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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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