What's Up With All the Blogging?
By Kevin Robinson in News on Jan 4, 2007 2:50PM
The other day we regaled you with a quick overview of the sideshow that is the aldermanic race in the 50th Ward. It seems that besides talking a lot of smack about each other, there is a bit of a war going on on the internets, and everyone wants to blog about why you should vote for them. Greg Brewer has a video weblog that has been running on YouTube for a while now, and Naisy Dolar has a MySpace page! (And yes, Wes Clark is one of her "friends.") The 49th Ward has an angry blogger, and there is always our favorite gadfly and chest thumper in the 46th.
Now the blogging has gotten really out of hand, as the Cook County budget battle has spilled out online. You can watch the video here (yes, ladies and gentleman, that is your County Board President), and Forrest Claypool has pointed out that across-the-board budget cuts only protect the patronage workers that are already on staff, while starving critical services that the county provides to the poor.
The power of the internet can be a handy tool in this day and age of issue-voting and disillusionment with party politics, bringing people together and coordinating resources to create action for change. As Howard Dean proved in 2000, you can use the internet to turn people out in mass numbers to your rallies, to wear your buttons and to give you money (but apparently not to vote for you). But we have to wonder if building anything online besides a general clearinghouse of information about the issues and your positions on them is worth the time and resources of a candidate and their operation in a race as small and community-based as a ward.