Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Malloy Cyber-Reaches Out to Delegates (Updated)

As this is my first post, I will take a few lines to (briefly) introduce myself:

I am a transplant to Connecticut from New York about 6 years ago and, as a confessed political junkie, I quickly got up to speed on local politics. I live in the New Haven area and have spent time working in Fairfield County and now Study in Hartford.

I have a master's degree in political science focused on electoral politics and process and am currently in my first year of law school. As a result, my posting will be light until the semester ends (May 22) and every once in a great while, I may subject you to a post on electoral process.

I am a registered Democrat and will coming at you from a left perspective. As such, while I will be doing original reporting as well, please feel free to consider anything I write as editorial comment. I make no claims as to my objectivity.

Without further ado:

Gubernatorial candidate Dan Malloy (Democratic Mayor of Stamford) has issued a press release announcing the creation of a website "dedicated exclusively for delegates to the Democratic State Convention on May 20."

Disclosure: I have met both candidates at forums at the law school and found them both to be engaging, but I have not yet decided how I will vote in the primary.

From the press release (updated for link):
Dubbed the Convention Survival Guide, it is devoted entirely to the needs of Democratic Convention delegates and helps them navigate the challenging and sometimes confusing State Convention process.

"Political conventions are exciting, but they can also be confusing and stressful," said Malloy. "If there is a way to lessen the stress, improve communications and have a little fun along the way, then that's what we're going to do."

The site offers several useful features -- general logistical help, venue and staff contact information, links to other related websites, tips and advice for surviving the event, and a printable Convention scorecard to help track the day's voting. The site even boasts a Convention countdown clock to remind delegates of the fast-approaching event.


First of all, it is fantastic to see a politician actually use the internet, much less use it in a new and creative way. If this doesn't secure him a single additional convention vote, it will be worth the effort for the benefit it brings to the convention-goers and for any goodwill it engenders with any delegates that are otherwise committed, but who will be called upon in the general election should Malloy win the primary.

That said, this is an interesting strategy with respect to the Lamont delegates (and other delegates who are undecided) who do not necessarily have a horse in the gubernatorial primary. It seems that both candidates are (understandably) shy about criticizing a sitting Democratic Senator; I would imagine that both are also plotting ways to lure Lamont delegates, who may not be primarily interested in the gubernatorial race, into their camps. Given their reluctance to criticize Senator Lieberman, both candidates will have to be creative in fashioning their appeal to the Lamont delegates. Consider this Malloy's first attempt to bring undecided delegates (of all stripes) in to the fold.

At the very least, this delegate-portal, assuming it is publicized and used (and valuable), will introduce Malloy to delegates who may have been following the Senate primary, but not paying much attention to the race for the gubernatorial nomination. At best, it could convince undecided delegates that Malloy has the organization and the creativity to be the best bet to unseat (what polling indicates is) an overwhelming favorite in November.

I have not yet seen the delegate-only site, so I am not sure how valuable it is. I have a call in to the campaign requesting access; I will update this post when and if I get a chance to poke around and see what they have to offer.

UPDATE: I have looked around the site. It's at an early stage, but I would judge it to be both as useful as it could possibly be and not really all that useful at the same time. It is impossible (or at least it should be) to fault the Malloy campaign for the lack of information regarding the convention that is currently available.

Also, they have venue information before the venue is even set in stone! The Malloy team is clearly providing every scrap of information that they can.

That said, the delegate scorecard is, well, cool (remember you are reading a vote-counting junkie). As is the continuously running countdown (as opposed to a static countdown that only refreshes as the page refreshes).

The site includes some light-hearted touches like Trivia (which, for people who are politically involved enough to be delegates to a Democratic convention, was a little on the easy side), Fun Facts, Survival Tips (why is "Where comfortable shoes" a survival tip for absolutely everything?), and quotes from delegates.

Most importantly, it has contact information for the various Malloy Campaign Representatives - this is a helpful site, but is also intended to win some votes. In sum, based on what little I have seen (this site and their blog), this campaign is leveraging the power of the internet very well.

Note: For anyone in the Hartford area, the UCONN Law School Democrats will be hosting 2nd District Congressional Candidate Joe Courtney tomorrow at 12:30. The 2nd District race has been identified as a "toss up" by The Cook Political report, one of the "five races that will determine the control of the House next year” by the Washington Post, and incumbent Republican Rob Simmons has been called one of the “10 Most Endangered House Incumbents" by Stuart Rothenberg in Roll Call. I will blog about the event sometime tomorrow afternoon. If you come by, say Hi - I will be the one typing furiously.

Sources:

Wade, Julia, Dan Malloy for Governor Launches First Delegate-Only Website. Dan Malloy Campaign Press Release, April 17, 2005.

Courtney, Joe, Untitled. Joe Courtney Campaign Email Update, Undated (February, 2006).

31 comments:

Wrath of Conn said...

Kudos to Malloy. As you said, if nothing else this is a new and fun undertaking, and it's great to see candidates thinking outside the box.

goodbye said...

Gabe: great post; Malooy seems to understand that he is an a 'race' for governor and that there are checkpoints that he needs to pass along the way to victory better than DeStefano from my perspective anyway.

In general on the gubernatorila race, for me the issue about our economic disaster, which has led to our lack of competitiveness as a state, goes not just to taxation maethodology and transportation but also the high cost of CT State Govt. and the high cost of medical services in CT - note that I am talking about the cost of services and not the cost of insurance as there is a difference and it too often gets blurred. So far none of the candidiates have addressed this too my satisfaction. Jodi is just sitting on the sidelines right now throwing obstacles in the way such as her recent challenge that the Donkeys are taking too long to get a budget.

Something else that I don't see is a negative grass roots campaign aganst Rell like we do against Shays, Simpson and Johnson. They are effective even if half the time I think they are nonsnese. The Democrat gubernatorial candidate backers have to start giving the electorate-in-general issues something to think about. Simply saying they are good mayors won't cut it. People need solid reasons to vote for change. The Rell is Rowland lite business is good but while many see that today and a few more will recognize that in the future, it is not enough.

Paul Vance said...

Gabe--

Nice job with your 'rookie' post. As a delegate I recieved packets in the mail from Malloy and DeStefano a week or so ago. The internet is a great way to reach a whole new generation of voters, Dean seemed to be the first major campaign to use the web-- it will be interesting to see innovations in online campaigning.

As far as negative campaigning against ANY incumbent, we all decry negative campaigning- but I can only think of one major pol who was 'all positive' and had any traction (John Edwards comes to mind).

Brian Durand said...

Gabe,

Congrats on your new position with the blog, and I must say, great choice for a first post ;)

I posted a short entry on talkCT about the site, that includes a small screen capture preview. If anyone is interested, they can see it here.

goodbye said...

When I talk about so-called negative campaigning I am talking about pointing out the truth about the opponent's performance and positions.

ctkeith said...

Gabe,

Here use my password(Malloyin06) which is the same one every delegate got.The page for delegates has almost nothing useful like the rules or process and seems to be more of a stunt to get good press than a serious attempt to educate delegates.

DeanFan84 said...

Gabe--
Glad you are leading the charge from the left!

The Lamont delegates have one big question, --Which gubernatorial candidate will deliver the most delegates to Lamont?

In New Haven, Town Chairwoman Susie Voigt and Mayor Destefano have put together there own slate. Will the 69 delegates be pressured to vote for Lieberman, will they be encouraged to vote their conscience, or will they boldly embrace the liberal base by winning their town for Lamont?

Ditto for Stamford and Dan Malloy. Will DLC Dan try to make an end run for the Lamont wing by doing something noteworthy in their favor?

What amazes me is that anyone could still feel a required loyalty to Joe, particularly given last weekend's revelation that Lieberman is not-necessarily-a-Dem. (Loyalty now a one-way street??)

It will be interesting to find out if any of our CT Democrats have a real soul. Thanks to fear of Lieberman, the big, driving issues are being ignored. An idiotic and unpopular war? GOP corruption? Anti-Bush fervor? You'd never know these were the themes of 2006. Not by listening to our fence-sitting pols.

My prediction is that none of our Democrats will take a stand in 2006, and outside of a Lamont miracle, none of them will win anything. I mean how can a real Dem get excited about anyone who would bow down to the Bush-Kisser, and not take a strong stand on this immoral war.

goodbye said...

DF who is obsessed with hating joe at every turn says about the CT gubernatoriol race : the big, driving issues are being ignored. An idiotic and unpopular war? GOP corruption? Anti-Bush fervor? You'd never know these were the themes of 2006. and he is right - they are not the issues for the 2006 gubernatorial elecytion.

geezz

Melissa said...

Gabe,

Nice first post! I love the idea of candidates using the internet to reach out and get information out, and it seems like the convention is an area where this is needed. I met both candidates as well, and while I disagree with many of their ideas (not being a democrat myself) it's nice to see candidates reaching out and coming up with new ideas - agreeably something that is lacking with Republican candidates.

superD said...

ctkeith,
Details of the convention are still being worked out (a decision on actual location has yet to be made) so how can you criticize the Malloy site (which, if they keep it updated as information becomes availale will be a great resource for delegates) for lacking it?

Can we just recognize a good idea when we see one rather than jump all over it? This happens to be a good idea and suprise, surprise for politics around here, a novel one at that.

Give the Malloy campaign a chance -- if two or three weeks from now there's nothing new, then you have every right to call it a PR stunt.

BDRubenstein said...

Dear Gabe..

Great 1st post from a rookie...

like you i went to law school and also did politics..i ran or was in a senior role in several successful statewide and smaller races...so as you struggle with moot court and torts,remember its all good and worth it.

Malloy's webpage for delagates is a good publicity stunt...but all it is is a stunt...im much more concerned about his membership in the right wing DLC and the lousy way he treated the local unions in Stamford.

DeanFan84 said...

Red October--

I don't hate Joe. It's just politics.

If you think voters are going to the polls this November with CT issues --like civil unions, property tax reform and junkfood bills,-- first and foremost in their minds, you are deluding yourself.

People are angry about this Administration, the Iraq mess, corruption, Katrina, etc. This isn't going to be a vote your pocketbook year. Instead it's shaping up to be one heck of a "throw the bums out" year.

The issues I listed will be first and foremost for the Congressional challengers. But they also exist for the Governorship. By ignoring the gorillla in the room, Malloy and DeStefano are doing their best John Kerry. What is happening is that they are coming off as people lacking in conviction.

In the latest SurveyUSA poll, Rell had a whopping 78% approval rating among Independents, and a 68% approval rating among DEMS. Neither Malloy nor DeStefano is going to seperate the majority of those voters from Rell by appearing to embrace the status quo.

goodbye said...

I voted for John Kerry and I was a Republican at the time. The only mistake that Kerry mde was that he refused to use 'the troops' as some kind of a campaign rhetoric in fihgting against Bush and he appeared weak to too many because he wouldn't stand up for himself in their minds so why would he stand up for the country - and lost the election.

The national seurity issue with Joe and your boy, Ned may have a close link to gubernatorial politics in your mind but not in mine. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if you thought Joe and Bush were behind what's going on with the junk food bill.

Give it a rest.

MightyMouse1 said...

DLC is now a right wing organization? President Clinton never struck me as a right wing extremist, but I guess perception is based on where you stand.

Dan Malloy is no more a 'right winger' than DeStefano.

BDRubenstein said...

dear mighty mouse...

John DeStefano isnt in DLC and Malloy is...

If you analyze the progressives and labor support...they are overwhelmingly for DeStefano.So indeed JDS is the progressive in the race,not Malloy.

BDRubenstein said...

dear mighty mouse...

John DeStefano isnt in DLC and Malloy is...

If you analyze the progressives and labor support...they are overwhelmingly for DeStefano.So indeed JDS is the progressive in the race,not Malloy.

ctkeith said...

superd,

Please,

Malloy campaign website is right now touting this diary on the front page of their website as if it's a huge story.
Go to the Delegate link,click on it and plug in the info asked for and use the super secret Malloyin06 password and take a look for yourself.If any Delegate has more than a 3rd grade education it's no only lame,it's indulting.
I'm a delegate and still may vote for Malloy but I want Real Information(Like the order the offices up for the endorsement will be voted on and how that decision is made)not a PR campign with no substance.

goodbye said...

Brian Durand, who has made no secret of his aaffiliation with the malloy campaign, tells us all a few comments up that he reported this post on the malloy website - and he even gives a link because I guess he is excited about it. So what? and at least he is honest about it.

I also heard Malloy has a new vehicle to ampaign in but sooner or later i hope we'll get to some real issues.

Brian Durand said...

ctkeith,

Not sure what you mean by "touting it as if it's huge story". There was some interest about the site, so I posted on our blog about it. It's on the main page because the most recent blog entry appears there automatically.

The campaign is hearing back from delegates that they enjoy the site. So, yes I am excited about that. I think this is a fun idea and I'm glad we're doing it.

In regards to your other comment about content, as the page explains - we are adding details as they are made available to us. Unfortunately right now there are many things still undecided. We launched the page knowing that some content would be added along the way.

Hope this helps.

DeanFan84 said...

Brian--

) Which vote will come first, Lamont/Lieberman followed by Malloy/DeStefano, or vice-versa. (Historically Governor vote is last, but BRubenstein says it's all up to DiNardo.)

2) How many Stamford delegates will there be for Lamont. The word I've heard is that Ellen Camhi controls the town, and that it will be staying in line behind Lieberman. Will this important vote be publicly recorded? Or will no one have to go on record as supporters of Lieberman, the guy who is not-necessarily a Democrat?

Thanks, I appreciate your campaign's openness and transparency.

Brian Durand said...

Deanfan,

Your questions:

1) As far as I know, this has not yet been decided. When it is, we'll be sure to put it on our delegate page.
2) I am not a delegate, and I'm also not on the city committee here. However, I've been told that Ellen has not told anyone how they should vote, and will not be doing so. In regards to whether the vote is public -- since I am not involved in the process I really don't know the answer to that one.

DeanFan84 said...

Brian, thanks!

I'm glad someone is courting the Party's anti-Bush, anti-unnecessary war, base.

And forgive me for being so anti-Lieberman. It's just that in 2005 Joe gave us absolutely nothing. Not Gonzales, not Bolton, not the Bush Energy bill, not the Bankruptcy Bill, not Alito, not a good-bye to Sean Hannity, nothing...

That December WSJ op-ed he penned, "Our Troops Must Stay", was the final straw. Another 50 dead American soldiers this month alone. All for a Lie.

superD said...

ctkeith,
And why wouldn't they? This is the first time, that I'm aware of, that a campaign here in CT has created a webpage for delegates. They certainly want people to know about it, as evidenced by the fact that delegates (and I am one) recieved a mailing telling us about the site. For the campaign, this is newsworthy.

As I've said earlier, and as Brian Durand points out, as soon as more information about the convention is known, the campaign will update the site.

Pick up the phone and call State Central and you'll learn, as I did when I called looking for my delegate information, that there is no delegate information available at this time.

ctkeith said...

superd,

You're being lied to then.All the Delegate info is available and if State Central isn't giving it out it's because they're either inept or hiding it so only their favored candidates get it.

State Central may as well put a Lieberman Headquarters sign on the front door.

Wrath of Conn said...

ctkeith -- You're on a blog ranting about a campaign's delegate web page and a state party conspiracy. You need to take a deep breath and back away from the internet.

DeanFan84 said...

Conspiracy? I think not!

Our State Chairwoman, Nancy DiNardo is buried in Lieberman's pocket. She has basically endorsed cronyism over basic Party processes!

Given Joe's non-commitment to the Dem Party, she not only owes us an apology, she should take two giant steps backwards. DiNardo should be even-handed in her approach, and simply let the voters decide.

ctkeith said...

Hey Wrath,

I'm not ranting about anything.

The Wwbpage is nothing to write home about as Gabes update Says and if you've been following the Senate campaign at all you would realize That DiNardo has been so over the top in her support of Lieberman that she was forced to ask the NYT to print a correction of the misimpression she gave the times reporter that "State Central had endorsed Lieberman".

Gabe said...

Thats not exactly what I said...

I was as positive about the site as possible, considering the lack of information that they could have put up there.

Bergs said...

In discussions with CT Dems on why they are lending support (whether silent or otherewise)to Lieberman, the Ct. Dem party is emphasizing the fact that Lieberman 'is very generous ' with his campaign money and people like Farrell, Courtney, and Murphy will need it. Also, the fact that his seniority he is touting IS important to the state of CT. Lamont will start at the bottom. So Ct. Dems, while disliking Lieberman, feel they must go where the State party directs them! Contact the State party headquarters, tell them that when Joe goes Independent they will look foolish!

MightyMouse1 said...

Will Chris Murphy the "progressive" support Lamont or will he support Lieberman's money?

NB-politicus said...

It's nice to know that Malloy is planting puff pieces in the blogosphere.

I'd ask for compensation for the flackery if I were you.