Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Who gets the 50 Questions?

Yes, now that there are 50 Questions to hand out, they get to go to the major campaigns, first.

So this week is the major party candidates as listed at Ron Gunzberger's Politics1 Site. My thanks to him for compiling and updating this list and as new candidates arrive they will also get a copy of the questions. I will just be taking the HTML from my post, making a letter and sending it to every campaign. They will get the text of the post, plus minimal introductory sentence with link-back to the post. If they do not have html capability then they get the plain text of the post plus a plain text html link in the introduction. And there are going to be some categories of response that will be given:

1) No response. Typical expectation of Party Elites who do not need to respond to Citizens. Call this the 'Aristocratic Response'. Automatic email replies will be considered this after 1 week from that reply if nothing further is sent.

2) A staffer will 'flack' the response. This is pretty much standard for all the Congresscritters and is representative of their not wanting to be in contact with real, live voters that are mere Citizens of the Union. Hard to categorize this as it is the 'run of the mill' way campaigns have to deal with anyone so as to not bother their poor Candidate with actually having to think. So it can be called the 'Plastic Bubble Response' as any communicating with real people might cause an infection that would be instantly fatal to the Candidate's thought processes. Candidates in this are so highly protected that they have no way to actually think about alternative ways of doing things nor address them.

3) The 'Technowonk Response'. This category is reserved for any campaign that puts forth their 'programs' and does not wish to deal with their outlook on various subjects that matter to the Union. In this category is also such responses as: 'just read this/that book the candidate endorses' and 'we have all the programs we support up on a website.' These are not addressing issues, but addressing details. Can't know if they are the right details unless the issues are addressed.

4) The 'BTDT Response'. Very few Candidates can actually do this as very few have actually laid out their views on America and philosophy of governing. If they have actually written a book on same and then still *require* payment, then one must begin to wonder exactly *why* they should be paid for something that should be freely available to all Citizens if that is their true viewpoint. Those unable or unwilling to put out their text into the Public Domain will gain the 'Extortion Response' as they do not look for the Nation as a whole, but to line their own pockets and let people hope they will govern by what they have stated.

5) The above items 1-4 should cover 99.99% of all Candidates given past views on how others have acted once they have gotten into High Office. Anything else will get a 'Singular Response' and demonstrates some minimal level of open-ness, fairness and willingness to engage in even minimal dialogue with the Citizenry. In truth, I do not expect to get ANY of these.

Now time to get the list going and I will follow the ordering on the Politics1 site and only those OFFICIALLY announced for anything get this:

1) Sam Brownback - website - Now, his website uses the ever lovely 'webform', so that will now get a filling out. And the webform is NOT html enabled. So be it, they get a hardcode plain text of it at the start and they can find it at their leisure. Sent, no confirmation page. [24 JAN 2007]

2) Jim Gilmore does NOT have an official contact site as yet. And I do not trust anyone at a Drafting committee to be able to actually get information through to their espoused candidate. So nothing sent his way until he gets his act together.

3) Rudy Giuliani - Has an exploratory website, no contact info. Will wait for developments.

4) Duncan Hunter - Has a website under construction. Will wait for developments.

5) John McCain - website - Webform. Sent, no confirmation page. [24 JAN 2007]

6) Ron Paul - website - Has email contact at the site. Mail sent. [24 JAN 2007]

7) Mitt Romney - website - Oh, my, a 'Policy Contact'! Well, that gets an email. Mail sent. [24 JAN 2007]

8) Tom Tancredo - Has exploratory website, no contact info. Will wait for developments.

9) Tommy Thompson - website - General info email at site, and I do want general info! Handy, that. Mail sent. [24 JAN 2007]

Fun so far, isn't it?

Now for the Democrats:

1) Joe Biden - website - General info email at site, still handy! Mail sent. [24 JAN 2007]

2) Hillary Clinton - website - Yes, the good General Info is there too! Mail sent. [24 JAN 2007]

3) Chris Dodd - website - Now, what sort of politician first puts up a recruitment interstitial page? Luckily one can skip it. A webform! Sent, no confirmation page. [24 JAN 2007]

4) John Edwards - website - What is it with these 'join up' interstitial splash pages? Yes you can skip them... but it is a bit off-putting if you are trying to find OUT about a Candidate and you get the recruitment poster. A webform! Sent but they have a Confirmation Page! Amazing! [24 JAN 2007]

5) Mike Gravel - Dear Senator, you webpage currently gets a 403 Forbidden. Suggest you get someone to put up a nice little photo page and a 'coming soon' on it.

6) Dennis Kucinich - Now here is something special on this day, 24 JAN 2007: Mr. Kucinich has TWO web sites. The first one is non-functional and the website has declined to show the page. The second is all snazzy, save for the broken center section in my web browser... but, by looking around you can get in contact with Chad at the website! Poor Chad. One hopes he is not hanging. Time to send him a lovely little email, just as formulaic as all the rest without one peep on the non-functioning of the sites in question. They might want to hire Gen. Info in the future... Mail sent. [24 JAN 2007]

7) Barack Obama - website - Gen. Info on duty there! Mail sent. [24 JAN 2007]

8) Bill Richardson - website - Webform. Sent and a Confirmation Page! [24 JAN 2007]

9) Tom Vilsack - website - Webform. Sent and a Confirmation Page! [24 JAN 2007]

Well, that is it for the 'big name' folks. A long morning, but worth it.

This post will be updated as necessary over time and most likely broken out a bit more.

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