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Category “eCampaign Gadgetry”

99 Percent of ObamaCare Applicants Didn’t Get Through

In reality, no one appears to have gotten through in the now-six day old “HealthCare.gov.”  (Now back “under construction” this weekend as the IT dorks try to get it past the “Beautiful, but useless Word Press blog” stage…)  Well, there was a report that a 20-something got in, but apparently he didn’t.

[Of course the funnier part in that story was that he was a plant from Organizing for America, of which he’s been employed or with since 2007…]

It’s a batting average that won’t land the federal marketplace for Obamacare into the Healthcare Hall of Fame.

As few as 1 in 100 applications on the federal exchange contains enough information to enroll the applicant in a plan, several insurance industry sources told CNBC on Friday. Some of the problems involve how the exchange’s software collects and verifies an applicant’s data.

“It is extraordinary that these systems weren’t ready,” said Sumit Nijhawan, CEO of Infogix, which handles data integrity issues for major insurers including WellPoint and Cigna, as well as multiple Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates.

Experts said that if Healthcare.gov‘s success rate doesn’t improve within the next month or so, federal officials could face a situation in January in which relatively large numbers of people believe they have coverage starting that month, but whose enrollment applications are have not been processed.

“It could be public relations nightmare,” said Nijhawan. Insurers have told his company that just “1 in 100” enrollment applicants being sent from the federal marketplace have provided sufficient, verified information.

According to CNBC, another insurer they talked to who was processing HealthCare.gov enrollments — but didn’t provide his or his company’s name — said that they were getting half completed applications, going so far as saying that many of the applications look like they are coming from corrupted data.

No wonder computer security experts like John McAfee say the entire system is a “hacker’s wet dream.”

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Yahoo Steals from Google to Save Itself from Oblivion

She’s a Cheesehead, was Google employee No. 20, and now heading over to Yahoo to run the place.

Not bad for a 37 year-old from Wausau.

Published reports say Yahoo is hiring Google executive Marissa Mayer to be its next CEO.

Mayer has been involved with Google’s search, gmail and Google news features.

The New York Times says she’s starting at Yahoo Inc. on Tuesday. Mayer was one of Google’s earliest employees.

Ross Levinsohn, who joined Yahoo in late 2010, has been running the company on an interim basis and had been thought to be the lead candidate. Levinsohn filled in after Scott Thompson lost his job in a flap over misinformation on his official biography.

Mayer is 1993 graduate of Wausau West High School.

It was the New York Times blog, “DealBook” which first broke the news.  Meyer also serves on Walmart’s Board of Directors.

Mayer also becomes possibly the most attractive CEO in Silicon Valley.  Here is a picture from 2009 when she was named Glamour Magazine’s Woman of the Year.

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The Future is Now

Once I joked at a CPAC that in the future, all debate would still consist of yell, but with both sides holding cell phone cameras.

Was proven right today.

This is video from one of the conservative bloggers at BlogCon, a technology and informational seminar and forum for bloggers sponsored by FreedomWorks.  (I’d probably be there, but I have family in town this weekend so I opted not to go.)   In it, some folks from the local Occupy Denver outfit make the mistake of going into a den filled with many of the nation’s top conservative to libertarian-leaning bloggers.


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A Big Hire for Twitter

Congrats to Twitter for the smart hire, and congrats to my friend Mindy Finn for the next great adventure in her career.

Twitter, pushing to match its political influence with political ad revenues, has hired one of the Republican Party’s top digital strategists to help drive the effort.

Mindy, who was until Monday a partner in EngageDC, which she co-founded with Patrick Ruffini, started work at Twitter to lead “strategic partnerships,” a Twitter spokesman, Matt Graves, said. A Houston native, she was on POLITICO’s “50 politicos to watch” list this year. A Romney aide in 2008, her recent clients include candidate Tim Pawlenty and Gov. Bob McDonnell, and Chairman Paul Ryan.

Twitter is racing for a piece of the large-scale social media ad buys expected in the presidential and other national and local campaigns, and in September rolled out several styles of relatively unobtrusive ads aimed at potential voters or donors. The Romney and Cain campaigns have already bought “promoted tweets,” Cain to fight back against reports of misbehavior, and Speaker John Boehner used the platform to go after Obama’s jobs bill.

Twitter’s presence in D.C. was, at first, focused on making the service central to the nation’s political conversation; it’s now staffing up on the business side. Finn will be working for former Google executive Peter Greenberger, a former Democratic operative, and will join a growing Washington political staff.

“Mindy is one of the most knowledgeable and connected people in Washington’s intersecting circles of politics and technology,” Greenberger, Twitter’s director of political sales, said in an emailed statement. “We couldn’t be happier to have her join Twitter. Mindy will be an important part of showing candidates, campaigns, and elected officials how our Promoted Products can make a difference in the 2012 election cycle and beyond.

For a Wisconsin tie to the work Mindy’s done in the past, EngageDC did some of now-Congressman Sean Duffy’s internet strategy, which was a huge boost to his initial campaign last year.

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Why Political Donation By Text Message Ain’t Happening Soon

So you’ve probably thought the same thing I have over the past two weeks as millions of dollars from millions of Americans have been donated to the Red Cross for Haitian earthquake relief:  Imagine if that could happen for political campaigns.

Nate Gonzales of the Rothenberg Political Report has a great column explaining why such a thing is currently highly illegal with FEC rules and regulations.  That being said, it’s not like someone isn’t thinking of a way to make it copacetic with the letter of the law.

It may be the “new stream of philanthropy,” a Verizon Wireless spokesman told the Associated Press, but there are some significant roadblocks before federal candidates can do the same thing.

First of all, candidates and campaign committees need to collect basic information about all donors including their name, address, and occupation. This is not necessarily prohibitive but candidates would need to establish a “best effort” to obtain the information after the contribution, according to a Federal Election Commission spokesman. This is more of a practical roadblock than a legal one.

But more importantly, collecting political contributions via text messaging may run afoul of the law because corporations are prohibited from being conduits for contributions. In order for the transaction to work, cell carriers such as Verizon, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, or AT&T would have to collect the contribution on the bill and then write a check to the particular campaign.

Keep in mind, the FEC has not issued a formal advisory opinion on the matter of accepting contributions via text (mainly because no candidate has requested one). Until that time comes, we won’t have a definitive answer on the legality of the issue.

One wonders who will be the first.

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Don’t Always Trust the Spell Check

[An admission at first:  This is a total cheap shot.  But since spelling in press releases is apparently now fair game in blogging circles in Wisconsin, I figured, ah well, run with this.

I mean, not using it will make me having a family member run off for the photo go to waste…]

One of the downsides of having a Campaign Manager from out-of-state, they trust the spell check on MS Office a tad too much when it comes to the spelling of cities and town in Wisconsin.

Case in point, whoever sent out this email on Friday from the Barrett Campaign.

As this shot of a road sign taken this past Saturday clearly shows, that is not the proper way to spell “Howards Grove.”

Is this over-kill?  No, not really.

This is: Pointing out that Tom Barrett’s Official Twitter account CAN spell “Howards Grove” correctly.

(Campaign’s using TweetDeck; wonder if that’s from the iPhone or desktop version…not available yet for BlackBerry)

The Twitpic attached makes it look like Barrett’s at the Log Cabin Inn, which is just off of Hwy 23 on one of Howards’ two main drive.   Been a few years since I’ve been there myself.  Their broasted chicken is very good I recall.

As I said to a friend of mine who forwarded me the initial Barrett Campaign email, I think whoever edited the email got a little carried away with agreeing with the spell check inside MS Word.  Spell check “Howards Grove” yourself if you’d like.

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It’s No Longer Just Campaign Web People Noticing

For the better part of the last month and a half, myself and a few of the unnamed bloggers at the “Scott Walker for Governor” blog have made a few choice jokes and one-liners about the lack of well…anything from the Tom Barrett for Governor campaign website.

Well, you can now add the state Associated Press to the list of those wondering what exactly is going on with the lack of action on the web page.

Tom Barrett’s campaign Web site really stands out.

For what it lacks.

Two months after the Democratic Milwaukee mayor joined the governor’s race, Barrett’s campaign Web site remains bare bones.

The pedestrian site includes only a picture of Barrett and links to sign up for updates, to volunteer and, of course, to donate money.

The two most prominent Republican candidates Scott Walker and Mark Neumann, and even dark horse newcomer Mark Todd, all have flashy sites complete with biographies, videos, position papers and other bells and whistles.

Barrett spokesman Phil Walzak says a new Web site with more information will be up within two weeks.

Haven’t really had a chance to talk to some e-Campaign people I know in DC about the lack of a Barrett website.  I’ll leave such things up to them on their blogs.  Hackbarth will probably say something eventually when he’s got the time.

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That “New Media Intern” is Sooooo Paying Off

For the record, I know for a fact RPW has a full-time employee who deals with all their “New Media” as well as video editing and other internet and social media needs.  On the other hand, DPW has a 20 year-old UW-Madison student as the party’s first “New Media Intern.”

This video showcases the difference in talent level.

Okay, where to start…

The pacing is limited and slow, the music was last cool about three years ago (Yes, even Elvis can be uncool), and frankly the wipes look like they were from the 90s.

I have no desire to ever really work in “New Media” ever again in my life, but a few conversations with the likes of Sean Hackbarth, Robert Bluey, Michael Turk, and a whole mess of other people in conservative’s “New Media Exchange” has taught me what makes for a “good web-video.”

This is not it.  It looks like it was done on the cheap.

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Obama Admits He’s Never Used Twitter

Ha, knew it!

[At least McCain does. (Or in his case, because he’s medically inable to type on a BlackBerry or keyboard thanks to years of torture in a Vietnamese prison camp, he dictates his tweets to a staffer)]

According to the Twitter stream, the president was answering a question about whether he thought the Chinese firewall was a good idea and whether Chinese people should be able to use Twitter. His response: “I have never used Twitter. My thumbs are too clumsy. But I’m a big believer in technology.” Then he then went on to discuss the open Internet and why he thinks it’s important to have unrestricted access (i.e. no censorship). “I’m a big supporter of not restricting Internet use, Internet access, Twitter.” He used his own daughters as an example, citing that they can go online and learn about Shanghai; he also admitted the dangers of the Internet and how it can be used for ill as well as good.

That may explain why he and the State Department were so slow on the up-take regarding the Iranian protests this Summer…

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And Then His Children Left Him…

No doubt the source for this info will be questioned — it’s from the national blog of the College Republicans — but the polling (Gallop, AP, others) seems to be right one.

The vaunted “Youth Vote” is being to get antsy with Obama.

Despite the overwhelming 68% support that voters in the 18-29 age demographic gave President Obama in last year’s elections, many younger voters are beginning to feel a sense of buyer’s remorse and, more than ever, are beginning to doubt the President’s agenda and Democratic leadership.Below are some key takeaways from some national polls taken within the past week.

According to a recent analysis by Gallup, “Approval of Obama is down among all major age groups over the past month, but the drop has been particularly steep—11 points—among adults aged 18-29”.

An even more recent Zogby International poll finds a much steeper drop among young people. According to Zogby, Obama’s approval rating among the 18-29 demographic has dropped from 59% to 41% in just one month—a stunning 18 point drop. Although Obama’s approval rating declined among all age groups over this period, the drop was by far the steepest among young voters, aged 18-29.

The drop in support among young people for liberal policies goes far beyond a simple judgement of President Obama. Polling over the last week shows surprising, but very encouraging data.

An Economist/YouGov poll taken over the last week includes stunning results for the 18-29 demographic:

• By a 52-48% margin, young people say that Obama says what he thinks people want to hear rather than what he actually believes.

• By a 56-44% margin, young voters say that big government is a bigger threat than big business.

• 49% of young voters say the country is “on the wrong track”. Just 29% say the country is headed in the right direction.

• 35% of voters aged 18-29 identify themselves as Democrats, while 30% identify as Republicans. This is a much closer margin than polls had found just a short time ago.

• Just 15% of young people approve of the job the Democratic Congress is doing. 46% disapprove.

• 83% of young voters say the budget deficit is a big concern for them. This is nearly as high as the number of young people who say the economy is a major concern, indicating that young people see a strong correlation between the two.

• Just 43% of young voters approve of Obama’s handling of the economy.

Why is this happening?

This could be a reason.

The proportion of people ages 16 to 24 who were employed in July was 51.4 percent, the lowest July rate since records began in 1948 and 4.6 percentage points lower than in July 2008.

The traditional summertime peak for youth employment saw 19.3 million workers in that age group on the job nationally, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual report, released Thursday. The proportion of young people actively seeking work surges between April and July each year as people look for summer jobs or their first jobs after graduation.

“Every day we constantly have people in that age group asking for applications, and summer demand is always up,” said Cynthia Sheridan, owner of a frozen custard shop at Crown Center.

Youth job searches this year swelled the ranks of the unemployed — those actively seeking but not getting jobs — by 1.1 million in the second quarter.

The Labor Department said 4.4 million youths were unemployed in July 2009, or about 1 million more than in July 2008, putting the youth jobless rate at 18.5 percent, about double the overall national percentage.

The blog “techPresident,” an off-shoot of the liberal-leaning Personal Democracy Forum commented recently on how much of an unmitigated disaster the DNC’s “Organizing for America” is.  OFA pretty much IS the 13 million name list the Obama campaign assembled in 2008.  Then it was able to stir up nearly 2/3 of all of its online donations through the list.

Now, it can’t get them to do anything (and it’s not just the budget it’s under).   What a difference a year makes.

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