Dayton v. Kennedy

Returning Senator Mark Dayton to the Ranks of the Idle Rich in 2006

2/27/2005

"Thune-style blogging phenomenon"

We stumbled across this post on MyDD -- a top lefty blog -- discussing the influence of the South Dakota bloggers and their progeny:

BTW, I see a birth of a Thune-style blogging phenomenon arising in the upcoming 2006 Minnesota Senate race. Someone started a Dayton Vs. Kennedy blog a bit back -- though it's just a pro-kennedy blog now, since Dayton isn't running -- and it has all the feel of the same kind of phenomenon (I'm not being conspiratorial here, kudos to these guys doing whatever the hell they want to, including not disclosing ties, working extremely closely with Kennedy's campaign, etc.) one gets from the Thune bloggers. I don't want to do a forensic on that blog, but rest assured that it's on the radar of South Dakota blogger Jon Lauck and Time Magazine blogger of the year and Minnesota resident John Hinderaker of the Powerline blog.

Also, of all the establishment conservative journalist types, none gets the potential of blogging better than Hugh Hewitt. Check out his book, Blog, which fits nicely on a shelf next to We the Media and The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

There's some really good ideas in it, and some interesting exploration of the potential impact of dark arts blogging. he gets into hypothetical scenarios where a blogger ostensibly supports a candidate, gains a large audience through his talents, and then "turns" on the candidate. I think this is something more relevant in a primary process than a general election, but it's a rich field, and no doubt will come down the road.


Where to start? First, I genuinely hope TBFKADVK is something approaching the "Thune-style blogging phenomenon in the upcoming 2006 Minnesota Senate race." That was my intent when I started DvK: replacing a silly Democrat incumbent with no sense about economics, national security or our founding documents, and replacing him with a conservative.

It was evident to anyone who cared to look that Mark Kennedy was the best vehicle for making that happen. For the umpteenth time, TBFKADVK is not affiliated with the Kennedy campaign. As the founder of this blog I can say I have never met Rep. Kennedy (or even seen him in the flesh) or anyone affiliated with his campaign. No manila envelopes have been slid across the table. I had not been involved with party politics for more than a decade prior to launching DvK late last September.

A week ago today we were graciously invited to join the campaign for the congressman's statewide announcement tour. My sense is that this was because of a recognition on behalf of the Kennedy campaign that they were not going to get any coverage, let alone the favorable sort, from any Metro area TV or print media and decided to employ what help they could from alternative media including blogs and talk radio. While having an unmistakable Kennedy-centric bent, TBFKADVK will call 'em as we see 'em. For instance, First Ringer was not shy about taking note of candidate Kennedy's stumbles on the issue of Social Security "privitization" last week. If we were on the payroll, you can bet any mentions of it would have been expunged like a Soviet-style purge. In revealing any early shortcomings we would hope to ultimately strengthen the candidacy. But again, that is not our decision to make.

RE: Lauck and Hinderacker

Jon Lauck knows who I am only by virtue of the fact I started pestering him late last summer begging for tips on how to start a similar blog in Minnesota. Eventually -- like the unjust judge -- he had to respond to my harassing emails. Since then he has been gracious enough to link SDP to TBFKADVK on a handful of occasions. I would love to have half the influence he did in South Dakota last year. Hinderacker has no clue who we are and with good reason -- our readership is a fraction of a tenth of one percent of Powerline's.

In early December, when Harry Reid announced a "15 member message will include press aides who will publicize Democratic activities to Internet news organizations and bloggers", I wrote: "In DemWorld, every member of the center-right blogosphere takes its marching orders from Messrs. Rove and Mehlman each morning and regurgitates the pap to the awaiting rabble in Jesusland." Apparently, that is still the thinking. Liberals like their blogging -- like their economics -- with a heavy dose of central planning. Conservatives do not.

No one dictates what is posted here contrary to the fevered conspiracy theories of folks like this. DvK was launched out of a desire to see the Constitution defended, the Social Security system solvent, taxes reformed and our cities mushroom cloud-free. End of story.


Doug Adds:

I think Gary states the case well here, but allow me to re-iterate from my own perspective.

I wouldn't have joined DvK (or whatever we'll be called eventually) if I thought it would be simply a campaign tool. I've done some volunteering for campaigns, and don't denigrate those who do. But that's not what this is about.

Should the race develop in an unexpected direction (like, say, a certain incumbent dropping out of the race), we'll adjust to fit our personal preferences, not the preferences of any particular campaign.

That being said, we're admittedly biased in this race. Every blogger here is a Republican and none of us are ashamed to say so. All of us want the Senate seat currently held by Mark Dayton to become a Republican seat in 2006. We also all currently believe Congressman Kennedy has the best chance to make that happen.

We have a bias. You know that before you read a word we say. But it's not an artificial, i.e paid for, bias. We're self-funded for reasons that are pretty basic. The cost of running this site is extremely low; every one of us is already passionate about politics; we all blog; and when it comes to the fundamentals of this race, we all agree.

If someone wants to shower us with money for doing this, go ahead. If we accept money, we'll disclose. But really, since no one has even offered us a dime, the silence on the matter of funding is kind of obvious, unless you want daily updates that read "There's still no one paying us for this blog."

FURTHER UPDATE: More thoughts on the subject from First Ring.

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