Thursday, August 31, 2006

Running for office in the age of MySpace

I have a confession to make. I used to be a chronic bird flipper. I freely admit it. A few drinks in me at a concert or a book reading and up that finger would go. It's a juvenile habit, to be sure, but I think it's one a number of us have indulged in, especially in our early 20s.

The difference between a 40-year-old who enjoyed flipping the bird in his youth to a 20-year-old does, is that 20-year-olds now have digital cameras and phone cams to capture a rowdy night out. And, inevitably, they share those pictures on networking sites like MySpace, Friendster and Facebook.

When I was a reporter, some of my own bird-flipping shots were readily available to the amateur sleuth on some of those networking sites, as were some choice words on a blog I had intended to be read only by my high school and college friends. I've since deleted photos and entries and upped my privacy levels on those sites, but I wouldn't be surprised (given the number of people I've PO'ed) if a stray photo here or there has made on to a hard drive I didn't expect it to.

Now that 20-somethings are becoming mid-to-late 20-somethings and deciding to run for office, those stray internet picks that they may have forgotten about can come back to haunt them.

Some of you may have caught Will Seward's 'Gotcha' on a potential young Democratic Freeholder candidate (it's now removed). I met this person briefly at some event when I was a reporter and he's actually an incredibly well-meaning and very nice guy.

But there are a lot of nice 20-something guys and gals who may be hampered in their bid for public office because of pics they posted on networking sites becoming public.

I'm kind of curious about what happens when 20-somethings become 30-somethings and 40-somethings and start running for higher office. (In the Internet age, by the way, access to now-defunct sites is only a click away.)

One day we will have a guy or gal running for president and that guy or gal will have had a MySpace account in their youth. And on that MySpace account would have likely been college drinking shots, bird-flipping pics or any number of gleeful acts of debauchery caught on camera.

I'm just very curious as to what's going to happen in campaigning as people my age get older and their past is a click away from coming back to haunt them.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Verbal fisticuffs in Middletown

Joe Caliendo gets all bad-ass on the APP.

I don't quite get the nature of the Republicans' ELEC complaint, as posted by Middletown Sewerage Authority Commissioner/failed state GOP exec. director/chief Peter Carton lapdog Brian Nelson. The argument seems to be that municipal parties can't give money to their candidates or something.

Perhaps not as vehemently as Caliendo, but I do agree that there was some major bungling by the APP, or like a total failure to click into the ELEC site.

This is the report of a money transaction that the Republicans say was not reported (i.e., the GOP is full of it and the APP failed to do any fact checking whatsoever):

(click to enlarge)

And here it is from the ELEC candidate's manual (page 7, under "Initial Election Fund Report"):

"In the event the committee is established within 5 months or less of the due date of the 29-day preelection report for the election in which the candidates or joint candidates are running, the committee will file a 29-day preelection report as the initial election fund report."

Translation: As long as the moolah is reported in Pat Short's 29-day preelection report (which isn't even due yet), he's in the clear ELEC wise.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Monmouth Dems kiss 2006 goodbye

Those wacky GOP bloggers have caused some internal party strife on the other side of the aisle.

Are Inzerillo's unfiled reports an issue? Sure. Are the couple grand left unreported by Inzerillo a bigger deal than the $94,000 quarterly report the Monmouth County Democrats left unreported for a substantial period of time? I really don't think so.

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