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California Proposal Would Require More Disclosure for Paid Political Blogging

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, September 27 2012

Do Not Feed The Sock Puppets. Photo: Magnus Digity/Flickr

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: The chairwoman of California's Fair Political Practices Commission has proposed a rule that would require political campaigns to disclose payments to bloggers or people embarking on paid social media forays on their behalf. She says she won't push to advance the proposal until after the November elections — but the mere thought of revisiting disclosure, discussed in the Federal Election Commission's last major Internet rulemaking in 2005 and 2006, has bloggers incensed. Read More

For Netroots Candidate Darcy Burner, Third Time's Not the Charm?

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, August 7 2012

When primary voters in Washington's 1st Congressional District go to the polls today, one of the names on the ballot might be more familiar to them than others. That would be Darcy Burner, a netroots favorite who's running along with six other Democrats to succeed former Rep. Jay Inslee, who retired from the seat earlier this year to run for governor.

Last week, Ted Cruz rode a wave of Tea Party anti-establishment energy to win the Texas Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Burner's election is an opportunity for progressives to elect someone with a similar level of ideological purity, someone who was a keynote speaker at the popular Netroots Nation conference and received endorsements from the likes of MoveOn.org, Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas and Alan Grayson. Up until now, it seemed as if Burner was going to come out on top in the race between the Democrats — but an ad blitz from her main Democratic rival Suzan DelBene and the vagaries of the immediate pre-primary campaign seemed to be edging her out yet again headed into Tuesday.

[Update Wednesday:] Burner lost, conceding to DelBene in a race in which Burner was badly outspent by the other leading Democrat. DelBene, progressive blogger Matt Stoller told us before election night, injected the race with $1.9 million of her own money before launching an ad blitz that observers say contributed to her victory.

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The Case for Political Software as a Commodity, Not a Weapon

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, July 13 2012

It's the people, stupid. That's the message that some progressives have for colleagues like Netroots Nation's Raven Brooks, who called for a boycott of the political software startup NationBuilder, and Matt Browner Hamlin, who says he'll stop recommending the software to clients, all because NationBuilder has struck a deal to provide software to Republican candidates for state legislatures. Read More

NationBuilder Signs Software Deal with RSLC, Some Progressives Call for a "Boycott"

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, July 12 2012

A core group of progressive political strategists are in some cases boycotting the political software firm NationBuilder and in others are steering business elsewhere after the company announced it had reached a deal with the Republican State Leadership Committee.

"At this point, I don't think it's in the interest of progressive causes and candidates to keep supporting a platform that's basically taking a side," Raven Brooks told techPresident. Brooks is the executive director of Netroots Nation, a conference that thousands of left-leaning bloggers, activists and Democratic strategists attend each year to brush up on their organizing and movement-building skills.

NationBuilder sells low-cost, web-based software for movements, including political campaigns. The deal upsets people on the left because co-founders Jim Gilliam and Joe Green both have pedigrees in progressive politics: Gilliam co-founded Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films, and Green, a founder of Causes, was regional field director in northwest Arizona for Sen. John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.

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Netroots Nation Warms up in San Francisco with Packed New Media Summit

BY Sarah Granger | Saturday, April 18 2009

Yesterday, in the city by the bay, Netroots Nation hosted an information and idea-packed New Media Summit in part to gather Bay Area locals and also to convene progressive activists in preparation for the Netroots Nation ... Read More

Daily Digest: Opening Up the White House, Airing Out the Cabinet

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, October 28 2008

The Web on the Candidates Crowdsourcing the First Hundred Days: "At this point," writes Colin Delany on techPresident, "the Internet is pretty much done." Our work here is finished! Actually, Colin's ... Read More

Daily Digest: Novak Discovers They Let *Anyone* Read the Internets

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, July 23 2008

The Prince of Darkness explains away his propagation of the story that John McCain was picking a running mate this week by saying that all he did was post the story on the Internet; barackobama@gmail.com is not the ... Read More