Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Obama's Golfing Habit Spurs New Romney Fundraising Microsite

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, December 8 2011

As populist outrage continues to run unabated outside of the Beltway, both President Obama's re-election campaign and Mitt Romney's team are racing to paint each other as part of the out-of-touch one percent.

Romney's campaign pushed ahead Wednesday with a new fundraising microsite with the web address Fortyfore.com, a play on the golfing term "Fore!" It's a term that golfers shout out on the course to warn others to steer clear of a ball that's headed their way.

The site urges visitors to donate $18 to send President Obama on a "permanent vacation." It's an online extension of Romney's recent rhetorical campaign trail attack that criticizes Obama's plan to go on Christmas vacation this year while many Americans are still hard up and searching for work.

While the simple microsite isn't an earth-shattering technological development, its launch is a reminder of how the web is becoming an integral part of the campaigning process.

Modern political campaigns are all about preparing for and positioning oneself to be ready to ride any waves of sudden surges of interest, and using those waves to fundraise, sign up new volunteers, or take some other action that can help to propel the candiate's process forward.

Matt Drudge boosted the Obama-going-on-vacation meme on Friday by posting a portion of a White House travel office press scheduling memo on his site. Romney's team apparently jumped on that with the subsequent launch of the microsite, which then got a boost with a coveted link at the top of Drudge's site on Wednesday.

Despite the mention, it doesn't seem to have gained much traction -- on the social networks at least. Its social media buttons tell us that it was only tweeted 215 times, liked by 482 people on Facebook, +1ed on Google 44 times and e-mailed 23 times as of Thursday morning.

Still, without knowing how much money the site has actually managed to pull in, it's hard to draw any real conclusions.

News Briefs

RSS Feed wednesday >

In Mexico, A Wiki Makes Corporate Secrets Public

Earlier this year the Latin American NGO Poder launched Quién Es Quién Wiki (Who's Who Wiki), a corporate transparency project more than two years in the making. The hope is that the platform will be the foundation for a citizen-led movement demanding transparency and accountability from businesses in Mexico. Data from Quién Es Quién Wiki is already helping community activists mobilize against foreign companies preparing to mine the mountains of the Sierra Norte de Puebla.

GO

thursday >

NY Study Shows How Freedom of Information Can Inform Open Data

On New York State's open data portal, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has around 40 data resources of varying sizes, such as maps of lakes and ponds and rivers, bird conservation areas and hiking trails. But those datasets do not include several data resources that are most sought after by many New York businesses, a new study from advocacy group Reinvent Albany has found. Welcome to a little-discussed corner of so-called "open government"--while agencies often pay lip service to the cause, the data they actually release is sometimes nowhere close to what is most wanted. GO

Responding to Ferguson, Activists Organize #NMOS14 Vigils Across America In Just 4 Days

This evening peaceful crowds will gather at more than 90 locations around the country to honor the victims of police brutality, most recently the unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday. A moment of silence will begin at 20 minutes past 7 p.m. (EST). The vigils are being organized almost entirely online by the writer and activist Feminista Jones (@FeministaJones), with help from others from around the country who have volunteered to coordinate a vigil in their communities. Organizing such a large event in only a few days is a challenge, but in addition to ironing out basic logistics, the National Moment of Silence (#NMOS14) organizers have had to deal with co-optation, misrepresentation, and Google Docs and Facebook pages that are, apparently, buckling under traffic.

GO

More