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Daily Digest: Qik! Follow that Congressman!

BY Joshua Levy | Wednesday, May 28 2008

The Web on the Candidates

  • We’ve heard stories of superdelegates using YouTube to poll their constituents, but fake superdelegates on YouTube? It was bound to happen. Ever on the tech/politics beat, Wired’s Sarah Lai Stirland discovered that thousands of activists were taken in by Tom Ryan, a fictional superdelegate running for Mayor of Scranton (isn’t there a certain fictional office based in Scranton too?) who's featured in videos promoting a new online sitcom. "Ryan" asked viewers to tell him whether he should support Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, and the people obliged. It’s all part of a sinister plot to get folks to watch the sitcom, called The Party. Also, he may have fooled the voters, but he didn't fool the sharp folks at the Superdelegate Transparency Project.

  • The Washington Post’s Jose Antonio Vargas continues to cover the clickocracy with depth and insight. Following up on Hillary’s hammering over last week’s RFK comments, Vargas plainly writes that Clinton “has had a complicated relationship to the Internet and, in comparison to her chief rival, a consistently losing Web presence.” From the “Vote Different” video to the controversy over her sniper fire comments to last week’s comments, she can’t get a break online. While Obama seems made for the web — savvy about online organizing, breaking fundraising records — Clinton is always on the ropes.

  • While the questions haven't been exactly rolling into the RNC’s Can We Ask campaign against Barack Obama, one notable entry came from none other than conservative anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, who asks, “Where’s the beef?” (wow, original question!). He wants to know how Obama is different from other Democratic candidates. We’re not so sure Obama will be quick to respond…

  • Everyone’s getting in on the election action this year: The America Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) invited designers to submit nonpartisan GOTV posters for a design contest. The winners will be chosen by a panel of judges (hey, why not let the design community vote instead?), and winning posters will be distributed nationally. We particular like the submissions from MSLK, including this one which reminds us of Radio Raheem.

  • We're pleased to announce the following speakers will be joining us at PdF 2008:

    Gilberto Gil, Brazil’s Minister of Culture, will be speaking on how social technology can help solve global problems.

    Sam Feist, CNN’s political director; Lee Brenner, the director of MySpace Impact Channel; and Dan Gillmor, the director of the Center for Citizen Media, will be speaking on how to build a better debate, with and without television.

    Max Hoat, the CEO of Mogulus, will be joining our panel on building and using the world live web.

    And last but not least, we will have an all-star panel talking about what worked and what didn’t work, from the inside of the presidential campaign, with:
    Peter Daou, Hillary Clinton ‘08
    Mindy Finn, Mitt Romney ‘08
    Scott Goodstein, Barack Obama ‘08
    Justine Lam, Ron Paul ‘08
    Joe Rospars, Barack Obama ‘08
    Tracy Russo, John Edwards ‘08
    Mark Soohoo, John McCain ‘08

The Candidates on the Web

  • John McCain may not be using technology as well as some would like, but, as the Wall Street Journal’s Amy Schatz writes, he’s been catching up to Barack Obama in appealing to the tech sector and drafting tech policy. Schatz reports that Obama is well-received in Silicon Valley for his stances on issues like Net Neutrality and broadband access, and McCain is starting to push his free-market approach, like tax breaks to companies that offer broadband to underserved communities. For more on the candidates' policies, check out TechCrunch’s interviews with Obama and McCain from last year.

  • McCain economic adviser and RNC Victory ‘08 Chairman Carly Fiorina recently answered Wired readers’ questions about McCain’s policies, offering tidbits about McCain’s stance on climate change (it exists, and the government should invest in basic research and leave the R&D to companies via tax credits), discretionary spending (bad!), foreign policy (different from Bush), and employment (send workers back to school). Check out the full interview if you want more than my quick and dirty parentheticals (I hope you do).

  • Hillary Clinton’s camp says they’ve received thousands of entries from creative supporters for their t-shirt contest, and they’ve narrowed the choices down to five designs. What’s your fave? The pantsuit? The Warhol? Or maybe the simpler signature? Go to the site to cast your vote.

  • Much of the money Ron Paul raised for his campaign via record-breaking money bombs is going to his family members, reports the Washington Post’s Matthew Mosk. Some nuggets: “Paul’s granddaughter Valori Pyeatt helps organize fundraising receptions and has been paid $17,157. Another granddaughter, Laura Paul ($2,724), handles orders for Ron Paul merchandise. Grandson Matthew Pyeatt ($3,251) manages Paul’s MySpace profile. Daughter Peggy Paul ($2,224) helps with campaign logistics.” Overall, the campaign has spent nearly $170,000 paying family members. “His family is very important to him,” Paul campaign spokesman Jesse Benton told the LA Times. Benton, by the way, is engaged to Paul’s granddaughter.

  • The Qik revolution is underway! Congressman John Culberson, a Republican from Texas, is the first Congressperson to use the live video-streaming service. His first foray: Qikking the NASA Mars landing. He's also on Twitter.