Friday Bits

Let’s run through a few items…

  • We will redraw district lines after the census and The World Around You has a pretty good write-up to get you up to speed on the process.
     
  • An obligation out last night prevented me from seeing the gubernatorial debate though I have it on Tivo. I have been looking forward to seeing it. I hope it’s not as dismal as the Tweets made it sound.
     
  • Speaking of Twitter, you can follow the Political Parlor on Twitter here.
     
  • Things Republicans Hate hasn’t been updated in a month but the humor site just came to my attention via email this week. It’s run by an Alabamian, I’m told.
     
  • And speaking of humor, you might be amused by the plan by Kim West, a veterinarian and a Republican candidate for SD 28, to fix Montgomery.

    YouTube Preview Image
     

Top Ten Oddities of the Alabama Primary Campaigns

We have had several oddities during the primary season. I present this Top Ten list, but because we strive to be better, in this case 20% better, it is a Top 12 list (unranked).

  • State Rep. Thomas Jackson (D – Thomasville) is receiving a primary challenge from another Thomas Jackson. At his request, the incumbent will be listed on the ballot as “Thomas ‘Action’ Jackson.”
     
  • Republican gubernatorial candidate Dr. Robert Bentley wanted to get around the Republican Party’s ban on titles appearing on the ballot and so legally changed his first name to “Dr.”
     
  • Longshot Agriculture Commissioner candidate Dale Peterson (R) had his web ad go screaming through the internet. Best ad of the race? Of the Alabama primary? Of the year anywhere in the country? No, some called it the best campaign ad ever (see here and here). Though Politifact raised some questions.
     
  • Noted Democrat Paul Hubbert of AEA set up a front group called True Republican PAC to run ads attacking Republican gubernatorial candidate Bradley Byrne for, among other things, not being conservative enough and wanting evolution taught in schools. Yes, that’s a left-winger paying for ads complaining that Byrne is “another liberal politician trying to look conservative.”
     
  • From the Creative Endorsements Department… The campaign of Republican Congressional candidate Les Phillip announces that Phillip is endorsed by the National Veterans for Republicans, an outfit created by his brother. The group was established after Phillip announced his candidacy. Brian at Flashpoint tells the story.
     
  • Republican gubernatorial candidate Roy Moore gained 1700 followers on Twitter in one day. And speaking of oddities, you should check out who he has been following on Twitter (or at least was at the time I drafted this post): In looking at about two dozen of the thousands that he is following, I found a Senior Web Manager for a department store in London, an entrepreneurial lawyer from Morelia, Mexico, Ms. United States of 2008-09 (from NY/NJ), a cigar-smoking Israeli woman who co-founded Twitter Analyzer, and a Nairobi, Kenyan who is making the easiest money and wants to tell you how you can too. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
     
  • A new and mysterious group called the New Sons of Liberty set the Alabama political world abuzz when it reserved TV ad time in the last days of the campaign for an ad buy of more than a million dollars. Speculation ran rampant about what candidate(s) would be the beneficiary or target of the ad buy, but the ad buy was cancelled the day before it was supposed to begin.
     
  • The campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ron Sparks put out a press release [.pdf] saying that “[Primary rival Artur] Davis pays kool-aid-drinking bloggers to misinform the rest of us, claiming that the gaming positions of Ron Sparks and Artur Davis are IDENTICAL.” Really? Bloggers are getting paid by a candidate? What bloggers? How does the Sparks campaign know this? I found this to be a fairly extraordinary claim to put out in a press release, but the Sparks campaign never responded to my email with these questions. Left in Alabama had a lot of fun with it though – including surveying state bloggers on the matter.
     
  • Last June, GOP Congressional candidate Les Phillip held a fundraiser with Mike Huckabee as the speaker and lost over $25,000 on the event.
     
  • Republican state Senator Charles Bishop stepped down from the Senate and decided to run for the state House in House District 14 – apparently because of his dislike for incumbent Ken Guin, the House Majority Leader for the Democrats.
     
  • Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim James told staffers of the University of Alabama student newspaper in an off-handed remark that as governor he would not cut the salary of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban. (James’ father Fob was a football star at rival Auburn.) All well and good, but after his campaign tweeted, “Dispelling another untruth from the Byrne camp: I will neither be firing nor cutting Coach Saban’s salary if elected,” the remark went supernova. After re-tweets, an explosive radio segment with Paul Finebaum (who said “James turned a mild tempest in a teapot into a nuclear war”), and finger-pointing, we find James at a press conference wearing a “Saban Rules” cap. Alabama politics and Alabama football… when worlds collide.
     
  • In the trial of Judge Herman Thomas, state Senator Vivian Figures and her son testified against Thomas. He was acquitted, and now Thomas is challenging Figures for the Democratic nomination for the Senate District 33 seat. Nothing personal, I’m sure.
     

Note that we didn’t even get into the oddities of the Tim James commercials with the pauses, the ambling, and the unusual pacing of the ads that made this parody so fun.

I’m sure I’ve overlooked some oddities that should be included. What would be on your list?

Twitter as good as telephone polls?

From Sciencemag, via Slashdot.   Research by Noah Smith at Carnegie Mellon, shows it could be possible one day, once the question of whether the sample is representative of the general population and we have better algorithms to sift the data.

His presentation, From Tweets to Polls: Linking Text Sentiment to Public Opinion Time Series is available from his web page.

Replicating his research with Alabama data might make good science fair project.

How to Gain 1700 Twitter Followers in One Day

I don’t know either. Ask Judge Roy Moore, whose Twitter account (Moore2010) went from 2589 followers to 4270 followers in one day on October 8.

Kristopher at The World Around You has a take on that and looks at the various gubernatorial campaigns and their use of Twitter. Interesting reading.

Seems like as good a time as any to remind you that you can follow the Political Parlor on Twitter.

Twitter Bird

Find Your Elected Officials Online

Envelope with @ symbolKristopher at The World Around You has compiled a good resource of where to find elected officials online. Is your state Senator on Twitter? How do you email your Congressman? Looking for office phone numbers? Find that and more info at The World Around You.

If you find the formatting hard to read, click on the link to the full spreadsheet.

BCA Gubernatorial Candidate Forum: A Real Tweet

All eight announced gubernatorial candidates attended the candidate forum hosted by the Business Council of Alabama today.

Press-Register political editor George Talbot was there tweeting away in real-time. After the fact, he gave me permission to post his tweets here.

Twitter logoThank you, Mr. Talbot! You may follow George Talbot here on Twitter.


 

RT @ArturDavis: Just finished participating in the BCA gubernatorial forum. It was a great event! Thanks BCA!
Published 3 minutes ago from TweetDeck
 

RT @timjames2010: Today’s BCA gov’s forum gave us a good look at the contenders. An outstanding event! Let’s have more!
Published 3 minutes ago from TweetDeck
 

BCA buzz: rumors about a Palin event in Ala for one of the candidates. Her appearance fee: $50k
Published 12 minutes ago from TweetDeck
 

1 sharp exchange: Sparks said he will oppose expansion of unemp benefits. Davis “surprised and disappointed” by that answer.
Published 35 minutes ago from TweetDeck
 

Not much disagreement on taxes, ethics reform, econ dev, health care, state budgets. All v polite and few punches thrown.
Published 41 minutes ago from TweetDeck
 

Byrne and Johnson have yard signs along Hwy 98 (rd to hotel). This is BB’s home turf – he’s from Montrose/Baldwin Co
Published about 2 hours ago from TwitterBerry
 

Post-interviews with the candidates. All saying they’re up for more debates.
Published about 2 hours ago from TwitterBerry
 

Bentley: we need to resist this punishment the fed gov’t is trying to do to the South. No to card check.
Published about 3 hours ago from TwitterBerry
 

Byrne: i’ve been a partner to BCA for 15 years. I want to contin that partnership.
Published about 3 hours ago from TwitterBerry
 

Davis: recogzs Riley. “He & I don’t agree on ev. But all of us on this stage would do well to follow his example.”
Published about 3 hours ago from TwitterBerry
 

Ivey: competition in politics just as healthy as in biz. This will be a great campaign.
Published about 3 hours ago from TwitterBerry
 

Johnson: I am a compassionate conserv. I bel in helping the less fortunate. But gov’t not the best tool for doing it.
Published about 3 hours ago from TwitterBerry
 

Moore quotes my column from Wed – nice shout-out!
Published about 4 hours ago from TwitterBerry
 

Sparks: i pledge no new taxes on working fams. I will tax the fastest growing ind in Ala – gambling.
Published about 4 hours ago from TwitterBerry
 

Moore: we must have ethics reform. If you shine a light on Montgom you’d see pols scurryring out in ev direction.
Published about 4 hours ago from TwitterBerry
 

Davis: My party is wrong on cap & trade. My party is wrong on hc. Both bad for Ala.
Published about 4 hours ago from TwitterBerry
 

Sparks – “you should consider me because I’m electable. I won 62 of 67 co.’s in last elec.” That’s a shot at Davis.
Published about 4 hours ago from TwitterBerry
 

James: I will build a union of conservative Govs to resist fed encroahment on the states.
Published about 4 hours ago from TwitterBerry
 

Byrne- Washington will destroy the best hc system the world has never known.
Published about 4 hours ago from TwitterBerry
 

Bentley leads off w/health care Q – “I will make hc more affordable for biz.” He’s a doctor.
Published about 4 hours ago from TwitterBerry
 

 


Remember also that you can follow Doc’s Political Parlor on Twitter here.

Beware Politicians: Don’t Ignore the Web World

The 2010 elections are beginning to slowly come into focus. Candidates for county commission all the way up to governor are starting to meet with voters and potential supporters. I have only been in politics for a relatively short period of time but there is one very distinct trend I see developing- technology is no longer a luxury for campaigns in is mandatory.

As recently as the 2000 election I remember reading analysis as to the total overall effect that a candidate’s web site have on the quality of their campaign. One analyst even made the bold prediction that it wouldn’t be long before every campaign had to have a web site. What a difference just 9 years makes. Now a candidate who thinks they can just throw a web site up and hope for the faithful to come rushing to his camp are in for rude awakening. A web site is now just a place for static information about the candidate and some interesting details about the campaign. While this lays the ground work, it does not constitute a tech savvy campaign in the 21st century.

Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and other social networking have all changed the manner in which we reach out to voters. From their iPhone or Blackberry a candidate no longer needs a physical campaign head quarters but can instead reach voters instantly with their opinions and campaign updates. It is mostly a free medium and is a widely expected campaign forum for many voters in this day and age. Another benefit of to taking advantage of technology in a campaign is that it has huge potential to reach younger Alabamians, who seem to have flocked to this new medium of communication.

A campaign cannot be solely based on the internet and the back of mobile technology obviously but I would caution any politician to not just completely ignore the benefits of social networking and the other benefits of modern day technologies.

Twitter with the Political Parlor

We are all atwitter at the Political Parlor about the idea that you can now Twitter with us.

If Twitter’s your thing, join us at http://twitter.com/politicalparlor.

Twitter logo

Related Articles:

Legislative Dispatch

A Look from the Rearview Mirror

This Thursday will mark the last day of the legislative Session.  For some, it was a Session that seemed would never end.  For others, it was one that ended much too quickly.  It may be early, yet, to write an obit on this Session, but as we approach the finish line, some perspective may be in order.

[...]

Putting Students First

As you know, a very important piece of legislation will be presented for our consideration in the House tomorrow in Montgomery – Senate Bill 310 – the “Students First” tenure and fair dismissal reform bill. Like me, many House members have been inundated with phone calls and emails from opponents of this bill, and some have been [...]

Legislative Transparency

There are a lot of issues to debate before we begin the final days of this session. In fact, I am quite certain there will be some comments on this post debating many of them. Before we get into the last seven day of the session I wanted to bring up a topic that [...]


See more Recent Small Town News