Thursday, March 24, 2005

Bob Casey gets blogging

(In hindsight, given the confusion, I should have titled this Bob Casey reaches out to bloggers, or something like that.)

OK, well, maybe not Casey himself. And I am sure his internet outreach will never equal that of the Chuck Pennacchio Campaign, but still, good to see that the Casey campaign at least has an idea that they have to pay attention to the netroots. Either way, I got this message from the Casey campaign:

Message from the Bob Casey for US Senate Campaign:

Several recent polls confirm that Bob Casey is the Democrat in the strongest position to defeat Rick Santorum. Santorum is the third most powerful Republican Senator and the poster child for the radical right-wing in America. And, Santorum could be a possible 2008 Presidential contender. Four years of President Santorum would make the Bush agenda seem moderate…unless we beat him now!

The bottom line: Bob Casey is the Democrat who can take down Rick Santorum. Please see data from a recent SurveyUSA election poll: ( Even if we all don’t agree on every issue, we must all recognize the importance of this race: A Democratic victory in Pennsylvania could very well tip the balance of power in the Senate for the Democrats. By returning control of the Senate to the Democrats, we’ll be able to stop the far-right agenda being imposed on our nation by Rick Santorum and the Republican leadership in Washington.

When elected, Bob Casey will work ensure that all Americans have access to quality health care and will fight to create opportunity for middle-class families throughout Pennsylvania.

We are going to have to mobilize, energize, and activate the grassroots in order to elect Bob Casey in 2006 and we need your help. Please visit to get involved in this campaign and to take your stand against Rick Santorum and the far right-wing.
As a policy, I am trying to resist having this site "endorse" any candidate. If any individual writer wants to state their case for a candidate they like (i.e., Alex for Anthony Zinni, myself for Seth Williams, etc), they are free to do so. But except in cases where it is Democrat v. Republican, "Young Philly Politics" as a site will take no sides. At least that is the policy until I am convinced another approach is best.

That said, it is good to see Casey online. Their online people will be hard pressed to match the efforts of Tim Tagaris, but I wish them luck, and look forward to seeing how they reach out to all of us.


At 1:44 AM, Blogger Tim said...

Welcome to the Internet(s) Bobby Casey Jr.

A lecture about why a candidate is the most "electable." If that is the path that they want to go down, telling you why they are the best, instead of involving people, they should probably regroup offline for a few more weeks.


At 8:45 AM, Blogger SpinDentist said...

I've requested an interview as a blogger, and they have responded that they are passing the request along to the appropriate person, but nothing else so far.

Still, it's good to see them online. I hope their expertise grows.

Hey Tim. Good to see you.

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg said...

If that is the path that they want to go down... they should probably regroup offline for a few more weeks.

Every journey starts with one step.

I think that this is great news- I just hope that they're smart enough to tap into someone who "get's it" like Tim to run things for them. And when I say "gets it" I mean gets that it's not just about setting up a good, interavtive web site, but figuring out how to use that website to enable their offline efforts. From the last paragraph it seems like they understand this, but as Tim pointed out, beginning by pointing to polls and presenting yourself as a sure thing isn't a good way to start.

Now if only the PA Dem Party would set up a goddamn blog we'd really be getting someplace...

At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am excited to see Bob Casey's campaign online. This message says to me that they are going to make the internet and the netroots a major part of their strategy. I think the blogging community is going to play a major role in beating the hell out of Rick Santorum!

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Tim said...


With all due respect to the Casey Jr. camp's initial "outreach."

I mean, they say, "please visit to get involved in this campaign" (after the electability and compromise of principles lecture).

That's great, but what are people supposed to do there? There are no issue statements to learn more about what "we might not agree on." There is no mechanism to speak with them. Heck, the volunteer link doesn't even work.

The only real way to "get involved" is to contribute or give the email addresses of your friends--which, they say in the privacy statement they will share with other like minded organizations in the furtherance of their own political objectives.

Yeah, I work for the other guy. So take it for what it's worth--but when I see them "reach out," online after the whole establishment aparatus has denied our existence offline, I can only shake my head.


At 1:17 PM, Blogger Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg said...


Maybe I was a little too quick to judge that message as a good first step. I jumped the gun a bit because of the title of the post- I assumed that they had actaully set up a blog and/or an interactive website. But, his website is pure PR BS, and so I retract my "one step" comment- this isn't even a step in the right direction, it's just a plain ol' website.

But man, Tim, aren't you a little too young to be so bitter about the corrupt political establishment in PA and aren't you a little too old to be surprised by it?

At 5:15 PM, Blogger Tim said...

I am a Cubs fan and moved to Pennsylvania to work for Chuck Pennacchio, despite other opportunities. I suppose I am the eternal optimist.

I think...


At 5:28 PM, Blogger Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg said...

you're also not enough of a self promoter. For those who haven't seen, Tim has a great post on Kos where he deftly dissects and destroys Casey's message.

Come on Tim- toot your own horn! Though we might whup your ass if you wear one of those blue hats around town (at least it's not a Bear's cap) many of us are thrilled at the great work you and Pennachio have been doing.


At 5:45 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Oh, I can self-promote with the best of them. Sometimes too well for my own good.

I was kind of hoping that the viral nature of the Net would take over. You know, people writing about it on the front page of their own blogs and stuff. After all, this is the contested primary EVER to unfold at the start online.

That said, everything is done for a reason, and I can assure you, that post on Kos, or responses on different blogs will not be the last "deft dissection" of the Casey letter--or subsequent forms of outreach. Unless of course, they get it right. Then I will be the first to compliment their efforts.

If they want the first battle of this primary to come online--I will take my chances.


At 8:04 PM, Blogger Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg said...

And if you do it online you'll come with a whole possie of pissed off Pennsylvanians (I'm in a mood for alliterations today...) as well as the backing of a good portion of the netroots.

I really doubt that Casey wants to antagonize the blogger and activist communities at this early stage of his campaign. Even if some of us would rather have another candidate run against Santorum, most of us will rally round whomever eventually gets the nod.

At 9:05 PM, Blogger Tim said...

I might be tipping my hand a bit here, but they are looking at this "strategically." They are concerned with our outreach and are attempting to blunt it.

That would be smart--but their candidate is not so much a "natural" ally of the lefty-blogosphere. Very conservative on social issues and a cog in a very undemocratic pennsylvania primary.

If he gets out of the primary, then he is in a much better position with the online community at-large.

Until then, you can expect them to rely on the electability argument, because it is truly the only case they can make.

That said, here is what you can expect to see from their campaign. And since this is chess not checkers, and I am prepared, I have no problem sharing:

1.) They will buy blog ads. It will either come from them or a third party, like the PA Dem Party.

They will probably even ask for money for a PA Victory fund or something like that. Something that says, it's not about Casey or Pennacchio--it's about beating Santorum.

In their eyes, they think this would blunt our fundraising ability.

I hope they try that.

2.) They are going to pay bloggers to write about the campaign. And not at campaign HQ bloggers, but just people paid to write and talk trash about Chuck.

I guarantee this happens. And when it does, it will be Zephyr Teachout v.2.0.

3.) They are going to get online surrogates, high profile pols, to come online and do work within the netroots to pimp Casey's campaign. Probably someone progressive.

I am excited for this.

4.) You will see a lot of fundraising requests, petitions, and other such nonsense that helps them "list build."

They may even pretend like they are taking feedback and having a discussion. But theirs is a top-down effort. It is not suited for this medium. We will involve. We will give the tools to help. And most importantly, we will give people a candidate they can rally around that they believe in. Not just because of the issues, but because of the kind of campaign we are running.

I welcome them.


P.S. Hyperlinks subvert power.


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