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Republican New Media Caucus Sets Up Shop

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, August 25 2009

We're a bit late in the game on this, given that happened way back last week, but the Republican New Media Caucus has gone and gotten itself a starter website. The GOP is eager to not let new media get away from it like blogs did. They want to win on Twitter, win on Facebook, win on YouTube. The added bonus is that being savvy on those mediums comes across to voters as
being somewhat hip and with it, which isn't a bad thing for Republicans as they attempt to win young voters and build a youth base for a party that is worried about its next generation.

The Republican New Media Caucus, you'll notice, isn't issue based. There's no mention of broadband, net neutrality, online privacy, or any of the other contentious policy questions that might come up in this space. This is a messaging club, within the broader House Republican Caucus. From the RNMC's mission statement:

  • Provide a forum for Members and staff of the Republican Conference to share new and innovative ways to use technology to carry our message to more of our constituents
  • Provide education and training opportunities to Members and staff to implement new media technologies into their overall communications strategy
  • Provide the necessary leadership to ensure the House of Representatives keeps up with advancing technology by working with the CAO and the Committee on House Administration
  • Develop a collaborative dialogue with outside practitioners that promotes creativity

The 11-month-old GOP New Media Caucus is also on Twitter and YouTube, and some of the leadership of the caucus -- which consists of Bob Latta of Ohio, Rob Wittman of Virginia and John Culberson of Texas, and Buck McKeon of California -- recently completed a trip out to Silicon Valley to meet with representatives from Facebook, Google, Oracle, Salesforce, Apple, and other California-based tech companies. Tweeted the Republican tech delegation during that trip, "Arriving @Apple HQ. Hoping to have a guest appreance [sic] from Steve Jobs!"