The Stark Truth
I've been a loud advocate for blogging taking the place of the SCLM in reporting the news. One of the reasons I got into blogging was to present news on pertinent topics that wasn't getting space in the American media.
But something important that I hadn't even considered has just taken place, and wise politicians would take note:
Fremont [CA] Rep. Pete Stark made a little bit of congressional and high-tech history Friday by becoming the first member of Congress to post a video clip on his official Web site.
His 3 1/2-minute blistering response to President Bush's State of the Union speech on Wednesday night is part of a new program devised by Democratic activists to let members of Congress communicate directly with their constituents by video.
I'm still setting up applications in my new operating system, so if one of you readers would provide some quotes in the comments section, I'd be most grateful.
Visitors to Stark's site can see and hear the 17-term Democrat lambaste Bush. "The state of the union is bad," said Stark, citing problems with public schools, health care, jobs, the environment and the budget. He assails Bush for the war in Iraq and for a plan for Social Security that Stark said will "dismantle the guarantee of Social Security and turn it over to speculators in the market."
The effort is headed by Advocacy Inc., a small Washington-based firm that has done work for MoveOn.org, the Berkeley-based organization that became a major force mobilizing anti-Bush sentiment in the 2004 election campaign. The firm charged Stark's office $100 to tape the segment and post it on his site, www.house.gov/stark/.
Stark was the test case, said Advocacy President Roger Alan Stone. The firm plans to charge future clients a few hundred dollars more. About 2,500 constituents who have sent Stark their e-mail addresses were alerted to the new video Friday morning. "The wonderful thing about e-mail is the immediacy,'' Stone said. "They can take advantage of this whenever there is a hot topic. I'd recommend doing it a lot more frequently when Congress is in session."
This is one of those ideas that when one sees it, it makes so much sense that one wonders why no one did it before this.
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