will definitely appear as a refreshing contrast to the other candidates. Yet, she is not officially on the ballot as she requires 42,000 signatures to be turned into the state’s election board to qualify. If she does acquire that many signatures and holds onto them through the November election then she has already made an impression on the state’s political structure.

Nall still needs a large chunk of signatures over the next four weeks to get on the ballot. She’s facing a problem I’ve faced before: Marjuana activists don’t contribute money (or meaningful volunteer time) at nearly the same rate that people do for economic or other issues. It would seem a shame to see the media she has already obtained and is likely to continue to obtain be wasted because she ran $10,000 or $20,000 short on a ballot access drive.

In addition to the signatures being collected on the ground, we’ve got professional petitioners ready fly into the state on a moment’s notice and have completed general plans for a last-minute ballot access push.

Nall could use your support right now — and in some cases is willing to pay for it. At the top end, if you have access to high-level donors, phone lists, telecommunications or mailing resources, etc. — please contact Loretta Nall to see how you both might be able to benefit from some mutually beneficial business relationship. If you have a blog or e-mail list, please spread the word about Loretta’s campaign. And all of us can afford to donate just a few more dollars to place her on the ballot.

Leon concluded with:

There may be a time soon when independent candidates like Loretta Nall can bypass the institutional structures of politics and start building a candidacy through communities on the Internet. It may become a more personal process and definitely one that potentially could be more informative. This movement will go hand in hand as people start looking to the Internet as providing them their news and opinions.

In the meantime, we aren’t there yet. Loretta could use your help.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. The truth is that there’s nothing in it for the system and the people hat make it work to desire libety as a concept. They know that if they buy a Congressman they will get something of value, exemption from some law or regulation, or favored status of some kind.

    Liberty means nothing to the man who does not desire it. There are tens of millions of Americans who do not want greater liberty, becuase it would compromise their deals. A perfect example is the industry built around the income tax. If the income tax is eliminated, it wipes them out. They will actively seek against tax code reform or repeal.

    A LP trying to get the income tax repealed at once is a failure in action. It will never happen. They wont allow it, and they have billions of dollars to spend. Recall how Steve Forbe’s Flat Tax was sunk?

  2. At the present time, Daily Kos gives Liberals in the position of the Nall Campaign an enormous advantage over Libertarians. The Phillies 2008 campaign has committed $1500 (that’s 30% of our funds raised to date) to creating a Libertarian Daily Kos (no, that’s not the name we will be using) to give Libertarians the same style of opportunities now enjoyed by progressive liberals.

    $1500 is actually not enough. Our web designer, Seth Cohn, estimated $5000 dor a reasonably full set of features–though that depends how many facilities we add. Your donations to Phillies 2008 can legally be designated for this vital party-building project, and will be spent as you designated. (We do have money-handling expenses, currently estimated as 1% of funds raised.) The Project is codenamed Liberty for America.

  3. reveals a lot about the state of Libertarian campaigns. They now list the latest FEC filings and primary/other election results. In California, Douglas Tuma is the only candidate with any filing($605)it seems.

    Paul King received 1% of the vote in the 11 April Special Primary, will advance to the 6 June Special Election.

    Otherwise Districts 10-13 have been wiped out and numerous others.

    Texas seems like a similiar story, the exception being Badnarik.

    Are there any LP Congressional campaigns(not MB)with a FEC filing over $5K ?

    The NetRoots need to spread. It’s Spring. Grow forth . . .