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Social Networks for Online Campaigning


Though is still early summer, November elections will be here before you know it! As a political candidate, what are you doing right now to make the most of social media and get voters to support you in the voting booth? 
If you are going to do any online social networking, here are the three networks you should definitely use – and why.

Facebook

With over 700 + million users, there’s a good chance some of your voters are on Facebook.  Establishing a presence there is simple, and it’s easy to branch out and it connects well with other social networks.
Build a campaign Facebook Page to help spread the word. Once you do that, you can also:   
  • Post campaign updates, news, pictures and video to your Page.
  • Create custom tabs for your page, including a custom landing page for non-Facebook users.
  • Post Events and invite others.
  • Use Facebook Plugins add additional page functionality.
  • Add Facebook ‘Like’ Buttons to your web content so others can share and help spread the word on their walls and in their own news feeds.
  • Use Facebook Ads to reach other users by age, location and other demographic information.

Twitter

Who would have thought that online relationships could be developed within a 140-character limit?Twitter is more than just a micro-blogging tool. It is a way to connect and interact with  others.
A few ways to interact, as opposed to just posting status updates, include:
  • Asking questions about issues or news events.
  • Re-tweeting other people’s tweets. Support other pols and have them support you!
  • Using the #hashtag to get involved in conversations.
Tweets to promote your campaign are fine, but pure plugs should make up only a tiny fraction of yourTwitter activity. Active engagement will get you more followers and more exposure.

LinkedIn

With over 100 million professionals in the network, candidates cannot ignore LinkedIn. Create a professional profile to reach out to others and build your credibility.
LinkedIn is NOT a place to promote your campaign. That will constitute spam and will turn others off. It is a professional network, and you might want to get a feel for how it works before you jump right in.  
LinkedIn allows you to:
  • Create a personal profile.
  • Attach your resume and describe your professional skills.
  • Upload materials, such as SlideShare presentations and PDFs.
  • Post reviews from others of your work.
  • Highlight what others are saying or doing.
LinkedIn Groups provides a place for professionally-minded people with social influence to exchange ideas. Find a few groups on topics that you are passionate about and join the conversation.
LinkedIn Answers allows you opportunity to display your expertise to others. Good answers can earn you stars and enhance your overall status.
Youtube                                                                                                                                                    
Politicians have already latched onto Twitter and Facebook, but this election cycle, YouTube could be the campaign tool of choice. Google has launched a service on the popular video site that is helping candidates target voters online like never before -- one that could eventually rival cash cow political ads on TV.   
Using Google's in-stream ads, those brief commercials you see before before YouTube clips, campaigns can now go after potential voters with geo-location technology and content interest-targeting. For example, if Levi Johnston's rumored campaign spends some ad dollars, residents of Wasilla might see the ex-Palin camper pitch his mayoral campaign before viewing YouTube videos. Or, if Levi pollsters see a weakness in, say, public reception of his family values, the campaign could target only Alaskan viewers of YouTube's Parenting category.
"In stream ads are probably the hottest thing in political advertising right now," says Andrew Roos, Google's account executive for the election and issue ads team. "This was a product that wasn't available in the 2008 presidential campaign, and now we're seeing dozens of candidates using it in over 15 battleground states."
Google has seen adoption rates of online advertising for gubernatorial and senatorial races increase by 800% this election cycle. Mid-term candidates including senate hopefuls Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Dino Rossi (Wash.) are taking advantage of the service by simply re-purposing television ads to run on YouTube--a cheap and effective way of broadening the TV spots' reach.
Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett, for instance, has reached nearly 500,000 potential Badger state-voters using YouTube's service. "The more we can harness these online tools, the more we can communicate with voters," says Phil Walzak, communications director for the Barrett campaign. Bottom line: it has a real impact, Walzak says. "It unlocks a lot of doors."
Roos points out that campaigns have traditionally spent a significant amount of time and resources producing television ads. Now, YouTube's service lets candidates re-use those same ads for online audiences. "Our favorite phrase is: Our ads are click-able but not skip-able," says Roos. "A lot of people fast-forward now with DVR on television--on YouTube, you know you have a very engaged audience because you can't skip through the ad."
So why is Google getting involved with political campaigns? As Roos relates, Massachusetts senator Scott Brown spent 10% of his ad-dollars online in the special election against Martha Coakley this year. Google's idea, he says, is to go after a similar 10%-in-2010 digital campaign-spending goal. In total, both the Brown and Coakley campaigns spent $23 million during the special election--10% of that would come to $2.3 million.
"We've been up front with this," he says. "It's a great business opportunity."

Google Plus                                                                                                                                            

Google + and Your Cause: You Can't Afford to Ignore it Any Longer

With countless social networking sites appearing on the internet and limited time until Election Day, it can  be hard for campaign managers to decide which sites are actually worth their time to pursue. With the choice to spread the message out over Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Blogspot, the decisions can be endless and the last thing you want to hear about is yet another social site to consider. When you read about Google Plus, you may groan, wondering if it would be possible for you to leave it out of your campaign.
Of course, you can leave Google Plus out of your internet marketing plan; the question is, can you afford to ignore it any longer? The answer is a definite no! It is now official: if you wish to have the most successful online campaign possible, it’s vital that you start a Google Plus brand page to get the results you’re looking for. Keep reading to find out how Google Plus and Google Plus search results will help your candidate rise to the top online and at the polls.

Google Plus Search Results

Newt Gingrich Google PlusSince Google is one of the world’s leading search engines, it only makes sense that they would continue to focus on helping people search the World Wide Web. With Google Plus search results, users can now search both the web and their favorite social networking site, Google Plus, all from one easy place. While private information stays private, viewers can search through the web while also receiving results from public Google Plus posts.

What Does Google Plus Search Mean for You?

Why are the new Google plus search results something that should interest you and your political campaign? If you use a Google Plus page to support your politicians, then your posts and status updates will end up before the eyes of more than just your followers. For instance, if someone is searching for a certain issue using Google search, your Google Plus post on the same topic will show up in their results, giving them the opportunity to see how you stand on the issue and likely gaining you a new supporter.

Not Just for Politicians

While Google Plus is a great way for candidates to be discovered by their constituents, it’s not just for politicians; many non-profit organizations are also using the social site to grow interest in their cause and gain new supporters.

Using Google Plus Search for Your Advantage

If you want to get the best results for your page when people search Google, it’s important that your profile contain information people are searching for. Do some research to find out what people are looking for on the web; if any of the searches are applicable to your campaign, strategically insert searched-for phrases into your posts. Not only does Google Plus search give internet users results from Google Plus posts, but also photos and videos. To make sure that your campaign information shows up in as many results as possible, always name your photos and videos with a fitting title. While a photo named “January 5th” may not make it very far, a title such as “GOP Presidential Candidate” will go a lot farther on the web.

Best Place for Organic Traffic

To provide a good internet marketing campaign, many political hopefuls are handing over thousands of dollars to put toward online advertising. By using sites like Google Plus to promote your candidate, you can grow your support base without having to hand over any money. No matter how large or small your campaign, be it a run for senate or if your candidate is hoping for a spot on the town council, Google Plus provides an easy and low-cost opportunity for anyone who wants to succeed in the election polls.

The media is reporting that the upcoming 2012 fight at the polls will be a Facebook election. Although the benefits of Facebook are numerous and impossible to ignore in your campaign, those who are willing to step out and engage themselves in Google Plus will have a far greater reach when it comes to attracting new support and keeping current followers in the loo

If you are going to go down the social network route, don’t wait! Building a successful network takes time and effort. (Months, really. We’re seeing some campaigns starting social networking efforts a year or more ahead of the elections.)
Who is going to influence the social media-savvy voter? The lonely candidate with 12 Facebook Fans and 3 Twitter followers, or the more popular candidate with hundreds of followers who is effectively engaging others online?


Contact social Media Expert: Ron Mills 954-394-4980  Ron@FootPrint Strategies.com




George Zimmerman’s “Friend” Joe Oliver is a fraud

We now know that the man who quit his job in order defend George Zimmerman to the national news media barely knows him.
Joe Oliver, a former CNN anchor, has been making the rounds of cable news and TV talk programs defending Zimmerman, the man who gunned down unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, Feb. 26.
it is not uncommon for former or current professional talking heads to offer their “services” to victim’s families as “family friends” whenever a major news story explodes into the national conscience the way Trayvon’s shooting has.
You would think that the media would be more forthcoming about the fact that they are interviewing one of their own. But they often don’t because they don’t want to jeopardize their access to the victim’s family.
On Tuesday night, ‘Last Word,’ with host Lawrence O’Donell and his guests The New York Times‘ Charles Blow and The Washington Post‘s Jonathan Capehart, ripped the lid off of Oliver’s claims that he was a “close friend” of Zimmerman’s.
Oliver, couldn't answer basic questions about Zimmerman that a true friend would know.
Lawrence and Blow challenged Oliver's assertions that Oliver knew Zimmerman well enough to be confident that he would not shoot Trayvon in cold blood.
The grilling of Oliver was so Epic that he was trending on Twitter.com before the hourlong segment was even over.
Watch the videos of the Epic grilling of Joe Oliver below.
Also, below, watch a video of Joe Oliver as a young CNN news anchor 2 decades ago.

CNN Poll: Romney Down 11 To Obama


A new national poll from CNN shows President Obama with an eleven point lead on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 54 - 43. The…Read More »

GOP on Their War On Women: We Are The Victims

The political strategy of attacking women’s rights has become so toxic that at least one Republican congressman has advised women to start supporting Democrats. The latest polling suggests that is exactly what is happening.
Which naturally leads to this question: are women turning the tide on this anti-women legislation?    
That might explain why Republicans are desperately trying to change the narrative to one where they are the victims.


The claim that it’s not fair to criticize conservatives for supporting anti-woman policies because they aren’t the ones who “started” this has reached the mainstream of the Republican Party. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Washington trotted out the most recent talking point, arguing that it’s not that there’s a war on women, but Democrats are just making  it all up to “scare” women into voting for them. 






Women are already making their voices heard in the polls, where the Republican war on women has been dragging down the popularity of many candidates, most noticeably in the presidential race. The fight has been effecting opinions down the ticket as well, as can be seen in Massachusetts where Republican Senator Scott Brown has gone from leading to trailing in just a matter of weeks.
If women donate, and women vote, they can truly make Congress and the White House understand that they are powerful and, , they need them and they matter.


Dispatches From The War On Women

A War on Women? We all know it's happening, so we plan to make sure that you're aware of each day's assaults on your rights. Jessica Pieklo’s Dispatches from the War on Women will appear each weekday morning – with breaking stories continuing all day long as events unfold. Suggestions? Let us know at causes@care2team.com. Check out their Women’s Rights channel too for more details. 

The Healthcare Fight Continues........


March 19 GOP debate canceled due to lack of candidates

The remaining GOP debate scheduled for March 19 has been canceled since agreements could not be reached with the candidates over scheduling. It appears from the onset that Mitt Romney had little desire to participate in this debate and so far, only Newt Gingrich had committed to it. This debate was to be sponsored by Oregon Public Broadcasting, the Oregon Republican Party, and The Washington Times.
Report from Boston.com:
A scheduled Republican presidential debate in Oregon was cancelled today after the leading candidates declined to participate.
Oregon Public Broadcasting, the Oregon Republican Party, and The Washington Times announced that the March 19 debate in Portland will not take place. Oregon Republican Party Chairman Allen Alley said organizers “did everything we could to accommodate the candidates, including exploring change of dates and venues -- but in the end, we could not accommodate all of their schedules.”
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign said on Monday that he would not participate, since Romney planned to be in Illinois in advance of that state’s March 20 primary. As of yesterday, only former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had committed to the debate. Yesterday, a spokeswoman for Oregon Public Broadcasting said organizers were still talking to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Texas Representative Ron Paul. But Santorum has since declined to participate.
This would have been the last scheduled debate of the campaign season.
That appears to be all she wrote in terms of GOP primary debates. This was the last remaining possible event and this too has succumbed to a lack of candidate interest. Who can blame them after around 20 debates already under their belts?

LGBT Advocates Call On Romney To Fire Finance Chair


There was a time that Mitt Romney tried to pick up the support of the LGBT community when he ran for office. But this time, a leading advocate for LGBT rights is publicly calling for Romney to fire a key member of his fundraising team whom the Advocate recently reported "has a record of antigay activities."
The Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation's largest LGBT rights groups and a backer of President Obama's reelection bid, is calling on Romney to fire Frank VanderSloot, Romney's national finance chair and a major donor to Romney's super-PAC. HRC says VanderSloot "helped bankroll the Prop 8 campaign, and has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-LGBT causes." 
The group has launched a web petition calling for VanderSloot's firing. More on what LGBT advocates are upset about when it comes to VanderSloot from the Advocate:
VanderSloot, a wealthy Idaho businessman, has an antigay history that includes a billboard campaign condemning Idaho Public Television for showing the award-winning documentaryIt’s Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School.

Deal On Judicial Nominees Standoff

It looks like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's gambit to force the GOP to hold up judicial nominees and delay action on the JOBS Act won't pan out after all.
Reid on Wednesday asked that his cloture votes on 17 stalled nominees to federal district courts be vitiated, and indicated that he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will announce the details of an agreement later.
"He [McConnell] will explain to his caucus, I will explain to mine," Reid said on the Senate floor. "It's something that, like all matters we do here legislatively, an effort to work out a compromise."
According to National Journal, McConnell said Reid has agreed to move on the JOBS Act first.

UP w/ Chris Hayes March 9, 2012



 UP w/ Chris Hayes, playwright Katori Hall and monologist Mike Daisey join journalists Katrina Vanden Heuvel and Rebecca Traister to discuss the dramatic blurring of fact and fiction in the news this week -- from Rush Limbaugh's attack on women to the Kony 2012 advocacy video going viral. Plus, Chris's Story of the Week looks at below-the-radar attacks on financial reform even while progressives celebrate the more visible victories around women's health.

BOEHNER CALLS REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES SOME OF THE DUMBEST PEOPLE IN AMERICA

BOEHNER CALLS REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES SOME OF THE DUMBEST PEOPLE IN AMERICA - Really. Peggy Noonan: "'It's just a slice of America, it really is ... We got some of the smartest people in the country who serve here, and some of the dumbest. We got some of the best people you'd ever meet, and some of the raunchiest,' and he said he has to deal with potential scandals and hopefully stop them before they get too big. 'I've gotta be the big brother, the father, I gotta be the disciplinarian, the dean of students, the principal, the spouse..." Get this man a Merlot! [Wall Street Journal]

Dr. Robert Watson of Lynn University on President Obama and his support of Israel.


Dr. Robert Watson of Lynn University has created a fact based and cited presentation on President Obama and his support of Israel.
Click on the link provided to view the slideshow.

Breaking Unemployed Stays At 8.3

U.S. employment showed sturdy growth for the third straight month in February, demonstrating that the recovery continues to chug along at a modest pace.
The Labor Department reported Friday that employers added a larger-than-expected 227,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate remained at 8.3 percent. Economists had expected the economy created 210,000 jobs last month, according to a Reuters survey
It marked the first time since early 2011 that payrolls have grown by more than 200,000 for three months in a row.
The economy created 61,000 more jobs in December and January than previously thought, and the jobless rate held steady even as more people returned to the labor force.
Although the job market is gaining some muscle, the pace of improvement remains too slow to do much to absorb the 23.5 million Americans who are either out of work or underemployed.
Fed Chairman Bernanke last week described the labor market as "far from normal" and said continued improvement would require stronger demand for U.S. goods and services.
Still, he suggested the outlook would have to deteriorate for the U.S. central bank to launch another round of bond buying to drive interest rates lower. Officials said in January they expected growth this year to be no higher than 2.7 percent.
The jobs report, which sets the tone for financial markets worldwide, added to the list of data highlighting the U.S. economy's underlying strength.
It also provided a hopeful sign for the global recovery at a time that growth is slowing in China and the euro zone appears to be sliding into recession. The jobless rate in the 17-nation euro zone area rose to 10.7 percent in January, the highest since the euro started circulating in 2000. 
In contrast, the U.S. unemployment rate has dropped 0.8 percentage point since August, providing some relief to President Barack Obama, who faces an election battle in which the economy has been center stage.
Economists predict the jobless rate could fall below 8 percent by November, even if the recent firming in the jobs market lures Americans who have given up the search for work back into the labor force.
The labor force participation rate - the percentage of working-age Americans either with a job or looking for one - rose to 63.9 percent from 63.7 percent in January.

The separate survey of households that is used to measure the jobless rate showed even brisker hiring in February.
While some parts of the jobs market have benefited from unseasonably warm winter weather, economists say a genuine improvement is under way, even though they expect a slight pull back in March.
Private companies again accounted for all the job gains in February, adding 233,000 positions. Government employment fell a modest 6,000, declining for a sixth straight month.
Manufacturing, which in January recorded the largest gain in a year, dominated job creation in February, hiring 31,000 new workers. The sturdy job gains reflect stepped up auto production.
Most auto companies are taking on new workers and adding shifts and overtime to meet pent-up demand after production was disrupted early last year following the tsunami and earthquake in Japan.
Average hourly earnings increased three cents in February. Average hourly wages have increased 1.9 percent in the 12 months through February.
The overall workweek held steady at 34.5 hours - holding at the highest level since August 2008.
Earnings are being closely watched for signs of wage inflation after unit labor costs grew much more strongly than initially thought in the third and fourth quarters of 2011.
Outside manufacturing, construction payrolls fell 13,000, the first decline in four months.
Although hiring has quickened, the economy faces persistent long-term unemployment. In February, about 43 percent of the 12.8 million unemployed Americans had been out of work for more than six months.
Reuters contributed to this report.

GOP Delegate Math

The calculators are out in full force following Super Tuesday determining how each candidate, if possible, could forge a path to the magic 1,144 delegates needed to clench the nomination. There are plausible paths for each candidate but for Gingrich and Paul, it would mean severely over performing in the next few months given their performance in the first two months.
Report from USAToday:
Mitt Romney's prize of 212 delegates out of the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses still leaves him less than halfway to the 1,144 delegates he needs to lock up the GOP presidential nomination.
But the delegate math is even more daunting for his challengers.
Romney has won 56% of the delegates awarded so far, and needs to garner 47% of the remaining delegates to reach the magic number, according to a USA TODAY analysis of delegate counts provided by the Associated Press.
His challengers have a higher bar: Rick Santorum would need 63% of the remaining delegates. Newt Gingrich needs 67%. And Ron Paul needs 71%.
With none of the candidates giving any indication of dropping out, Super Tuesday's results may only prolong the nomination battle into June or beyond.
Anything can happen over the next couple months and this will likely not be settled until almost June given the way states keep splitting on their votes.

Rep. Barney Frank sent to Penalty Box

After spat on House floor, House Republicans place Rep. Barney Frank (D) in the official House Penalty Box for the remainder of the day. Must See Video.






It's not unusual for Barney Frank to take Republicans to the mattresses on the House floor. But he usually doesn't get benched for doing so. The back story's pretty straightforward. House GOP Leaders are pushing a modest, but bipartisan bill called the JOBS Act, which includes a handful of measures with broad support in both parties. One measure in that bill would quadruple the number of shareholders that can invest in local banks. Republicans credit Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ) for drafting this portion of  the legislation, but the real legwork on the issue was done in the Financial Services Committee — of which Frank is the ranking member — by Reps. David Schweikert (R-AZ) and Jim Himes (D-CT).
On Wednesday, Frank called out the House GOP leadership for purloining that measure, slapping Quayle’s name on it, and handing him the credit.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) — a member of GOP leadership — scolded Frank for getting exercised over the credit rather the policy itself. To which Frank replied, “For the gentleman from Texas, having been part of the leadership that engaged in that shameful maneuver, to now accuse us of being excessively concerned with credit, is the most hypocritical and dishonest statement I have heard uttered in this House.”
That, according to the chair, violated House rules which forbid members from lobbing personal attacks at one another on the floor. And as a result Frank was put in timeout for the rest of the day.

It's Coronation Tuesday

Super Tuesday once was super. Progressives of a certain age will never forget the fun of the first edition in 1988. Conservative Democrats had dreamt up a March day of nine Southern primaries that would guarantee no “unelectable” liberal could win the party’s nomination. The geniuses forgot, though, that most Southern Democrats were not actually white moderates or conservatives. The scheme backfired spectacularly, with the Reverend Jesse Jackson emerging as a viable contender and Michael Dukakis also faring well. Since then, the role of Super Tuesday has been considerably more banal: It almost always clinches the nomination for at least one party’s frontrunner. Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, Al Gore, John Kerry, and John McCain all guaranteed their spots atop the party ticket with strong performances. Maybe this thing should be rechristened “Coronation Tuesday.”
Leading up to tomorrow’s 10-state version, it seemed unlikely that Mitt Romney would follow that trend. But the air appears to have gone out of Rick Santorum’s insurgent campaign, and Romney’s victory in Michigan last week and in Washington’s caucuses on Saturday has created the possibility. In Ohio, the most closely contested state, Romney has drawn even with Santorum after trailing by double digits. In Tennessee, where Santorum also held a big lead last week, Romney has closed the gap—thanks in part to a million-dollar advertising blitz by the Restore Our Future PAC. If Romney wins those states and the other six he’s expected to carry, limiting Santorum to a victory in Oklahoma and Newt Gingrich to a home-court win in Georgia, it could be all over but the shouting when the dust settles—and the increasingly antsy Republican establishment will, unlike the conservative Democrats who started this whole exercise, get what they so devoutly desire. 

Pew: Republican Primary Rallying Democrats


The comparison between the Republican field and President Barack Obama is improving Democrats' impression of him, according to new Pew data. A poll from… Read More »