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Information Design + Politics = WIN! (Hopefully)
July 16, 2008 4:31 PM   Subscribe

Sean Tevis Takes On Intelligent Designer with Some Intelligent Design of His Own... Sean Tevis is running for State Representative in Kansas, against an opponent he describes as a proponent of intelligent design. Short on name recognition (and campaign funds) he took it upon himself to use his skills as an information designer to connect to his "constituents" - could he be the first true candidate for a generation that grew up on the Internet? Very clever xkcd-style infographic deployed against the agents of doom... (I donated, couldn't help myself) via BoingBoing
posted by piedrasyluz (252 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite

 


no party affiliation?
posted by ofthestrait at 4:40 PM on July 16, 2008


This is a doomed effort, right?
posted by Artw at 4:40 PM on July 16, 2008


I doubt it Artw, wanna bet just under nine bucks?
posted by Divine_Wino at 4:44 PM on July 16, 2008


The incumbent is Lance Kinzer (R), who won 60-40 against Aunesty Janssen (warning: hideous campaign website), winning by about 1300 votes.
posted by ofthestrait at 4:45 PM on July 16, 2008


His blog says he's a Democrat. I disagree with him on the immigration issue, but compared to the guy he's running against, not a difficult choice...
posted by piedrasyluz at 4:47 PM on July 16, 2008


Why would it be a doomed effort? It's been a good year for Democrats in traditionally Republican districts, and he's got a creative fund-raising effort in place. If he manages to get a nice war chest, he can run a competitive campaign.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:50 PM on July 16, 2008


@ofthestrait, actually, he's running in District 15, not 14. Here's his opponent.
posted by piedrasyluz at 4:53 PM on July 16, 2008


Lots of people don't think that name recognition money is as causative as he does. Many districts are fairly homogeneous, leading to lopsided victories where the losing side never puts in much effort. Incumbents are both better at raising money and more likely to get automatic votes. Districts where an ideology are prevalent are likely to support a candidate with both with money and votes. Money can't hurt, but it's not like raising $x guarantees a win, like he phrases it.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:53 PM on July 16, 2008


Also, xkcd is a writing style. There was stickman art before, and will continue to be. Just call it what it is: stick figure.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:57 PM on July 16, 2008


You know, he sounds like a great guy, and lord knows Kansas needs someone who supports actual education standards, but I just can't afford to donate money to some state representative in Kansas. Not high on my priority list.
posted by Caduceus at 4:58 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


An opponent of a proponent? An opproponent?
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:03 PM on July 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well this is a no-brainer. I'm in.
posted by cosmac at 5:03 PM on July 16, 2008


What is his stance on "unpublishing?"
posted by maxwelton at 5:04 PM on July 16, 2008 [7 favorites]


Hey! I guess I don't need to worry about the self-link rule for this one. My opponent's name is actually Arlen Siegfreid, not Lance Kinzer. Mr. Siegfreid won by 11 percent last cycle against a wonderful woman whom I've met in my door to door campaigning. She's been very helpful.

I don't think anyone of either party affiliation would challenge that Mr. Siegfreid also has a usability-challenged website.

About the Immigration issue - I really hadn't given it much thought before I started campaigning. I was really surprised when person after person told me it was one of their biggest concerns. I think my stance was just that we should enforce existing laws, so it's not all that extreme.
posted by stevis at 5:06 PM on July 16, 2008 [63 favorites]


my bad.
posted by ofthestrait at 5:08 PM on July 16, 2008


You know, he sounds like a great guy, and lord knows Kansas needs someone who supports actual education standards, but I just can't afford to donate money to some state representative in Kansas. I would have, except this was posted on Boing Boing, and I won't buy anything Cory Doctorow recommends. Not after reading one and a quarter of his execrable "novels".
posted by orthogonality at 5:09 PM on July 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Hrm. So, he's the kind of guy who will call homeland security on illegal immigrants, too. Rather than finding a different solution. I'm all for knocking out the current seatholder, but is this who we want to do it? Read the issues first...
posted by redbeard at 5:14 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Heh. #1911. Beat that, folks.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:15 PM on July 16, 2008


Barack Obama already uses this strategy (high volume of small donations solicited directly over the internet) -- and MoveOn did it before, as well.

I'm not crazy about his platform. It's not well-thought-out. There are very few specifics for policy plans. For instance, under "illegal immigration" he raises the following issues: increased demand for bilingual education; recuced student attention for native English speakers; wrong approach to bilingual education; impact on standardized test scores and funding because of NCLB; shortage of tax revenue; lowered wages and poorer working conditions; and disincentive for legal immigration. But his solutions don't even address these problems: He wants work verification, which might have some impact on the tax revenue and wage issues, but isn't going to do anything about the continuing need for bilingual education, the shortage of skilled bilingual teachers, or the NCLB testing issue.

Under "schools" he basically just states "Kansas will have the best schools in the US OMG!" without really describing how he plans to get his district to that goal.

I also find his ideas inconsistent - he wants a censorship-free internet but also wants increased protections on personal privacy? I'm afraid these are basically mutually exclusive goals. In his cartoon, most of the information he greets the woman who opens the door with are matters of public record - if you want an open "sunshine" government, you get a freely accessible public record on matters like voting history and home price, and the other information is readily available if you pay for it and make a legal inquiry.

So I'm not so sure this is all as wonderfully revolutionary as we're being encouraged to believe. He's probably a better choice than the opponent based on the major issues, but he's got a really weak platform.
posted by Miko at 5:19 PM on July 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


redbeard writes "Hrm. So, he's the kind of guy who will call homeland security on illegal immigrants, too. Rather than finding a different solution."

What different solution? His company got an anonymous tip that it was inadvertently furthering a crime. You expected them to become accessories after the fact, perhaps?
posted by orthogonality at 5:20 PM on July 16, 2008


This post should be corrected. He's not Sean Tevis, he's Metafilter's Own™ Sean Tevis.
posted by mullingitover at 5:21 PM on July 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


I donated ten dollars to your campaign, Steve, though your position on immigration bothers me as well. I would ask that you research the issue a bit more deeply; there's more to the situation than most would like to admit.
posted by Donnie VandenBos at 5:22 PM on July 16, 2008


Sorry, Steve, I guess I call 'em as I see 'em. I think you could stand to do some of the real hard work to prepare your platform, and maybe pull in a consultant, if you're serious about winning. Or more to the point, if you're serious about responsible leadership after a win.
posted by Miko at 5:22 PM on July 16, 2008


Do state representatives really have that much say over immigration? Let's not have the perfect be the enemy of the good, people. $8.34 is marginally more than you paid for your MeFi account and all you do with that is snark all day.
posted by DU at 5:22 PM on July 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


Miko, that's the thing with politics - there are no perfect candidates. And at the state rep level it is rare to find candidates who are fluent with ANY important issues, other than that they are being sponsored by someone's rich uncle or are golfing buddies with the party boss. So we are forced to choose on the aggregate, or not participate at all. This guy, it seems to me, will grow into his own as a politician, and he seems genuine about really pounding the pavement to find out what is on the minds of his constituents. He's not revolutionary, by any means, but he speaks a language that reflects an awareness of bigger issues than the reactionary uber-patriotic Bible-speak that plagues so many candidates.
posted by piedrasyluz at 5:26 PM on July 16, 2008


Wait, we're talking about $8.34 here, Orthogonality. You'd deny the people of Kansas a shot at decent representation just because Cory Doctorow linked to Mr. Tevis' website?

Hate on Doctorow all you want, but why miss out on an opportunity to fight a proponent of ID? I donated to Mr. Tevis' campaign this morning and have felt great since.
posted by tits mcgee at 5:27 PM on July 16, 2008


I predict that he will come close to collecting the needed funds and still, sadly, he will loose the election miserably. Only because he is obviously too bright and the district he is targeting has reached the tipping point for morons (or the district itself is engulfed by other districts that have reached the moron tipping point). Exhibit A is the incumbent Representative, Arlen Siegfreid, who would typify this moron saturated reality.

But I salute this man for doing something rather than just bitching. There for I will give him money. I'm a sucker for lost causes.
posted by tkchrist at 5:31 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hi Sean!

Cool idea, I gave you $8.34.

Immigration is a complicated issue. But you should really remove this parapragh:

The company I work for owns a factory in Olathe. Three years ago we got an anonymous tip that some of our employees were hired using falsified documents and identification. We called Homeland Security and worked with them to set up a sting operation. They identified and arrested 44 illegal workers


from your blog. Whatever the facts of the case, it reads as gratuitously cruel. It doesn't paint you in a very sympathetic light and it just plain doesn't need to be there.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:31 PM on July 16, 2008


I donated to Mr. Tevis' campaign this morning and have felt great since.

And really, what better endorsement could there be than one from "tits mcgee"?
posted by tkolar at 5:31 PM on July 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


Miko writes "I also find his ideas inconsistent - he wants a censorship-free internet but also wants increased protections on personal privacy? I'm afraid these are basically mutually exclusive goals."

Well, Miko of 123 Fake Street, Anytown USA, I don't think these are mutually exclusive. You son't have to censor to have laws restricting and controlling data retention. HIPAA, for example, imposes strong rules on data retention, but it doens't censor the internet. Sarbanes-Oxley imposes strong rules requiring data retention, but it doesn't censor the internet.

The main threat to privacy isn't me posting your address, but companies coleecting your address and demographic data, and selling it, and insufficiently protecting your data from theft or misuse.

It would be trivially easy, for example, to insist that databases containing personal information be encrypted, or that certain data not be retained, to prevent theft in bulk. Indeed, for credit card information, credit card companies already do require it. The only reasons this protection isn't applied to your data too, is that credit card companies care more about their dtaa than our legislators care about our privacy.

Not as trivially, we could mandate that identifying data be obscured from everyone in a company that didn't need it. If I call a merchant to demand a chargeback on my bill, the customer service rep on the phone doesn't need my VISA number or my address, or even my name -- because any chargeback can be processed by a machine. They don't see my VISA because VIDA demands it; they see my address and name only because no one cares to prevent them.
posted by orthogonality at 5:32 PM on July 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'm all for knocking out the current seatholder, but is this who we want to do it? Read the issues first...

I, too, support a less punitive approach to immigration. On the other hand:
Top 10 Tags on MeFi: zombies (1) reanimation (1) dogs (1) cryogenics (1)
I know I'm not alone in my wholehearted support for the raising of an unholy canine zombie army in the heartland.
posted by enn at 5:34 PM on July 16, 2008 [11 favorites]


Do state representatives really have that much say over immigration?

Of course they do! Given balance of powers, no one has absolute "say," but state reps can do and are doing some pretty significant things in the area of immigration law. For instance, here's a guy who's proposed a bill which would make it illegal for "anchor babies," or children of illegal immigrants born in the US, to receive state benefits like mandated children's health insurance, public housing, Medicaid, or food stamps. Here's a bill that would allow the state to immediately shut down any business found to be employing illegals on the spot. State matters like who may get a driver's license, whether state contractors must verify all their employees, how much education funding will go to bilingual education, may be proposed and settled by reps. With federal policy shifting and unfocused, what's happening at the state level is pretty important -- states are testing grounds for potential national solutions, but also petri dishes for harmful legislation that could land in the Supreme Court, or provide the impetus for a clear Federal strategy that would supercede state law.

So it's pretty important at all levels.

It doesn't surprise me that Sean Tevis' constituents are listing this as one of their major issues of concern. Immigration is, after all, being used as a wedge issue by the current administration - it's the "gay marriage" or this election cycle. Americans are being encouraged to view illegal immigrants as the source of their economic problems. This dovetails well and capitalizes on with the general personal discomfort with differences that many Americans feel. But it's a bit of a distractor - for most people, whatever happens to illegals will make not a whit of difference to their lives (unless they currently employ illegals, in which case they will suddenly find the costs of doing business a lot more expensive, or work with them and deal with the problems that lack of documentation causes).

Of course, it's also a genuine problem - but from some points of view, the problem is the exploitation of the workers and the free ride employers are giving in not having to pay into the social welfare system and provide comp and observe employment law when they hire undocumented workers.

Complicated issue that requires a solid understanding of the dynamics at play.
posted by Miko at 5:35 PM on July 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


Oh this thread is going to be glorious.
posted by cashman at 5:35 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was going to give $10 for my approval of this effort. Then I tried to find out what exactly an Information Architect was, failed in a brief effort (best guesses: Pretentious Librarian, Pretentious IT Guy, or Pretentious Web Design Guy, but I can't be sure of those), and felt forced to remove $5. Then I found there was a party affiliation and felt forced to remove another $5.

But all is not lost as Mr. Tevis is here: you may gain $5 by giving a short, clear, simple explanation of what an Information Architect is ("information architecture describes a specialized skill set which relates to the interpretation of information and expression of distinctions between signs and systems of signs," from the Wikipedia, is an example of what I don't want.) and while much less likely you may gain another $5 by renouncing the party affiliation.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:36 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was really excited about this guy, and I was just about to donate $100 to his campaign, although it wouldn't affect me as I wouldn't be one of his constituents.

But his position on illegal immigrants is just as unrealistic and wrong-headed as that of most Republican politicians. Since he doesn't actually list many of his positions, that's a big warning sign to me.

His position on schools is such that it sees very wealthy Johnson County as the bastion of great schools, which in fact it is. And people don't move to Kansas for schools, but rather Johnson County. It's a cleverly-worded way of saying, he's going to his best to keep money in Johnson County that ought (by moral right and state law) be spread around to other places, namely neighboring Wyandotte County, which can't afford paper for its teachers. What seems like a progressive attitude about an issue that shouldn't be controversial, is actually a fairly xenophobic position held by the area's conservatives too.

His issue on the sales tax on food is echoed by nearly every other politician in Kansas - liberal or conservative. The problem is, Kansas has budget problems and simply hasn't been able to figure out how to cut this tax and replace it with equivalent funds in a very tight budget. So he's got nothing new to offer there.

The transparency in government thing is great, but Republicans are saying the same things (more vehemently, now that Kansas has a Democrat for a governor.)

So aside from claiming liberal beliefs, this guy's campaign is pretty hollow. His campaign is designed to appeal to the vaguely intelligent Johnson County voters who aren't all Bible-crazed but still want what are fundamentally conservative positions (for the area) upheld - the wealth of the county should not help schools outside it, illegal immigrants are bad. The two biggies of JC conservatism.

Kudos for his amazing-looking campaign site and what seems to be fine organization. But speaking as a liberal, I couldn't support him. He's at best a moderate dressed in the clothing of Obama-like change and Web 2.0 campaign tricks. I know MeFites are generous people, with more often than not a liberal political bent. Don't be fooled by Tevis's flashy campaign.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 5:37 PM on July 16, 2008 [7 favorites]


I get ya, orthogonality, but the kinds of information listed in the cartoon are not protected classes of information. Is Tevis suggesting that they ought to be? Because several of those data categories are available on the internet.
posted by Miko at 5:38 PM on July 16, 2008


I'm nowhere near Kansas, but replacing idiot politicians with more intelligent ones always seems like a win situation to me. I'd buy him a beer for his efforts, so it's not a stretch for me to donate the cost of two towards his campaign.
posted by zinger991 at 5:39 PM on July 16, 2008


After doing some of my own digging on Arlen Siegfreid I donated as well, primarily because I feel the need to work against ID candidates in general.

Kudos for getting involved and trying to make a difference, Sean. I don't agree with all of your policy stances (like many others have said, you might do some more research on immigration issues), but you seem like you would be able to do some good if given the chance. Good luck!
posted by gemmy at 5:40 PM on July 16, 2008


Siegfried's banning late term abortion bill.

'96 election results for district 15
Howard D. Smethers Independent 2,199
John M. Toplikar Republican 4,549

'98 :
John M. Toplikar Republican 2,635
Andy Pettijohn Democratic 2,335

'00 :
Scott Stone Democratic 2,548
John M. Toplikar Republican 4,815

'02 :
D-Steven C. Wright 2,211
R-Arlen Siegfreid 3,346

'04 unopposed

'06 :
D-Heather Cessna 2,898 44.7 %
R-Arlen H. Siegfreid 3,572 55.2 %


10% is a pretty steep hill to climb, but maybe.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:40 PM on July 16, 2008


Hi stevis, you're right in my backyard. Kansas isn't that bad, we even have an Apple store! Actually not to rehash the "What's the Matter With Kansas?" book, but this isn't such a backwards area. We do have a Democrat as gov who I believe is on a list, if not the short list, for getting the VP nomination.

That said, the politics are conservative. Not crazy conservative, but apathetic conservative. I see no reason why the Dems can't make a good foothold here, especially given how the Big Sky states are swinging. Plus the area is evolving from "raise kids, soccer practice" to a place where people want to live. The natural evolution of wealth and the need for a younger workforce? Perhaps, but visit Town Center and you'll fine wine bars, art galleries and boutique shops specializing in Italian linens. Johnson County has a lot more in common with Marin County than it gets credit for (that may not be a good thing, but it gives a good picture of the area's character).

So perhaps it is somewhat of a mild microcosm of the rest of the country. It is no longer a place where the focus is on raising families and oh-my-god-treat-them-like-fragile-eggs, but where people are beginning to stay after college. Which brings me to my point: remember "the silent majority" that Nixon talked about? That's emerging in Kansas, as the GMC Yukon with the "Bush Cheney" sticker begins to look less intimidating and more like the overweight bully at your high school reunion.

Also stevis, could you see about making it perhaps not so easy to see every minor traffic violation of every resident available online? Oh and I'm holding you responsible for getting fiber to the home here. See, now that we're no longer afraid of schools refuting Galileo, constituents can get pretty demanding.
posted by geoff. at 5:40 PM on July 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Good points Miko -

Sean, as it's apparent your personal views on the immigration issue haven't solidified yet, perhaps you could try and dig beneath your constituents' concerns about immigration to address what the real concerns are: the economy, jobs, rising prices, declining wages. Do some Rockridge Institute-style reframing of the issue for your campaign. Like Miko says, its a wedge issue, but not one that can't be translated into a means of reaching deeper, and getting at what your voters are really concerned about...
posted by piedrasyluz at 5:41 PM on July 16, 2008


tits mcgee writes "Wait, we're talking about $8.34 here, Orthogonality. You'd deny the people of Kansas a shot at decent representation just because Cory Doctorow linked to Mr. Tevis' website?"

Yes. Cory Doctorow represents all that is wrong with the internets, and contemporary science fiction. Free Violet Blue, man!

Why should I care more about educating the children of Kansas about science, than the parents of Kansas do?

(Ok, ok. I'll match donations made before 4am UTC Thursday, up to $100, for anyone who favorites this comment and mefimails me their paypal receipt.)
posted by orthogonality at 5:43 PM on July 16, 2008 [17 favorites]


I'd vote for him over the other candidate if I lived in his district, just on the religious-conservative issues. But I won't donate. It feels a little bit wrong for me to work toward giving his constituents a representative they may or may not want. I do occasionally give to campaigns outside my area as part of efforts to advance specific goals (through bundling organizations like Emily's List) but nothing in Tevis' platform is compelling enough for me to cross the boundary of getting involved in his district's politics. If he wins, he'll be their rep in their state.
posted by Miko at 5:44 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Good website. I'd donate but I'm a damn furriner and also reckon the US gets the politicians it deserves. Before too long you will collapse in a flaming heap, being a valuable lesson for history about mixing religion, military hubris and neo-voodoo economics in with the State.

Sean Tevis doesn't fit with my vision.
posted by wilful at 5:44 PM on July 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


About US citizens only allowed to donate, I thought foreigners with green cards were allowed too FEC link or does that not apply in Kansas?
posted by hariya at 5:46 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sean Tevis writes: The company I work for owns a factory in Olathe. Three years ago we got an anonymous tip that some of our employees were hired using falsified documents and identification. We called Homeland Security and worked with them to set up a sting operation. They identified and arrested 44 illegal workers

Whatever the facts of the case, it reads as gratuitously cruel. It doesn't paint you in a very sympathetic light and it just plain doesn't need to be there.

It is gratuitously cruel. But hey, he wants transparency in government, so it's only fair he keeps it up there. I'm sure he figures - quite rightly - that it will help his race.

I wish more people would read "Underground America: Narratives of Undocumented Lives" by Luis Alberto Urrea and Peter Orner, which actually gives voice to illegals. Not surprisingly, it's nothing like what you hear from politicians. Plenty of these people put lots of money into the system via taxes and get fundamentally nothing out. They're hardly the drag on anything that people claim. I've volunteered to work with an organization that helps illegals, and the difference between my experience and what I hear about is mind-numbing.

You know how I read the comment by Tevis? Like this:

The company I work for owns a factory in Olathe. Three years ago we got an anonymous tip that some of our employees were hired using falsified documents and identification. Not knowing who was calling us, we realized we might get busted soon. So to absolve ourselves of blaim, we called Homeland Security and worked with them to set up a sting operation. They identified and arrested 44 illegal workers. And we got off the hook!

It doesn't take a genius to know when you've got 4 illegal workers, let alone 44. I guess it was good while it lasted, right Tevis?
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 5:47 PM on July 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Sorry, that should be "blame." My English spelling gets the worst of me at times.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 5:49 PM on July 16, 2008


DU, the answer is yes.

they're the people who would vote on giving driver's
license to non-documented residents or on discriminatory
real estate laws for non-citizens.

to me, those are the most important races to effect,
not the national ones.

and i say this as owner of the most important netroots blog in New York City.
posted by liza at 5:49 PM on July 16, 2008


But speaking as a liberal, I couldn't support him. He's at best a moderate dressed in the clothing of Obama-like change and Web 2.0 campaign tricks. I know MeFites are generous people, with more often than not a liberal political bent.

I'm confused by this attitude. I find his positions conservative for my taste too, but they're so far left of his opponent that I can't but help think that electing him would be progress worth making.
posted by tkolar at 5:51 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Totally, but why not donate $8.34 to a politician who actually represents you in your own district? Just because they haven't put that figure on it doesn't mean they would turn it down.

I wonder how many of his donors also donate to politicians who do actually represent them. There's something odd to me about the idea that donors would flock to send this person money because of his cool website and his being better than the alternative, while not having it occur to them to advance those causes in their own home district.
posted by Miko at 5:54 PM on July 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Totally, but why not donate $8.34 to a politician who actually represents you in your own district? Just because they haven't put that figure on it doesn't mean they would turn it down.

Because I live in an overwhelmingly Democratic district and all of my candidates of choice will win easily without my donation.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:55 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


btw,

GO MIKO GO!

everything she said X infinity
posted by liza at 5:56 PM on July 16, 2008


Miko wrote...
It feels a little bit wrong for me to work toward giving his constituents a representative they may or may not want.

I'm a little confused about this. It's not like we're paying for a goon squad to pound on doors and beat people if they don't vote the right way.

Unless, of course, that's exactly what we're doing.

stevis, what's your opinion on bludgeoning constituents?
posted by tkolar at 5:56 PM on July 16, 2008


I wonder how many of his donors also donate to politicians who do actually represent them. There's something odd to me about the idea that donors would flock to send this person money because of his cool website and his being better than the alternative, while not having it occur to them to advance those causes in their own home district.

Many of us liberals flock to liberal districts, where basic causes like "Bible in religion class, science textbook in science class" have long since been settled.

Unless you can show me how sending $20 to my local representative will materially advance that cause, I can't see any reason not to drop $20 elsewhere.
posted by tkolar at 6:01 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hi again. This is really good constructive criticism. I want to sharpen my positions with your comments. If I may:

Overall I actually have one of the more specific websites on issues, but campaign websites are generally not like introducing bills in the Legislature with specific remedies. They're meant to show direction. Campaign pros tell you not to do this because people will try to find a reason not to support you - like Dee Xtrovert has done. I believe otherwise that we get crappy legislation because we're afraid to post ideas and work on them until they suck less.

Immigration: This isn't the issue that I wanted to run for office to solve. It is the most vocally expressed problem to me, so I'd be remiss to avoid it, which I could have. My opponent doesn't mention anything - the easy way out. There is little that you can do at the state level to address this, but I wanted to make sure that the people in my district know that I understand their very vocal concerns. I recounted what they said and then said that I endorse existing laws. If you have a good solution for me I'd would *love* to hear it. Really.

Education: This is a goal, not a step-by-step plan. I've met with a number of Education groups about this and the problems are varied. The suburbs need one thing, rural communities need another. What we were missing was a goal to strive for. I figure that if you don't know where you're going then it doesn't matter what you do - and our schools reflect that. And, to answer a comment above, I specifically want to improve the schools out in Western Kansas - not just Johnson County. I see it as one way to help their declining towns.

Sales Tax on Food I want to do away with regressive taxes that hurt the less well-off and retirees. That's not a conservative stance, I think.

Recommendations on these and anything else are very welcome.
posted by stevis at 6:02 PM on July 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


Stevis
I'd probably be in for eight bucks and change as a non-constituent, but your immigration stance... Well what others have said. Good luck though fella.
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:03 PM on July 16, 2008


I really don't get the problem here. There are N candidates. One of them WILL be in office. Which do you prefer? Complain all you want...after the best man wins. Maybe you can change his mind.
posted by DU at 6:09 PM on July 16, 2008


stevis, what's your opinion on bludgeoning constituents?

It never goes well.

It feels a little bit wrong for me to work toward giving his constituents a representative they may or may not want.

The community as a whole is not even remotely as conservative as my opponent - that's the reason I'm running. In my county, 40% of our Representatives did not have to win their first election. A conservative Republican is encouraged to retire mid-term so that they can appoint another, more conservative person to replace them and therefore be aided by incumbency. I'm trying to break this cycle.
posted by stevis at 6:09 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was going to donate $8.34, but then I realised I was an enormous doofus who would cut off my nose to spite my face, and didn't.
posted by Hogshead at 6:11 PM on July 16, 2008 [10 favorites]


Miko, I think what is perhaps unique here is that it is clear that Sean is open to our influence. He's been a MeFite since 2000....

Emily's List is a great way to spread the love on issues you care about, and there are other netroots tools out there to help us strategically donate to particular causes, but for those of us who live in overwhelmingly liberal districts, like tkolar and mr roboto point out, making donations like this makes more than a bit of sense.

On the abortion issue alone this Siegfreid due has got to go, and it's at the state level that that particular fight really matters...
posted by piedrasyluz at 6:11 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nifty graphics.

Money sent.
posted by darth_tedious at 6:11 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well it's not like you've got a sensible voting system, such as preferential voting. I reckon any candidate in the US should push for that - and for independent electoral boundaries.
posted by wilful at 6:12 PM on July 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


wilful That's awesome. I could totally support something like that...
posted by stevis at 6:14 PM on July 16, 2008


Those of you criticizing stevis' immigration position: you have to realize that on a national level, this is a solid middle-left position. Right now, the right wing is pushing for things like bans against renting apartments to undocumented workers, English-only laws, and local police enforcement of immigration laws against arrestees. Advocacy of enforcement of laws for employers rather than immigrants is, frankly, a left-leaning position in the current national political context, and is likely the most effective way to get the business community to put its considerable weight behind immigration reforms that will provide a path to citizenship for the existing undocumented population.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:17 PM on July 16, 2008 [6 favorites]


making donations like this makes more than a bit of sense.


I guess - I don't live in that same sort of district, so perhaps I'd make decisions differently if I did. Still, Tevis is in Kansas and what he does will be in Kansas and for Kansas unless it ends up in the Supreme Court.

campaign websites are generally not like introducing bills in the Legislature with specific remedies. They're meant to show direction. Campaign pros tell you not to do this

That's not true - and it's not the trend. Look at the campaign websites for the Presidential candidates; all had very specific platforms. What people are hoping to find is a level of detail that convinces them you've done your homework and deserve their vote.

If you have a good solution for me I'd would *love* to hear it. Really.


As the candidate, isn't it you who should be proposing solutions? If you haven't got many ideas on immigration, and your real issues are other ones, why not simply state that your position is to see that existing law is enforced, and then invest your time in developing the detail on the issues you care more strongly about?
posted by Miko at 6:21 PM on July 16, 2008


Heh. #1911. Beat that, folks.

Ok.

I'm in. Your platform's not perfect, and I'm not in your district or state, but I can spare you a tenner.
posted by ewagoner at 6:26 PM on July 16, 2008


Miko wrote...
Tevis is in Kansas and what he does will be in Kansas and for Kansas unless it ends up in the Supreme Court.

We're all in this together.

Yeah, Kansas doesn't come in too badly compared some states, but encouraging good educational standards in a negative flow state is worth a few bucks from me.
posted by tkolar at 6:27 PM on July 16, 2008


Sorry I probably appear hostile to the campaign. I'm not hostile and I do certainly hope Tevis wins -- just looking critically, and I think the platform could use improvement in order to convince voters to swing this way. I take politics pretty seriously. You'll already have to overcome religious bias, Sean - it seems dangerous to give your opponents some easy targets with a loose platform.
posted by Miko at 6:27 PM on July 16, 2008


I put in my 8 (actually I rounded up). I paused for a moment at the immigration page but went ahead anyway, knowing that this is a difficult problem with no easy solutions, and guessing that your opponent probably has much harsher plans for immigrants.

One thing that I would've liked to hear about, Stevis, is what measures your opponent has made towards endorsing creationism or intelligent design. The cartoon puts this in the forefront, but the content of your campaign site doesn't discuss the importance of a reality-based biology curriculum. Is this an issue driving the election?
posted by condour75 at 6:27 PM on July 16, 2008


$16.68 sent. Support a more-liberal candidate against an overwhelmingly conservative incumbent? Well sure.
posted by Skorgu at 6:28 PM on July 16, 2008


I am not a fan of calling the cops on illegal workers. That said, Miko, I don't understand the idea behind

As the candidate, isn't it you who should be proposing solutions?

Certainly all politicians have advisers. He asked you to be an informal one.
posted by josher71 at 6:40 PM on July 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


orthogonality writes "(Ok, ok. I'll match donations... for anyone who favorites this comment and mefimails me their paypal receipt.)"

Uh, mefimail me just the confirmation number; I don't want your real name, email, or real address.
posted by orthogonality at 6:42 PM on July 16, 2008


I just wish i had $8...

Best of luck!
posted by schyler523 at 6:45 PM on July 16, 2008


Miko You keep me on my toes.
Look at the campaign websites for the Presidential candidates...
You set the bar very high.

As the candidate, isn't it you who should be proposing solutions?
Yes. And I have many, many solutions. But the people in my district don't respond well when I try to explain that I can save an estimated $18 million/year by moving many traditional government services online.

No one seems to care that I endorse a comprehensive state energy policy that places a benchmark of 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per megawatt hour on existing coal plants. The average coal plant today produces more than 2,000 pounds of
CO2 per megawatt hour. This is important stuff, but it doesn't help me get elected.

They want to hear what I think about casinos, or cigarette taxes, or what I can do about the Illegal Immigrant problem. Ignoring them is irresponsible IMHO.
posted by stevis at 6:47 PM on July 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


This is great. Metafilter should nominate one candidate out of its membership for every election everywhere. Then we could rule the entire universe.

I never thought I'd see a serious debate on political issues local to Johnson County, Kansas here on metafilter. I like your revised stance on Illegal Immigration, Sean. Good luck.
posted by jabberjaw at 6:50 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Support a more-liberal candidate against an overwhelmingly conservative incumbent? Well sure.

So there's a broader phenomenon here that is interesting beyond the specifics of this campaign. There are more liberal candidates running against conservative candidates with similar issues -- it happens in every election, all over the nation. So why is this race uniquely worthy of involvement from non-residents? Is it because it's in Kansas? Or because the candidate asked, and asked in a way that caught the interest people on some widely read websites? If this is a model for the campaigns of the information age, what are the implications? It's not like most American votes are well-informed; they're not. But a decision by a nonresident to give to one such race as opposed to others seems sort of arbitrary, unless it's based on something other than sheer awareness of the website. I don't know. It's the reaction from the donors, more than the campaign itself, that's interesting to watch.

He asked you to be an informal one.

I'm not available as a volunteer. Really, honestly, it's his homework to do. I have a lot of thoughts about immigration policy, most of about law directed at employers and about the social safety net. But those ideas are also readily available from informational publications on the web and elsewhere, not just from me or MeFi.

. Ignoring them is irresponsible IMHO.

Totally, Sean! But those are interesting agenda items, and by leaving them off your platform, you do voters like the ones you want to reach as donors a disservice. If you can apply the same cogent analysis to these issues that you bring to moving government services online (a great idea) then your obvious control of the subject matter will get their attention. Think different - give the people what they want, but also more than they could have imagined.
posted by Miko at 6:52 PM on July 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


I was going to give him $1,000,000 until I came up with a lame excuse not to.
posted by revgeorge at 6:53 PM on July 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Heaven forbid a politician (or wannabe) should not consider they have all the answers and ask for suggestions from the public. A bit more open democracy never hurt.

Good luck Mr Tevis. I'm a second best kind of person, in politics as well as economics. You'll easily make your donations total i should imagine - jsut don't fuck up and lose!

And really, look hard at preferential voting - vested interests wont allow it to happen - but it's the underlying structural reason for so many of your problems.
posted by wilful at 6:56 PM on July 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


Wow, I can't believe how many mefites are hilariously unrealistic. Great, you're not a fan of enforcing immigration laws. Do you really expect a political candidate in Kansas to say the same? Someone who's running in a red state against an incumbent? His chances of winning are already bad. Grandstanding his way to failure doesn't help anyone.
posted by mullingitover at 6:56 PM on July 16, 2008 [7 favorites]


I'm not in your district, stevis, but I'm a Kansan who supports anyone who can help pull our state legislature out of the dark ages. Fortunately it seems that a lot Kansans are finally starting to wake up.

You lose coolness points, though, on the immigration issue. Not only did you help DHS set up a sting operation, but you appeared to be bragging about it. WTF?

I guess it just goes to show that even the best-seeming candidates have their flaws, but at least you're listening to feedback, and you've gotten a lot of good food for thought in this thread.
posted by amyms at 6:58 PM on July 16, 2008


One thing that I would've liked to hear about...[is] the importance of a reality-based biology curriculum. Is this an issue driving the election?

I wish people talked about it more. When I bring it up specifically it can turn into a religion discussion, which no one ever wins. When I bring up science in terms of having the best quality schools around, then everyone gets on board. I'm hoping that by setting a goal of "Best Schools in the U.S.A. by 2020" it will force us to evaluate the importance of a reality-based biology curriculum. I know three people who have moved from Kansas and cited the chagrin over Intelligent Design as one of their reasons.
posted by stevis at 6:58 PM on July 16, 2008


mullingitover said: Great, you're not a fan of enforcing immigration laws. Do you really expect a political candidate in Kansas to say the same?

If he's running as a Democrat, I don't expect him to brag about helping with DHS sting operations.
posted by amyms at 7:01 PM on July 16, 2008


amyms You lose coolness points, though, on the immigration issue. Not only did you help DHS set up a sting operation but you appeared to be bragging about it.

An excellent point. This is one of the most important things things I've realized from this thread. Here's the deal:

I didn't work where I do when this went down. It happened before I got here. When I started campaigning a few months ago the people in my community would ask me where I worked and I'd tell them. They'd start in on me as the guy who hires illegal immigrants and tell me that we got busted for it. I asked the people involved and they told me the real story. Considering my community's feelings about this issue, I needed to make it perfectly clear what the story was so I put it on the site. Mistake.

I see now that if you aren't familiar with the background then it looks and feels very different from my intention. I'm revising my whole illegal immigration piece.
posted by stevis at 7:07 PM on July 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


In the time it took me to read all these comments, the candidate changed one of his positions, and the number of donors went from nine hundred something to 1,104. That's some participatory democracy.
posted by box at 7:13 PM on July 16, 2008 [19 favorites]


Make that *four* people who have moved from Kansas City (formerly right next door in O.P.) who will cite goofball agendas like Intelligent Design as one of the reasons for their exodus.

I'm in. Give your opponent an Olathe Booted kick in the rump for me.
posted by deCadmus at 7:18 PM on July 16, 2008


See what did I say about the silent majority? Or at least the moved-away-because-they-couldn't-stand-it majority.
posted by geoff. at 7:20 PM on July 16, 2008


amyms writes "If he's running as a Democrat, I don't expect him to brag about helping with DHS sting operations."

I didn't see DEMOCRAT!!!!1 plastered all over his site. Sure, the immigration sting probably wrecked those illegal immigrants' day and that's not very nice. In fact, I think he may (*gasp*) be trying to run as some kind of reasonable centrist. Which for Kansas will still result in his being painted as a leftist, but wevs. The fact is that his actual constituents don't like illegal immigrant workers, and they'd prefer to see the existing laws enforced. Since those are the people who will decide whether or not he becomes an also-ran, it makes sense for him to maybe do something crazy like listening to them.
posted by mullingitover at 7:20 PM on July 16, 2008


Miko: It feels a little bit wrong for me to work toward giving his constituents a representative they may or may not want.

I have no problem working towards giving his constituents's children a better shot at knowing the difference between Religion and science, since the relative ignorance of the American population directly affects my life. You've got 10 of my bucks, stevis.
posted by tzikeh at 7:29 PM on July 16, 2008


Jesus people, never has a comment thread better demonstrated that the perfect is the enemy of the good. Stevis sounds like a decent guy, willing to listen, with some genuine progressive ideas. His opponent is a conservative dinosaur - creationist, anti-choice, anti-immigrant. Even if you don't live in Kansas, or even the US, surely you recognize the utility in removing someone like that from elected office?

Anyway, I just donated $75.
posted by thewittyname at 7:30 PM on July 16, 2008 [24 favorites]


I'm revising my whole illegal immigration piece.

That's great to hear. Kudos to you for being upfront about it and considering a change in your position.

I donated $120 because I loved the comic page and also want to see a kickass t-shirt made out of it.
posted by mathowie at 7:31 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Maybe worth noting: the PayPal donate dongle just blew up in my face... hope others are having more luck.
posted by deCadmus at 7:35 PM on July 16, 2008


Dammit, I was going to come in here and brag about my $16.68 and low UID, but user frakking 1 had to come in and ruin my fun.

Best of luck to you, Sean. I'll be looking for this type of progressive forward-looking government in my state - hopefully you can make a difference in yours.
posted by tomierna at 7:37 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here's what I was going to write
You people are insane.
Not all of you, I guess, but some of you.
You know who you are.
You won't be happy until every Democrat running for office is completely unelectable, will you?

Here's what Sean can't say, but I can.
"I haven't got anything against illegal immigrants, and would like to make things better for them.
I even support those liberal positions that want to treat them like human beings instead of chattel.
I sure as hell don't want to make things any harder on them.

But if I fucking say that, I can't fucking get elected, now can I?

No, I obviously cant.
Because my constituents don't want to help illegal immigrants.
In fact, they've said, over and over, that I'd 'better not help those damn illegals'.

On the other hand, I'm not a complete sellout. I'm not going to to force everyone to speak English, or send them all to corporate internment camps. Even though that would be a politically popular position to take and would help me to win."


Here's how this works.
Kansas is not like you want it to be.
Your pipe-dream candidates for Kansas are nothing but.
They won't be elected, because the people of Kansas hate the things you love, and visa-versa.

Here's a guy, though, who wants to change some things.
He'll protect abortion.
He'll fight creationism.
He'll protect and support gay rights.
He'll fight censorship.

But he's not perfect.
Of course not. Kansas isn't perfect.
Only a perfect place would nominate a perfect candidate, let alone elect him or her.

If you're a single issue zealot on immigration, well, sure, Sean probably isn't your guy.
But someone, somewhere, is.
Find him. Help her. Maybe Sean doesn't get your $8.34. We can find someone righteous to take your money.
But if that $8.34 doesn't go to someone running for office, don't pretend it's because Sean didn't want to help immigrants.
It's because he wasn't perfect.

And as long as you never give money to politicians that aren't perfect, you'll never have to give money to any politician.
You'll never have to take responsibility for the state our country's in or try to change it.
You'll never have to regret making a mistake other than indifference.
Hell, you'll eat one more meal at Subway instead of brown bagging it.

And another thing
The way you change a country is by getting people who agree with you elected.
Suppose you want A, B, and C.

You get candidates AB(notC), A(notB)C, and (notA)BC elected. Then, when they have to compromise to get anything done (and they will) you get outcomes ABC!
It's POLITICAL SCIENCE!

But while I was writing that, you proved me wrong.
You pressured him and got your way.
That's what I missed: "not giving money" can be pressure.
For good or for ill, Sean's position is going to be more humane (sounding).

And in this case Metafilter had leverage.
Because of this site, and the attention the candidate gives it, withholding money and voicing complaints got real political work done.
Imagine what could be done if comments were sent to every politician, "and this is why you won't be getting my money."

Sure, nothing would likely change among the national campaigns. They have consultants and pollsters and know exactly how each phrase and idea affects the bottom line. They probably won't be surprised. I doubt we could have made a dent in Obama's "shift to the center."

But in the local campaigns, if people gave a damn about them, things could actually get done.
For the first time in my life, I can really see the appeal of sites like Kos. It's not just the money that gets aggregated; voices do too. Internet fundraising actually does get your voice heard.

Now I'll go eat my hat and give Sean the replacement price.
posted by Richard Daly at 7:39 PM on July 16, 2008 [43 favorites]


mullingitover said: The fact is that his actual constituents don't like illegal immigrant workers, and they'd prefer to see the existing laws enforced. Since those are the people who will decide whether or not he becomes an also-ran, it makes sense for him to maybe do something crazy like listening to them.

I understand what you're saying, mullingitover, really I do. It was the "yee haw!" tone of the "we helped set up a sting operation" that bothered me (and stevis has replied to that aspect of it in-thread, a few comments up).

Of course he should listen to his constituents and familiarize himself with their leanings, but there's a vast difference between saying "I understand you are concerned about illegal immigation" and "Well, guess what, I helped run a sting operation against a bunch of 'em!"
posted by amyms at 7:39 PM on July 16, 2008


Richard Daly, I don't think anyone is saying stevis has to be "perfect" (that's impossible). If we only voted for "perfect" candidates, no one would ever get elected. What we're having here in this thread is a back-and-forth conversation about a candidate, and with a candidate, which is something that is always useful in a democracy.
posted by amyms at 7:47 PM on July 16, 2008


Great, you're not a fan of enforcing immigration laws. Do you really expect a political candidate in Kansas to say the same? Someone who's running in a red state against an incumbent? His chances of winning are already bad. Grandstanding his way to failure doesn't help anyone.

Kansas is changing in many ways, especially in Johnson County, which - although there's some resistance - is seeing the world crawl up to its front door. Most of the "intelligent design" and "Jesus walked with the dinosaurs" crowd with which Kansas is so connected in the eyes of people exists outside of Johnson County. That's not to say JC is a hip area, because it isn't. It's kind of a bleached-blond soccer mom sort of place, where people are really, really comfortable, a little insecure and deathly afraid of boogeymen they read about and envision as being real threats to their Escalade-driving eastern Kansas lifestyle - terrorists, vegetarians, moms who've kept their natural brown hair, and, of course, illegal aliens!

Jobs are plentiful here - a lot of folks don't even want their kids to work - and so it's very hard to find workers for non-skilled jobs or manual labor. We could use more illegal aliens, in my opinion! There's certainly no real problem with illegals here (in the sense of their limited existence being deleterious in any way), so the extent to which this is an "issue" is largely imaginary. While I don't necessarily expect anyone running for office in Kansas to have a truly liberal or realistic perspective on the issue, I do expect someone running as a relatively progressive Democrat to have enough sense to not make immigration the most intense issue on their website - let alone a tale of ruining the lives of hardworking people, written in such a way as to imply the candidate's heavy involvement.

In Johnson County, a Democrat has a good chance of winning. JC is more liberal than most of the rest of Kansas (though hardly "liberal"), and we did manage to elect a Democrat as governor. So your pigeonholing of Kansas (mullingitover) as immutably Republican is very inaccurate.

My take on politics is to not vote for those who compromise so readily. Many of my (original) countrymen voted for this sort of 'soft' politician in hopes of appeasing our drooling Serbian neighbors. Bad decision! So for me (though I couldn't vote then), never again.

I agree with Tevis that we need immigrants. I was fortunate enough to come here legally, and when I applied for citizenship, took and passed my test and was told that I'd receive my swearing-in date in less than a month, I was very excited! But years went by, with no word. A dozen or so times I filed a request for notification of where I was in the process. Although the government is *required* to respond within thirty days, I never once - not once - received any clarification. An INS official told me off the record that it was because I was Muslim. I had the assistance of a powerful member of the US Senate, who called me personally many times. And still, nada. Years later, I finally received notice and now I'm a citizen. But the process was bogus, broken and pointless. A woman named Irene Gottlieb, whom I do not know, left a message on your site which details a similar experience.

My experience was in spite of the fact that I speak good English, had a good job (higher paying than that of the average JC resident), owned a home, had graduated from a very good American university, and so on. What chance does a day laborer with no education, a semi-transient lifestyle, no extra money or connections have to do this "legally?" Hardly any. I wish, Sean Tevis, that you would read the book I mentioned earlier and get a clue. Maybe you have one and you're just pandering, I have no idea. It was probably a good idea to take down the "INS sting ruins families" story, but on the other hand, you did want transparency . . . so what is it?
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 7:52 PM on July 16, 2008 [9 favorites]


I spent $17 dollars on a lobster roll for dinner tonight. I didn't even THINK to ask it what it's policy was on illegal immigration before I paid for it.

You got my $8.51, Sean (wink, wink).
posted by briank at 8:03 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey stevis,
I like your game, I like very much that you are in here slogging it out. I'm in for nine bucks tomorrow (I got checks clearing yo, I can't take advantage of the Ortho matching funds) based on that alone. Please remember that immigrants (illegal or not) built this country.

Can we assume we're all invited to your victory party? You also know you are now accountable to a huge bunch of angry vindictive internet nerds who can't even vote for you right?

I do indeed like your game. Good luck, if you win tell that silly creationist that a caveman riding a dinosaur dropped off nine bucks for you.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:08 PM on July 16, 2008


You won't be happy until every Democrat running for office is completely unelectable, will you?

I won't be happy until every Democrat AND Republican is unelectable and this retarded two party b.s. we have here in this country stops and we get some real alternatives so that I don't have to take Candidate A who supports position X and Y but not Z because my other choice is a Republican.
posted by spicynuts at 8:10 PM on July 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


and this retarded two party b.s. we have here in this country stops

This would take a constitutional amendment. Good luck with that.
posted by Justinian at 8:17 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow! If Sean wins he would *almost* represent my family's history. Freaky. I may have some distant cousins living in the 15th district. It's a small (virtual) world.
posted by mmahaffie at 8:18 PM on July 16, 2008


I won't be happy until every Democrat AND Republican is unelectable and this retarded two party b.s.

This b.s. will not change in our lifetimes. Face facts.

Voting for far left ideologue third party candidates in our 48/52 split electorate will only insure that the most regressive and biggest sell-outs split the vote and get elected. You won't break the system. You will only alienate yourself from ANY kind of power over the political process. IE. Far right republicans get elected who get the most money from corporations in exchange for reversing progressive policies. Rather than Democrats who at least try to inch forward cultural changes.

You can try and live in the world you want. But prepare to fuck up your life in the world that actually exists. That is what happens when you mistake ideology for politics. While related they are not the same. Politics is making deals with the other pirates on the pirate ship and living another day.

It's like lefties saying they won't vote for Obama because of his FISA vote. Virtually ensuring a more militant, more entrenched, more inclined to spy on citizens REPUBLICAN will be president.
posted by tkchrist at 8:22 PM on July 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


I donated $10 before I saw this post, and I'm glad it's getting more attention. Good luck in your fight against Kissinger Q. Meanface, Sean.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:41 PM on July 16, 2008


My mother was a state rep, and started out much in the same way. With no money and no name recognition. Her first campaign was against theman who at the time held the record for longest held elected seat in the country. He had been the rep for that district since 1939. Before WW2 and before my motherwas even born.

Sh lost, but not as badly as was expected, and next time out, she won pretty handily.

Two things I learned from Mom about district level politics.

1)Get to know your district. My mother got past the "no money" thing by realizing that meeting people is free. After work every day, she'd go door to door, and introduce herself to people. She ended up doorbelling every single block in our district. And it's a big district. Even the people who weren't going to vote for her, she knew who they were, where they lived, and what issues they cared about. There was no guesswork. When she said "I know what the people of this district care about" she really meant it.

2) People will give you more of their money and time than you realize. You just have to ask for it. You'd be surprised at how many people really want to be involved, and have never been given the opportunity. Regular folks will give $50 to a local politician for the same reasons a wealthy person will give $50,000 to a US Senator.
posted by billyfleetwood at 8:49 PM on July 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


I donated after seeing this on Waxy.org, then hopped over here to read the discussion. For once, being a center-righty on MeFi isn't making me conflicted. :-)

Also, I appreciate Sean's putting a special message in his page's source code. Sign of a true geek.
posted by Asparagirl at 9:03 PM on July 16, 2008


Cool, I can vote for you!
posted by hellojed at 9:11 PM on July 16, 2008


stevis is the bar graph reporting the actual number of donors or the donor equivalent of money raised? IE does anyone who donated multiples of the $8 count a single donor or several?
posted by Mitheral at 9:17 PM on July 16, 2008


I gave $20. I might have gone for the $120 t-shirt if I could see what they look like.
posted by agropyron at 9:19 PM on July 16, 2008


Get to know your district. My mother got past the "no money" thing by realizing that meeting people is free. After work every day, she'd go door to door, and introduce herself to people.

I will echo this. A friend (also a computer geek fed up with regressive candidates) ran for a state rep seat two years ago. He went from virtual nobody in six months to losing the election in a 80%republican/20%democrat district (where he ran as a democrat) by 251 votes (out of 50k total votes).

He came so close by walking the streets every day, day in and day out, door to door shaking hands and meeting people face to face. Honestly, I thought he was crazy and it would be a waste of time. I told him to stick to putting more signs up and buying time on local cable for short ad spots, but he insisted since he had no money and no clout, pounding the pavement was the only way and I had to eat my words when he very nearly won the whole thing.

So stevis, I can't say it enough: get out there and meet people door to door with every waking moment you have until November.
posted by mathowie at 9:24 PM on July 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


So why is this race uniquely worthy of involvement from non-residents?

I didn't give stevis $10 because he's uniquely worthy of it, I gave him $10 because I loved the cartoon, and I like his pluck.

Though I don't necessarily agree with all his positions as articulated to date, close enough.
posted by syphax at 9:24 PM on July 16, 2008


I was almost ready to donate based on the "Make Internet History" premise. As soon as I saw he was a MeFite with 14 FPPs, I knew I was going to donate. When I saw that he was giving this thread so much weight, I doubled it.
posted by agropyron at 9:30 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm a sucker for transparency in government (at any level!). Best of luck, stevis.
posted by shoepal at 9:33 PM on July 16, 2008


Another piece of advice: find out what demographic votes!

I sat in on a lecture from a local politician who realized that all he really needed was the votes of the 50-75 year old ladies in his district. Sent flowers to each and every one of them. He won in a landslide after spending $4 grand on flowers.
posted by Freen at 9:38 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's two worries that pop up first with immigration: "They're taking our jobs!" and "They're taking our welfare!"

The first one shouldn't be a concern at this point. We have low international barriers to trade, the last time we tried to suddenly enact international barriers to trade we created the Great Depression, and in the absence of international barriers to trade we're going to have to compete with foreigners whether they come here or whether a multinational corporation employs them there.

As for the second concern? If the United States still actually behaved like a union of States, we'd have that one figured out by now. California (and New York and other heavily liberal states) would have been Welfare States out of the conservatives' worst nightmares for decades by this point, and the ease with which Americans can move from state to state would have eventually forced them to deal with the "free rider" problems that wealth transfer can create. By now we'd have figured out what the best solution is, and to make free immigration palatable we'd just apply that solution to international freedom of movement as well. But unfortunately, the same idealism that leads people to demand Universal Healthcare usually leads them to demand it for as many people as possible immediately, and programs which could have been instituted on a state by state basis long ago are instead destined to be fought over in D.C. forever. I suppose liberals should just be content that even the ideologues have been willing to water down "Universal" to "National"; that way at least a few countries can have social safety nets without worrying about how Sweden's taxpayers are going to afford India's health problems.
posted by roystgnr at 9:40 PM on July 16, 2008


Isn't there a chapter in freakonomics that deals with campaign fiance? I forget this gist of it, but I think it applies here.

Now where did I leave my glasses...
posted by oxford blue at 9:45 PM on July 16, 2008


I can't decide if a candidate who is willing to change their position under pressure from people who are not constituents and are refusing to donate if he doesn't change his position is a good thing or a bad thing; I mean, I'd want a candidate who is open-minded and willing to change to do the right thing or represent his constituents, but at the same time if threats of fewer sub-$9 donations can sway their POV, what happens if a lobbyist offers a big pile of money for a POV sway?

No snark here, I'm really conflicted. I guess my ideal candidate would take a flexible position on things on some things, and on certain things be unmovable. Of course, they'd have to be the right things.
posted by davejay at 10:45 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think after we get Barack elected alot of those millions are going to go toward small campaigns like this in 2010.
posted by empath at 10:57 PM on July 16, 2008


I don't think he changed his position because people threatened not to give him money. I think he clarified and re-wrote his noncomittal position based on feedback from people here which convinced him of a better stance to take. If you think he "caved" in order to get $8 then you really didn't read his replies to the criticism.
posted by nightchrome at 11:07 PM on July 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm not too keen on his stance on immigration. I mean it's just fine to oppose immigration. But you must target the employers, not the immigrants. He claims his formative experience with illegal immigration was some rare situation where the employer got duped.

I've encountered more than one person working in construction that has said "If they made hiring illegal immigrants a felony, then I'd stop hiring them." So it's that simple people, just make knowingly hiring illegals a felony with a minimal prison term (1 year). Illegal immigration will evaporate overnight.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:05 AM on July 17, 2008


Let it be known that I will always be willing to donate at least $8.34 to any political candidate with a lower mefi user # than me.
posted by louie at 12:05 AM on July 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


For a nice example of how involving yourself in state and local politics can offer a much better return on your investment (whether it's time or money) see this Atlantic article on Tim Gill from last year.
posted by milkrate at 12:17 AM on July 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


i'd love to donate but i'm afraid he'd be labeled a puppet of the socialist europeans. btw , what does happen if a foreigner donates?
posted by canned polar bear at 12:58 AM on July 17, 2008


if he were running his campaign in texas or california i could see all the panty-wadding over the immigration issue, but this is kansas. states in the middle of the country who don't overly lean on illegal immigrants for labor don't really need a totally fleshed out position at the state level. his seems exactly in line with what i'd expect from many states and it doesn't seem bad. the states on the borders, those are the ones that really push immigration reform for better and for worse.

don't donate if you don't want to, but don't pretend that your pet political issue holds exactly the same amount of weight in every facet of the country. now, kansas could have a LOT to say about subsidizing farmers for crops they don't grow forcing the worsening of the food crisis all over the entire world...adding to that the fact that big business farming, not small time farming is the one who actually makes all that subsidizing dough (even though the politicians will tell you that subsidizing crops helps the little guy)...that would be an issue i'd like to see fleshed out, as that's something that kansas does as a state that has bearing on the rest of the nation in a real tangible way.

beyond that - encouraging responsible education is, in my book, an issue that all states benefit from, no matter where the improvement happens.

i'm glad this spread over the internet like wildfire, challenging the likes of his opponent and the dirty tricks of his party (with the resigning midterm to keep their line alive) seems almost as important as making sure as many citizens as possible aren't drooling idiots after high school.
posted by nadawi at 1:03 AM on July 17, 2008


I'm not sure it's his anti-immigration stance per se, opposing immigration seems acceptable, especially when your constituents demand it. But he paints the problem as being caused by the immigrants, when usually the employer knowingly hires illegals. If you don't punish the employers, then you won't solve the problem, you'll only fuel racism, etc.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:23 AM on July 17, 2008


"If he's running as a Democrat, I don't expect him to brag about helping with DHS sting operations."

He's probably a member of the real Democratic Party, and not the fantasy Democratic Party that leftists and Republicans have invented for themselves.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:33 AM on July 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ok, up thread I said I'd match donations up to $100 for anyone who mefimailed me their donation (and favorited my comment).

I got mefimails from 14 of you, for a total of $374.16. (One contributor didn't specify a donation amount.) The average donation amount was $28.78, the median $10. I won't name the donators or individual amounts, that's their business.

I said I'd match up to $100, but kicked in another $20, making a donation of $120 to Steve Tevis's campaign.

That gets me a Tevis campaign t-shirt. But that's not why I did this.

I did this less because of Steve's platform (though I generally agree with it) than because I think that small-donation citizen participation gives us a chance to get beyond apathy and gives us little people an actual voice, a voice that gets lost in the din of lobbyists and political consultants and expensive ads and big donors. What's especially gratifying is that, as others have noted, our collective voice here has caused changes to the candidate's platform.

So good luck to Steve Tevis, and good luck to democracy, and to us.
posted by orthogonality at 1:38 AM on July 17, 2008 [11 favorites]


Erm...is it legal for me to give money to someone* here so that it can be forwarded to Tevis? I'm in the UK and, in the absence of anyone decent to vote for, feel like I could at least reward someone who is.

Note, I said *legal*. Not *sensible*.

*Not Quonsar.
posted by Jofus at 2:09 AM on July 17, 2008


Jofus writes "Erm...is it legal for me to give money to someone* here so that it can be forwarded to Tevis? "

No.

However, if Tevis were selling campaign chum, it might be. But Tevis's campaign would have to consult a Kansas lawyer, etc., so it might end up an overall cost and distraction that harmed the campaign.

Give to the ACLU or something, or support a UK candidate.
posted by orthogonality at 2:31 AM on July 17, 2008


Jofus - from the other pages i've been i've been reading today, the general feeling seems to be that it might be in a legal gray area, but it's not terribly ethical. as the USA is a country that exports it's political views all over the place (with money, guns, puppet governments), it seems a little funny to me, but i guess we as people have to be better than our governments are. if we weren't, who would be?
posted by nadawi at 2:31 AM on July 17, 2008


or support a UK candidate.

Would that I could, Orthogonality, would that I could.

Note to UK politicians and potential politicians. I *will* paypal you £10 to support your campaign if you can demonstrate that:
1) You can riff satirically off a "now" topic in a way that doesn't make me want to puke blood.
2) You possess a rudimentary understanding of web-design.
posted by Jofus at 3:38 AM on July 17, 2008


I kicked in my $8.34. I have always been a sucker for the campaign pitch, "Unlike my opponent, I am not completely insane."
posted by kyrademon at 4:04 AM on July 17, 2008 [6 favorites]


I'm in the middle of reading Al Gore's The Assualt on Reason, and I'd just like to state for the record that seeing ACTUAL dialog between an ACTUAL candidate and ACTUAL citizenry, in PRINTABLE text on the medium of the internet...

gives me hope.

I'm so glad I got to grow up on the internet. I don't agree with this Steve's policies across the board, and as I'm not from Kansas I won't be donating, but I am glad to see this shift and will be supporting candidates like Steve in the future.
posted by allkindsoftime at 5:56 AM on July 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


OK I'm in for $20.

Not a huge fan of the immigration un-policy. Way, way less of a fan of the guy stevis is running against.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:07 AM on July 17, 2008


Sean,

I started following information about your campaign because I was intrigued by the extension of small donors and internet based funds to local campaigns, but I've stayed because I find the transparency of your evolution into a candidate and your development within the political landscape to be fascinating. The fact that you are willing to take in information and change your views is something that I really respect and hope you keep. It seems that candidates at all levels are so concerned about the appearance of "flip-flopping" that they refuse to take in additional information and revise their view even if they come to the decision that they were wrong. I think you have the right counterapproach. Don't bury what you used to support or try to somehow distort it. Instead, acknowledge that policy making is by definition an evolutionary process.

One other thought. TheOnlyCoolTim requested that you provide a "short, clear, simple explanation of what an Information Architect is." I would also like to see this as an insight into your view.

Good luck continuing to deal with all the information overload!
posted by ewiley28 at 6:46 AM on July 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


if he were running his campaign in texas or california i could see all the panty-wadding over the immigration issue, but this is kansas. states in the middle of the country who don't overly lean on illegal immigrants for labor don't really need a totally fleshed out position at the state level

Kansas may not have the immigrant population of Texas or California or NYC, but the reason why folks in Kansas (and in every state) are suddenly FREAKING OUT about immigration is that the number of foreign workers has increased very dramatically in the last 10 years. Suddenly, people's communities are changing, signs are going up in Spanish, and they're reacting.

Immigration: This isn't the issue that I wanted to run for office to solve. It is the most vocally expressed problem to me, so I'd be remiss to avoid it, which I could have. My opponent doesn't mention anything - the easy way out. There is little that you can do at the state level to address this, but I wanted to make sure that the people in my district know that I understand their very vocal concerns. I recounted what they said and then said that I endorse existing laws. If you have a good solution for me I'd would *love* to hear it. Really.

Sorry, but this pretty much reads like you didn't want to leave the answer on that question blank when you turned in your test. You don't need to (and can't) SOLVE the problem, but as Miko pointed out, there are a lot of issues at the state level that you may need to address if elected. Even if you have to temper your published statements with some extreme caution, please do the homework.
posted by desuetude at 6:46 AM on July 17, 2008


I saw this on another website and kicked in $10. I'm amazed that Steve is one of our very own and that he took the time to engage us on his platform.
posted by onalark at 6:46 AM on July 17, 2008


Our household in Ireland, which contains one US citizen who isn't me, just chucked in $20.

I think that a person in the US would be foolish to think that stuff that these wackjobs pass in the Kansas state senate can't affect them. Bad laws spread like bacteria across state boundaries.

Sean, my only piece of actual advice would be to reign in your habit of thinking that you should only talk about things that people already care about. In a sense you're falling into a 'framing' trap there - someone is responsible for putting immigration at front-off-mind for all these people you're meeting and you seem to be sitting back and accepting it as a fait-accompli.

Elections rarely turn out to be only about the issues which were on the table in July, and it's pretty much your campaign's responsibility to get people to think about other issues you're stronger on or you think are more important.

You're right to not ignore what's there now, but you have other opportunities too. If thw whole Scopes-Monkey thing were a much larger issue in your district, would you be more likely to win? If so, make it a bigger issue. Nobody's going to do it for you.
posted by genghis at 6:47 AM on July 17, 2008 [5 favorites]


You can try and live in the world you want. But prepare to fuck up your life in the world that actually exists.

People..Saying I won't be happy until x, does not imply that I have a brain that can't possibly function outside of my emotions. Surprisingly, I can act rationally inside the world that currently exists while knowing that emotionally I will not be content until I have better options than Elephant and Ass. Perhaps that is a foreign concept to some, not sure.
posted by spicynuts at 6:47 AM on July 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also, Steve, please post an update to the donation count to this thread. Now I'm wishing I tagged my donation with MeFi.
posted by onalark at 6:50 AM on July 17, 2008


Gah, and I'm a jerk for calling Arlen, 'Steve' based off his username.
posted by onalark at 6:53 AM on July 17, 2008


Please remove me from the Internets, 'Sean', I'm apparently halfway to the retirement home this morning.
posted by onalark at 6:56 AM on July 17, 2008


" i'd love to donate but i'm afraid he'd be labeled a puppet of the socialist europeans. btw , what does happen if a foreigner donates?"

I've always wondered with all the restrictions and limits on campaign financing what happens if $100K in 20's is anonymously mailed to a candidates campaign headquarters?

desuetude writes "the reason why folks in Kansas (and in every state) are suddenly FREAKING OUT about immigration is that the number of foreign workers has increased very dramatically in the last 10 years. Suddenly, people's communities are changing, signs are going up in Spanish, and they're reacting. "

Didn't legal Hispanic residents of the states recently become a larger percentage of the population than blacks?
posted by Mitheral at 7:13 AM on July 17, 2008


I just sent $10; even if we probably don't agree 100% (and I suspect we don't, although the things I'd have a problem with were I a constituent are not the same issues others here are taking issue with), your opponent is so offensively stupid on abortion and the ID issue that I feel compelled to support you.

Good luck!

Although I'm sure you're smart enough to have thought of this already — do yourself a favor and stay the hell away from gun control. Democrats seem to have a fatal attraction to gun control proposals; it's like watching moths circle a bug zapper. It never ceases to amaze me, really. Just don't do it.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:27 AM on July 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Good on ya, Sean.

I found this blog post quite funny:

Many front doors have a prominent “No Solicitors” sign displayed, which is a nice way of pointing out to hopeful door-to-door salesmen that the door will be shut on their face. Thankfully, as a politician, that sign doesn’t pertain to me as I’m not selling anything. The trick, however, is to let people know that I’m not a solicitor.

I rang one doorbell and heard someone on the other side of the front door. I think they were looking at me through their peephole when I heard a man yell “No solicitors!” without even opening the door. “I’m not a solicitor!” I sort of yelled back through the door. “I’m a politician!”

There was a pause.

I wondered if he had gone away, and then he yelled back, “That’s even worse!”



I also think its interesting and commendable that he was motivated to run after attending a rally for Barack Obama. He apparently took Barack's urging people to get involved on the local level to heart, and then acted on it.
posted by Merik at 7:36 AM on July 17, 2008


Sean it would be nice to be able to see your donation progress on the web site ...
posted by geoff. at 7:51 AM on July 17, 2008


No candidate for State Representative in Kansas has ever had more than 644 donors.

Tevis donors currently: 1414.

Well played, Mr. Tevis. I am one of those donors and I hope you beat the socks off your intelligently designed opponent.
posted by mattbucher at 7:54 AM on July 17, 2008


geoff. writes "Sean it would be nice to be able to see your donation progress on the web site"

It's not updated in real time but there is a bar chart and count right under the comic.
posted by Mitheral at 7:56 AM on July 17, 2008


Ok Sean, you got my nine bucks. Please do a good job.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:59 AM on July 17, 2008


I donated $20.
posted by Mr_Zero at 9:12 AM on July 17, 2008


The Internet seems to have broken his website.
posted by Richard Daly at 9:24 AM on July 17, 2008


Yeah the site is borked! I want to see the progress.
posted by Justinian at 9:32 AM on July 17, 2008


It's still borked. I'm hoping that by now he's had millions of pageviews, garnered 10's of thousands of contributions, and completely blew every political junkies mind.
posted by SPUTNIK at 9:46 AM on July 17, 2008


No candidate for State Representative in Kansas has ever had more than 644 donors.

Until now. Which will allow his opponent to say... now let's see... to say that Mr. Tevis is trying to buy the election with a large infusion of cash from outside radicals, foul-mouthed atheist internet kids (they'll quote some of you), and even foreigners who have absolutely no business trying to sway the way we do things here in our home state of Kansas and who won't have to live with the results. Those internet fellas even talked him into changing his mind on keeping out those illegal aliens who are taking our jobs and overloading our social services.

At least, that's my bet.
posted by pracowity at 9:49 AM on July 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well, I just sent in $25. Good luck Sean!
posted by DiscourseMarker at 10:00 AM on July 17, 2008


Donated a small bit. I'm not even a Dem. I oppose taxation on the lower- and middle-class; I'm pro-legal immigration; government transparency is a no-brainer; I like the idea of using technology to make government more accessible and efficient; I am anti-excessive pollution; and I think things like education policy should be determined by state-level government (and shouldn't involve intelligent design).

Sean Tevis, do good for Kansas.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:14 AM on July 17, 2008


Which will allow his opponent to say... now let's see... to say that Mr. Tevis is trying to buy the election with a large infusion of cash from outside radicals, foul-mouthed atheist internet kids (they'll quote some of you). . .

Yes, but his opponent won't have the money to tell anyone.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:32 AM on July 17, 2008


Which will allow his opponent to say... now let's see... to say that Mr. Tevis is trying to buy the election with a large infusion of cash from outside radicals

and he'll be able to respond with "my candidate was funded by exxon mobile, and whacka-a-doo religious organization from atlanta, and, and, and (listing all the out of state big business donors here)"
posted by nadawi at 10:43 AM on July 17, 2008


Immigration: This isn't the issue that I wanted to run for office to solve. It is the most vocally expressed problem to me, so I'd be remiss to avoid it, which I could have. My opponent doesn't mention anything - the easy way out. There is little that you can do at the state level to address this, but I wanted to make sure that the people in my district know that I understand their very vocal concerns. I recounted what they said and then said that I endorse existing laws. If you have a good solution for me I'd would *love* to hear it. Really.

Okay, here's Christopher Jencks, writing in the New York Review of Books back in 2001. (Subscribers only, but you can buy it for $3. There's a couple other articles by Jencks which are available for free.)

Jencks argues for a political compromise, with two parts: provide a "simple, reliable way of determining workers' legal status", and impose serious penalties on employers that hire illegal workers; and offer amnesty to illegal immigrants who are currently in the country.
... monitoring the Mexican border is not an effective way to reduce American firms' use of illegals. The INS thinks that it catches about a third of those who cross the border illegally. America could catch more people by spending more on the Border Patrol, but it is not clear how much difference that would make, because those caught crossing the border illegally are simply returned to Mexico, where they are then free to try again. Even if the Border Patrol caught two thirds of those crossing illegally, most job seekers would probably get across eventually. The only effective way to close the Mexican-American border (or any other) is to punish those who get caught, and that is not politically practical. Jailing illegals would cause a major row with Mexico. Perhaps even more important, it would almost certainly be unpopular with American voters as well. Americans see work as a moral virtue. They are unlikely to favor jailing people whose only sin is that they want a job. ...

IRCA failed because it did not offer employers a simple, reliable way of determining workers' legal status. Employers caught hiring illegals could claim that they had made a good faith effort to determine applicants' legal status, and the courts generally accepted such claims. Creating a system for identifying people with a legal right to be in the United States is not technically difficult. Banks disburse billions of dollars in cash every day to customers who identify themselves with a piece of plastic and a code number. The federal government could create a similar system for identifying legal residents. The obstacle is not technical but political: employers, Latino activists, and some advocates of civil liberties all prefer a country in which employers can hire anyone they like, legal or illegal. ...

The most politically promising way around this impasse is probably to seek a compromise like the one that Congress thought it was approving in 1986. Such a compromise would offer illegals already in the United States another amnesty but only if employers and Latino activists accepted a system that made identifying illegals easy and imposed serious penalties on any firm that hired them. Such a compromise would provide substantial legal, economic, and psychological benefits to millions of illegals currently living in the United States, many of them harshly exploited and living in miserable conditions. Those concerned about improving illegal immigrants' lives would have good reason to support it. Devising an effective system for determining a worker's legal right to be here would take some ingenuity, but the challenge is not insurmountable. Senator Alan Simpson's proposal to experiment with secure drivers' licenses almost passed in 1990. Making it harder to forge a driver's license is not controversial, and indicating whether the driver is a legal resident of the United States is hard to portray as a major violation of civil liberties.
At the state level, the key messages would be: (1) go after employers rather than illegal workers; (2) propose a hard-to-forge ID that makes it easy for employers to check the legal status of applicants.

I read this a couple months ago, and thought, hey, politicians ought to be reading it. So there you go.
posted by russilwvong at 10:48 AM on July 17, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'm in for $10, if for no other reason that this advances my agenda of having Mefites slowly take over the entire system from the inside. Because then, there really could be a cabal.

Though, if anybody asks, there still is no cabal.
posted by quin at 11:06 AM on July 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Stevis, go rent Street Fight if you haven't seen it already. Good luck.
posted by Outlawyr at 11:25 AM on July 17, 2008


The page is no longer borked, and it's up to 2,203 contributors. I think this guy might do it! Holy crap, the internet FTW!
posted by SPUTNIK at 11:45 AM on July 17, 2008


Considering how many of us have donated more than $9, maybe his total is over $26,000 with 2,203 contributors. 'Course, a lot probably donated less than $8.34.
posted by agropyron at 12:19 PM on July 17, 2008


The comic gives the impression that $26,000 was the number estimated by his campaign consultant. Does he say anywhere how they arrived at that number?
posted by agropyron at 12:21 PM on July 17, 2008


I'm hoping that he will be disclosing a fair bit of information about the donations he received. I know he doesn't have to disclose ones under a certain size, but that's not what I'm looking for. Total amount raised would definitely be interesting, as would average size of donation, info on rate at which donations came in after the site went up, number that have donated $500, info on the geographic spread of donors and other random tidbits.

Did the comic just go up yesterday? That's what I got looking at the page properties, but I wasn't sure.
posted by ewiley28 at 12:34 PM on July 17, 2008


One other thought. Based on the amount of exposure he's gotten, I think he should write a post in his blog saying that he's accepting questions for a period of time, maybe a day, and then will post a blog answering issues raised in the questions.
posted by ewiley28 at 12:35 PM on July 17, 2008


Then I tried to find out what exactly an Information Architect was, failed in a brief effort (best guesses: Pretentious Librarian, Pretentious IT Guy, or Pretentious Web Design Guy, but I can't be sure of those),

Well, I can rule out the first. We Pretentious Librarians call ourselves Information Scientists, not Information Architects.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:38 PM on July 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Outlawyr: Stevis, go rent Street Fight if you haven't seen it already. Good luck.

Wow, that's a pretty fascinating story.
posted by russilwvong at 12:39 PM on July 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, I can rule out the first. We Pretentious Librarians call ourselves Information Scientists, not Information Architects.

It's still all muddled. At my university we have a College of Information Sciences and Technology which seems to be the School of Corporate/"Enterprise" IT, Programming, and Web Design and nothing to do with library science at all.

I disapprove of these ambiguous terms.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 1:00 PM on July 17, 2008


Information Architect, from wikipedia: "...the art and science of expressing a model or concept of information used in activities that require explicit details of complex systems."

I'm scratching my head. But on the other hand, my card says "GIS Coordinator," which causes other folks to scratch theirs.
posted by mmahaffie at 1:22 PM on July 17, 2008


The difference is that if I didn't know what GIS meant and then went to look it up, I'd immediately have a pretty good idea of what you're coordinating.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 1:24 PM on July 17, 2008


See? This is why I go by taxonomist. Everybody knows what that is.
posted by stet at 1:52 PM on July 17, 2008


This is why I go by taxonomist. Everybody knows what that is.

Sure! You stuff dead animals!
posted by Miko at 1:53 PM on July 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


When I was an IA my job was to figure out what sections, pages, and page areas contained what information.

Also to make pretty diagrams that the Account Execs and Clients would ooh and aah over without really knowing what they meant.
posted by Mick at 2:09 PM on July 17, 2008


I'm not so much interested in what an Information Architect is, I can learn as much or as little about that as I want, but I am interested in how he conveys what an IA is and what he does.
posted by ewiley28 at 2:51 PM on July 17, 2008



Considering how many of us have donated more than $9, maybe his total is over $26,000 with 2,203 contributors.


I would guess he's got a hell of a lot more that $26,000 on his hands right now.
posted by tkolar at 3:05 PM on July 17, 2008


In small to medium web shops the role of the Information Architect is to steal any of the interesting bits of a job that the Project Manager or Developer might get, without taking on board any of the responsibility.
posted by Artw at 3:11 PM on July 17, 2008


He's now at 2,741. Anybody wanna take bets as to when he'll hit 3000? I'm thinking some time before midnight.
posted by jabberjaw at 3:39 PM on July 17, 2008


The next time he updates he'll have it. 2,894 currently.
posted by cashman at 5:13 PM on July 17, 2008


Dude better not lose.
posted by Justinian at 6:00 PM on July 17, 2008


if he were running his campaign in texas or california i could see all the panty-wadding over the immigration issue, but this is kansas. states in the middle of the country who don't overly lean on illegal immigrants for labor don't really need a totally fleshed out position at the state level. his seems exactly in line with what i'd expect from many states and it doesn't seem bad. the states on the borders, those are the ones that really push immigration reform for better and for worse.

Others have already addressed this, but I wanted to stress that immigration is a BIG deal even in the flyover states, mainly because of meat packing plants. The town I live, Dodge City, has two packing plants and is over 40% Hispanic (legal and illegal). I've heard reports that the schools are getting close to 80% and are very overcrowded. You can read more here

I'm not in Stevis's district, but I donated anyway. Hope he's up to 3000 soon.
posted by weathergal at 6:18 PM on July 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dude. This has shown up on my friends list on LiveJournal.

stevis, you've got the crazy, geeky fangirls behind you now. You're doomed in like Flynn.
posted by elfgirl at 6:30 PM on July 17, 2008


The 3,000th person to donate should get a shirt with the the spartan stickman shouting "This Is the Internet!."
posted by jabberjaw at 6:37 PM on July 17, 2008


The 3000th donor should get Sean's face on on a shirt with "I CAN HAS STATE REPRESENTATIVE?" on it.
posted by cashman at 7:24 PM on July 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Or he could go old-school with "ALL YOUR INTELLIGENT DESIGN ARE BELONG TO US."
posted by Ms. Saint at 7:44 PM on July 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


I bet XKCD is going to get formally involved.
posted by cashman at 7:55 PM on July 17, 2008


Oh man, he's gonna hit his goal. I sure hope he says how much money got raised total in these crazy 36 hours.
posted by mathowie at 9:17 PM on July 17, 2008


Next goal: 9001 donors.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:18 PM on July 17, 2008


Wow, the earnestness is amazingly deep--and I mean that in the same sense as shit--but you've never been to Olathe, have you? Worlds of Fun and good luck, stevis. Read more issues of The Baffler the rest of you.
posted by sleepy pete at 10:38 PM on July 17, 2008


I will say, Sean, that for an Information Architect you do a fucking awful job of updating your site. Three thousand people - five times that of any other KS state leg pol - have donated to you in the last 48 hours, and yet the number tally hasn't been updated since what, noon? And your last blog entry is from July 11, regarding your E-PAC endorsement. It's probably wise in some sense to take things slowly, but you're dealing with Internet time now, so step up your game, hoss.

I say this lovingly but firmly.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:39 PM on July 17, 2008




russilwvong, that idea for identifying illegal immigrants sounds extremely close to a national id card plan, which I think is a bad idea for many many reasons.
posted by breath at 12:08 AM on July 18, 2008


Donated.
posted by puke & cry at 12:08 AM on July 18, 2008


Suck it, haters.
posted by puke & cry at 12:13 AM on July 18, 2008


Sean, you can send the illegals back as far as I'm concerned. Yeah it's a tragedy that they can't come to this country, and I'd be trying to cross the border in their shoes too. But the people who get hurt the most by illegal immigration are legal immigrants who can't make a living wage.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:10 AM on July 18, 2008


Sean, greetings from DC. I'd love to play outside agitator and send you you some commie money from the east but your donate by credit card button is not functioning.

I'll check back.
posted by aiq at 7:21 AM on July 18, 2008


I cheerfully coughed up $8.34 for Sean. I'm amazed at the number of people who claim they would send him money, "but...". But nothing. I looked at his opponents website (Herr Seigfried) und he is, in my mind, the epitome of everything that is wrong with this country today.

Tevis may not be "perfect", but he stands head and shoulders above his opponent.

I'd like to think that the reclamation of America began with a spark in Olanthe, Kansas.
posted by robds at 8:23 AM on July 18, 2008


4,101 donors and a new cartoon.
posted by cashman at 8:40 AM on July 18, 2008


breath: russilwvong, that idea for identifying illegal immigrants sounds extremely close to a national id card plan, which I think is a bad idea for many many reasons.

It doesn't have to be national. It could be based on a state driver's license, for example. (Here in BC, people who don't drive can get an alternative id.) As a technical guy, stevis would be in a good position to come up with a proposal that deals with technical concerns and privacy concerns.

BrotherCaine: Sean, you can send the illegals back as far as I'm concerned. Yeah it's a tragedy that they can't come to this country, and I'd be trying to cross the border in their shoes too. But the people who get hurt the most by illegal immigration are legal immigrants who can't make a living wage.

Christopher Jencks describes the effects differently: unskilled immigration (legal or illegal) tends to lower the wages of unskilled natives, increasing inequality.
The New Americans also suggests that immigration raises profits more than it lowers wages, making America as a whole slightly richer. But as [George J.] Borjas emphasizes in Heaven's Door, the net economic gain from immigration is tiny: probably less than 0.1 percent of Gross Domestic Product. The big effects of immigration are on the distribution of income. Under America's current immigration policy, the winners are employers who get cheaper labor, skilled workers who pay less for their burgers and nannies, and immigrants themselves. The losers are unskilled American-born workers.
Borjas' estimate of the impact:
Borjas shows, for example, that the wage gap between high school dropouts and graduates grew from 30 percent in 1980 to 41 percent in 1995. He estimates that almost half this change was caused by the fact that American-born high school dropouts faced more competition from immigrants than any other group of American-born workers.
posted by russilwvong at 11:02 AM on July 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


BrotherCaine, the sad thing is that the illegals aren't making a living wage. Those jobs pay crap.
posted by QIbHom at 11:44 AM on July 18, 2008


Sean, you can send the illegals back as far as I'm concerned.

Not going to happen. The American political system, in general, loves the status of illegal immigration. It's cheap, abusable, disposable labor with no power or voice. They can exploit it in campaigning both as generic exploitation of racial and class divisions and as BROWN PEOPLE ARE STEALING OUR JOBS. So the status quo of occasionally rounding up and deporting a bunch (plenty more where they came from) and building useless fences so that you can pretend you're making an effort is preferred. Punish the employers? They're upstanding businessmen, pillars of the community and donators to the campaigns, who surely had NO IDEA that these sneaky brown people weren't legit. Actually start sending significant amounts of illegal immigrants back? Said companies might have to hire people who aren't too afraid of being deported to complain about violations of minimum wage laws, etc.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:55 AM on July 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Barack Obama's Plan

Remove Incentives to Enter Illegally

Obama will remove incentives to enter the country illegally by cracking down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants.


Barack Obama's Record

* Crack Down on Employers: Obama championed a proposal to create a system so employers can verify that their employees are legally eligible to work in the U.S.



Obama got it right early on, although his supporters didn't know it. He understood a demand-side disaster when he saw it, but he's talking more about fences now, to keep in line with the popular image of a safer but still anti-government America. The popular image of the illegal immigrant as mostly salad picker is probably the most racist PR currently being force fed to America, ie, the helpless Mexican who needs a permanent place to live for a temporary job. Those are migrant workers who typically have family in Mexico, not to be confused for the skilled laborers with permanent jobs based on fake ID's, who rent homes and send their kids to American schools thanks to a construction job.
posted by Brian B. at 3:56 PM on July 18, 2008


Maybe we could have something like the bracero program again, but with OSHA regs applied instead of virtual slavery.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:58 AM on July 19, 2008


Comics are made of win, but since you just made history, Sean, it would be nice if you blogged about it. And you're issuing a press release, right? And sending it to whatever the hell paper people read in Kansas?
posted by DarlingBri at 2:29 AM on July 19, 2008


This is such an obvious media opportunity - play your cards even halfway right and you should be all over TV all day Monday. It's quirky *and* feel good! Do you have anyone around who understands how to manage press?
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:35 AM on July 19, 2008


His site says he has a background in journalism.
posted by Miko at 7:43 AM on July 19, 2008


ooh, tevis got his own fark thread. prepare for monies for simply mentioning rick astley.
posted by Mach5 at 8:19 AM on July 19, 2008


This is such an obvious media opportunity - play your cards even halfway right and you should be all over TV all day Monday.

With the headline "Thousands of liberals attempt to buy a seat in the Kansas legislature."

Don't be too sure that the people of Kansas will think this is as cool as we do. It looks a lot like outsiders meddling in local affairs.
posted by tkolar at 8:33 AM on July 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


At this moment there are only four articles mentioning Sean Tevis and the cartoon/internet thing when I search Google news; three are Kansas publications or blogs, and one is a British computer magazine site (wily Brits!). It should be interesting to see what that list looks like by Monday or Tuesday.
posted by taz at 11:58 AM on July 19, 2008


Isn't there a chapter in freakonomics that deals with campaign fiance?

Campaign fiance? Add one more 'e' and we'll be talking about Charlie Crist.
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:46 PM on July 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Donated, and I second the Street Fight rec - I just watched it the other night, and it's terrific.
posted by naoko at 12:13 AM on July 20, 2008


It is astounding that there's been absolutely no press coverage of Tevis, other than to note he's one of a large slate of political newcomers on the Dem ticket back when the candidates filed. Local papers (and local radio stations, if any) are always going to be important to local campaigns. To ignore them in the strategy would be harmful.

The intersection of national politics and the internet has been interesting for the last 10 years. The intersection of local politics and the internet is going to take a different shape, because local politics are a different beast requiring different approaches. This is going to be interesting.
posted by Miko at 8:54 AM on July 20, 2008


I agree about the weird silence - especially with the Netroots thing going on this weekend.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:42 AM on July 20, 2008


Also, why hasn't Sean updated his site?
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:43 AM on July 20, 2008


He probably took the money and absconded to Mexico.
posted by Justinian at 9:58 AM on July 20, 2008


He probably took the money and absconded to Mexico.

You have to admit, that would be a novel position on illegal immigration.
posted by tkolar at 11:42 AM on July 20, 2008 [7 favorites]


The illegal immigration page is currently marked as "closed for editing."
posted by russilwvong at 2:34 PM on July 22, 2008


I'm kind of surprised no one has come up to answer the question about what an information architect really is.

Well, you know what a graphic designer is? You tell them the message you want to convey, maybe what images you want on the page. They then take the knowledge that they (hopefully) have about typography, about the layout of a page, about visual stimuli, about visual perception and psychology and all that, and then they make a page.

An information architect does something similar, but with sets of information. Usually web pages, but not always. The information architect uses what they know about how information can be grouped, how people seek out information, and where they are likely to look first to determine where information should go, how it should be broken up, and what groupings should be used to organize it. If they are good, they will know how to analyze how the information is being used and improve the system to match the use. They might make popular pages even more popular, or foreground pages that they want the users to be reading. They will keep their eyes out for "mistakes"---people regularly going to the wrong piece of information for the answer they are seeking.

An information architect will most certainly have read the polar bear book and probably has read one of the books by Tufte (although they are almost prohibitively expensive). An informaition architect may or may not have a web programming background, but they are generally expected to know and understand the technologies being used by the company they work for even if they cannot program in it.

Information architects may work with existing systems but are also likely to work closely with teams developing new systems from scratch. This is in contrast to Knowledge Management experts, who might be more inclined to go with an out of the box solution like Sharepoint (this is not always the case however).

Incidentally, IANAIA, I don't know any Information Architects or Knowledge Management people...this is only what I get from gleaning from stuff online and reading articles geared at the different groups. I'm pretty sure if I could ever get my act together I would love to be either one and would do a great job at it.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:32 PM on July 22, 2008


The Tufte books are nowhere near prohibitively expensive, and are worth every penny. Thanks for the polar bear book link though.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:44 PM on July 22, 2008


Campaign fiance? Add one more 'e' and we'll be talking about Charlie Crist.

Haha, well spotted.

posted by oxford blue at 1:33 AM on July 23, 2008


I'm not a US citizen. If I was, I'd have donated just for his stick-figure political advisor looking sort of like Toby Ziegler.
posted by flashboy at 2:23 AM on July 24, 2008


The Tufte books are nowhere near prohibitively expensive

Yeah, I've always been criminally cheap when it comes to buying books. I always buy used, and you can rarely get a used copy of one his books for under $25. I recently went all out and spent around $85 for 4 books (all kinda job related) which is kind of like a record for me, so maybe there's hope for me yet.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:17 AM on July 24, 2008


I'm bothered by the drop off of any media coverage, his lack of blog updates, and the fact that the count hasn't been updated since Monday morning. I guess it's conceivable that all the time he'd normally allocate to the campaign is being spent filling out campaign finance forms, but I'd like to see even a blip.

This lack of continued communication makes it even more likely that Tevis won't see the normal level recurring contributions among small internet donors.
posted by ewiley28 at 2:06 PM on July 24, 2008


I have to agree. It's mystifying.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:45 PM on July 24, 2008


Maybe he took the money and hired a political consultant and is revising every aspect of his communications strategy before he makes his next step, or he's on a seven day bender (j/k).
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:22 PM on July 24, 2008


So far I think my decision to hang onto my limited campaign donation dollars instead of sending them to him on spec was a pretty good one. Hope I'm wrong and he comes back blazing - but still no news coverage, still no updates? For someone positioning himself as web-savvy?
posted by Miko at 6:26 PM on July 24, 2008


I'd bet that Sean is currently in a state of total bafflement, as well as being hounded by an overwhelming onslaught of political consultants who want his copious quantities of cash.

New political candidate + ridiculous amounts of cash = found money for unscrupulous political consultants = near non-stop harassment by said unscrupulous political consultants.
posted by Freen at 8:07 PM on July 25, 2008


He's updated his Facebook page with the news that there will be articles about his campaign in both the Wall Street Journal and the LA Times on Monday (28th).
posted by triggerfinger at 8:00 AM on July 27, 2008


Here's the LA Times story.

He's close to 100k.

My favorite line is at the end:

"Tevis sheepishly broke the news to his mother last week that she needed to step in front of a camera: Four people so far have given enough to get the DVD."
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:16 AM on July 28, 2008


Sen. Barack Obama's presidential bid has transformed the way presidential candidates use the Internet to reach volunteers and donors -- particularly donors who give relatively small amounts. Now Tevis' success underscores how such online grass-roots efforts are also revolutionizing down-ticket races.
That's a good succinct summation.
posted by Miko at 9:44 AM on July 28, 2008


I think the LA Times sort of missed the point on this one. It isn't just those crazy kids fundraising on the internet. Sure, some people gave cash just for the LOLs and the creativity of the campaign piece, but I suspect many more were democrats abso-freakin-loutely desperate to take back US government at all levels.

You know, so we can teach out of text books and not bibles?
posted by DarlingBri at 1:10 PM on July 28, 2008


Here's the WSJ story. If possible, they missed the point even more: no mention, unless I missed it, of the smallness of the average donation and how micro-donations can add up fast. Funny, since the Journal is supposed to be more obsessed with finance than politics.
But Sean got one of those iconic WSJ engravings, so it's all good.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:22 AM on July 29, 2008


but I suspect many more were democrats abso-freakin-loutely desperate to take back US government at all levels.

I disagree; I do think the newsworthy element is using a dogwhistle (popular web comic) to reach a specific cultural network (internet geeks) using electronic communication. The reason I think that is that, as I mentioned upthread, there are and have been any number of Democratic candidates who are trying desperately to unseat conservative reactionaries nationwide. That in itself isn't newsworthy.

But the onus has been on political activitists who cared strongly about that issue to seek out and support the candidates in those races -- as someone said, netroots politics has taken advantage of those people, but you already have to be a bit of an activist to be involved in those groups. In this case, Tevis (like Obama) used social networking to reach people who had not previously been politically active to the degree of doing research on distant races and making strategic donations - the package was right.

Perhaps ironically, the Christian right employed similar strategies in its takeover of statehouses and school boards. Though I can't find it now, I remember reading a New Yorker piece about eight years ago which described the national networks that Christian conservative groups employed to get favored candidates on school boards in state after state. Supporters contributed to races in districts not their own, and the vote was mobilized through closed, personal networks of churches and Bible study groups. This is not materially different, just an internet-based iteration of the same strategy.
posted by Miko at 9:12 AM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


The weirdest paragraph from the story:

"I told them, 'If he's successful and wins in November, this is what you're going to see from every Democrat in Kansas -- and everywhere -- in two years,' " Siegfreid said.

It's like it hasn't even occurred to him that hey! Maybe Republicans could do it too.
posted by EarBucket at 2:41 PM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


hmm wonder if he was advised to lay low with blogging/commenting till they figured out what his PR strategy would be following the success of this "lets try it and see what happens" venture?
posted by infini at 4:28 AM on August 2, 2008


Well, he posted a long blog entry on July 28 about the LA Times interview.
posted by mattbucher at 6:41 AM on August 2, 2008


yah, I just came from there, but that's been what? Over a week now? and no response as someone pointed out to this thread either. LA Times is 'manageable' mainstream media, the interwebs are a dangerous place ;p
posted by infini at 7:03 AM on August 2, 2008


The blog entry is interesting - reporter makes such a big fuss about traveling to "see Olathe," but there's no local color at all in the story - nothing you couldn't report by phone. The LA Times pays for that trip. Could be they want to get on top of the story now and establish a relationship while the campaign is nascent.

Sean seemed miffed about being pulled out of the movie - but life as a state rep is going to be at least that intensive.
posted by Miko at 10:02 AM on August 2, 2008


I'm not a huge traditionalist or anything, but personally, I'm getting a little miffed, never mind Sean.

I didn't expect a personal, engraved thank you note or anything, but as far as I can tell, several thousand people responded to Sean's request and between us, we didn't even get a lousy than you blog post.

I'm going to call Sean's mom so she can smack him upside the head. With a DVD.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:22 PM on August 2, 2008


Sean Tevis lost big. 564 votes to Siegfreid's 1582.
posted by geoff. at 12:18 PM on August 6, 2008


That works out to about $170 per vote. I wonder what he'll do with the leftover cash. Metafilter pizza party?
posted by mattbucher at 12:25 PM on August 6, 2008


I wish Sean Tevis would comment here on his site about what happened. It seemed real grass-roots with a lot of community interaction, then nothing. He even got gobs of good press (nationally) yet I didn't see any Sean Tevis television ads, billboards or annoying yard signs, and I live probably less than 15 minutes from him.

For the amount of money he raised it seems he could have saturated the entire area with ads and volunteers. I would think a potential up and comer who shows a good ability to to raise money would raise the eyebrows of a few party people, maybe throw some human resources on campaign management his way.

It was always a long shot, but this should have been enough to muscle him into the alt weekly, the Star and every other local media outlet, even that "Kansas City Week in Review" that no one watches. I mean the local media has been going crazy over the new Power & Light District where they took a city block downtown and built a Downtown Disney bar area for adults. I mean as much as I enjoy coverage about where all the Chad and Trixies go to drink, this had something that is a little more, you know, substantive.
posted by geoff. at 1:01 PM on August 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Agreed, geoff. The campaign seemed to go poof. I didn't realize the election date in his district was actually so close - hardly left himself time to spend his warchest, let alone do all the fleshing out and retooling that platform required. I"m curious too. What happens to unspent campaign donations in Kansas? Does the campaign remain a financial entity until all assets are liquidated? How do you liquidate unobligated funds donated for a political campaign that's over?
posted by Miko at 1:06 PM on August 6, 2008


ooo ooo I know

How do you liquidate unobligated funds donated for a political campaign that's over?

sponsor a ginormous MeFi meetup, beer's on the internet!! ;p
posted by infini at 7:54 AM on August 7, 2008


I thought the election was in November, I'm confused about the results geoff posted. Perhaps this is as a result of knowing pretty much nothing about the electoral system for US State Representatives.
posted by knapah at 4:14 PM on August 7, 2008


Sean Tevis lost big. 564 votes to Siegfreid's 1582.

Those are the primary election results. Tevis was the top Democratic candidate; Siegfreid the top Republican. They face off in the general election in November, where turnout will be higher and voting isn't restricted by party registration.

To repeat: THE ELECTION IS IN NOVEMBER.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:33 PM on August 7, 2008 [6 favorites]


Oh, election in November, heh and I was all pissed off. Do not read the pape rin the morning.
posted by geoff. at 9:18 PM on August 7, 2008


In Kansas (particularly Johnson County), many Democrats register Republican to vote in the Republican primary (either to vote for the sane candidate, because no democrat files, or for the insane candidate so a Democrat will pull the moderate Republicans). So the lower turnout for Sean isn't as damning as it looks.
posted by dismas at 12:25 PM on August 8, 2008


Tevis' story was on Morning Edition today.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:57 AM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Look, I'm happy that people are finally discovering that the Internet is important for politics...just like they discovered in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006.

I understand that Sean Tevis would enjoy putting up the various mentions he gets up on his blog, but what about blog posts on what is actually going on in his region of Kansas. Look, I would vote for him because I have a nervous tic that makes it impossible for me to flip the "yes" switch next to a republican. But if I were on the fence I would want to know that he is actually talking about local issues important to me.

Every day on the site there should be something like, "Today in the Blah blah Local Gazette there was an article on recent changes to municipal dumping (other local issue). As you know the issue of (the environment|education|crime|immigration) is important to this campaign. My policy in this area would be to..." and go on from there.

The last thing I'd care about as a local voter is how a bunch of out-of-towners are really, really interested in getting some guy elected in my town who, because he's funded by out-of-town dollars, is going to care more about their issues than mine.

Incidentally, I'm totally a hypocrite. I didn't donate to him because I think local politics should sort of stay local, but I also haven't registered to vote here in Philly yet and I haven't donated money to any candidate, because I'm a skinflint. Nevertheless, I think as someone who's decided to be politically active, Mr. Tevis needs to turn his attention from all of us and onto the people who will be his constituents.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:13 AM on August 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Mefite stevis featured on NPR.
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:36 PM on August 12, 2008


Medieval Maven, Nelson Muntz laughs at you.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:11 PM on August 12, 2008


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