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Daily Digest: 5/11/07

BY Joshua Levy | Friday, May 11 2007

The Web on the Candidates

  • Over at Hotline's On the Download, Shira Toeplitz has a detailed list of how much the candidates are spending online -- both for their web teams and for their sites -- and who they're paying, compiling the first-quarter FEC reports and getting the lowdown herself on who's working where. Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton are the biggest spenders, paying $412,000 and $202,000 respectively for their web sites in the first quarter. Dennis Kucinich spent the largest percentage of his budget on his web site, and Chris Dodd and Barack Obama get the most bang for their buck. "Both had Senate Web sites off which they could build, but presentation and features are certainly above par for their price tag." And what's worse, Duncan Hunter and Tommy Thompson having no online staffers at all, or Tom Tancredo paying his one staff member $600?
  • With news that Rudy Giuliani is planning to "offer a forthright affirmation of his support for abortion rights in public forums, television appearances and interviews in the coming days," various interest groups have been voicing opposition to his candidacy, perhaps none as vehemently as the New York ferret lobby, which produced this vicious attack ad called "Ferrets for Freedom" that protests Giuliani's ban on ferrets in New York City in 1999. "People have killed more people than ferrets, so they should ban people, not ferrets," exclaims one outraged ferret. (Hat tip to AirCongress and PrezVid)
  • YouTuber David Colarusso has been a diligent participant in YouTube's Spotlight series, thoughtfully responding to candidates and working hard to create a community of other Spotlighters. The fruit of his efforts is Community Counts, a site that displays the week's Spotlight video (Duncan Hunter is this week's candidate; see my write-up below) and groups the community's video responses below it. Viewers of the site can vote for or against each video response, and the community will then ask the candidate to reply to the most popular videos. Today Colarusso and co. released a video explaining their project. James Kotecki, who is featured in the video with his ubiquitous heads-on-a-stick, posted it on his site. It's a fun project, and his a cool way for the participants to have greater control over the Spotlight project.

The Candidates on the Web

  • This week's YouTube spotlight is focused on Duncan Hunter. His question is about American heros -- he's challenging us to pick a hero ("either in the civilian life, or in the military") and send in a one-minute video about them. Hunter's hero? His son who is serving in Iraq. Hunter will then choose three videos to feature in his response, and he says he's actually going to "call those people, talk to them, ask the about their ideas for America, and ask them to tell me a little bit more about their great American patriots." Putting aside the automatic conflation of "hero" and "patriot," Hunter's idea is more meaty than some other Spotlight proposals -- John Edwards and Mitt Romney both offered little of themselves in their question -- and might get some interesting responses.