Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Digital Politics Forum: Rick Ray Added; Bowers On Netroot Power

[Carla and I are helping to co-sponsor a great event in Portland TONIGHT: The Digital Politics Forum on technology and politics, put on by The Bus Project and the Portland Mercury and featuring national author, blogger and progressive spokesperson David Sirota. Here's another installment of our hype-building lead-in to tonight's event...]

Well, the day has come and the waiting is over (which means the hype is almost over, too)--tonight's the night for Digital Politics! Hope you can make it for a little while; as Bluto used to say, "don't cost nothin."

Since I last mentioned this fine event, another esteemed panelist has signed on: Rick Ray, lead blogger at Onward Oregon and also part of the Archimedes Project cabal. Rick is an engaging personality who has deep experience in marrying political activism to technological advances, so he's an entertaining addition to the group, which now has reached 6 people: your moderator David Sirota; Kari Chisholm from BlueO/Mandate Media; Horses's Ass David "Goldy" Goldstein; The Merc's Amy Ruiz; and the Bus Project/MoveOn's Anna Galland.

As I've mentioned before, this will be an unscripted event, so who knows what topics will be covered. But to whet your appetite for what's possible in the marriage between tech and politics, here's MyDD honcho Chris Bowers explaining how heavily the netroots influenced the 2006 elections:
As someone known not only as a prominent figure within the progressive netroots, but also as someone with a tendency to base much of my writing on quantitative research, I have often been asked to try and measure the positive impact of the netroots on the Democratic Party and the 2006 elections in order to counter these arguments. This is not an easy thing to do, but I believe there are a number of more or less objective ways in which the contribution of the progressive netroots to the Democratic victories in 2006 can be documented. Taken together, these contributions reveal just how mature a political force the progressive netroots have become, and how indispensable they are to continued Democratic success in the future. Here are six such areas: [click the link above to read more about each one...ed]
  • Closing the fundraising gap

  • Campaigning on Iraq

  • Keeping the base motivated

  • Influencing establishment media coverage

  • Stretching Republicans' resources thin

  • New infrastructure, new ideas

By this late date, most members of the Democratic and progressive leadership recognize the netroots and blogosphere as vital parts of our coalition and campaign infrastructure. As such, congratulations and thanks have been appropriately given all around. After all, we would not have succeed in retaking majorities in both Congress and the states without the grand, unified effort of all ideological and advocacy factions within the broad Democratic and progressive ecosystem. I hope that this piece will encourage the remaining holdouts to come around on the value of the progressive netroots. If it does, then we will have moved one step closer to making permanent the party unity that was so successful in 2006. In victory, we cannot start tearing ourselves down, or we will once more find ourselves on the wrong end of elections in the very near future.