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Google for Politics, 101

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, March 15 2006

Google any member of the New York State legislature and up comes a sponsored ad showing their grade on a "middle-class report card" put together by the liberal Drum Major Institute think-tank. It looks like this:

Picture 5

This is a very smart move. Instead of hoping that potential supporters will find their way to Drum Major's home page, the institute is going where people are already searching for information and, for what I'm sure is a few pennies per click-through, offering to connect them to timely information.

Who else is doing this? A quick run-through some popular topics yields these interesting links:

"Iraq War"--Center for American Progress

Stem cell research--The Steve Westly campaign for CA governor (odd that I got that result as I don't live in CA)

Political corruption--The Bob Casey campaign for PA Senator

But it's also amazing who isn't taking advantage of this tool for base-building. For example, googling "minimum wage" doesn't get you to any union sponsored ads. "Affirmative action" doesn't get you to any civil rights groups. Hello?