NY13 Blog; Retaking NY-13 from Rep. Vito Fossella

Following the corruption, ineffectiveness and hypocrisy of Rep. Vito Fossella.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Get America Working Again

First off, let me thank the NY13 blog for allowing me to guest blog here. This is a blog that I read regularly, along with hundreds of other people. My name is Ahmed Kokon and I am the Internet Director for Steve Harrison for Congress.

The Steve Harrison for Congress campaign has an ever-growing Internet presence. Our website hits have surged dramatically the last couple of weeks, our email list has grown by the thousands, and our fundraising? We were recently on the front page of ActBlue as a "Hot Candidate and Committee".

To address Kevin's comment, I do read the SILive forums though I do not participate in the "discussion". The campaign does not direct anyone to post there nor do we tell anyone not to post there. From my point of view, the SILive forums are rather destructive and there is too much negativity and bashing and not enough constructive criticism or true debate and it has always been that way. It is not representative of supporters of the campaign. If anything, it is representative of the growing frustration towards a Congressman who has done little for Staten Island and of people who demand better.

Governor Dean's campaign had a huge effect on the election. His campaign started with nothing and, by using the Internet and by making his campaign more transparent by including his supporters, Dean became a front-runner for the Democratic nomination.

A campaign powered by people is the type of campaign the Internet guarantees because of the open access. Governor Dean had an amazing amount of small donors (an average of 65% of his contributions were small donations), largely in part because of the Internet.

We are seeing the same trend in our campaign. We want to represent real people. We don't want a congressman beholden to special interests. Over 98% of our contributions come from individuals like those who read this blog.

But NY-13 isn't exactly the most wired district. How do we target those who rarely go online? How do we reach certain audiences? These are questions that we have had to deal with, especially with a campaign like ours.

We do see a lot of potential in the South Shore of Staten Island, which is an area Democrats usually wouldn't touch, unfortunately. Why is there potential? Because of the Internet. Higher income levels = more online participation.

It's difficult for people nowadays to get easily involved in politics. At first glance, it's dirty, corrupt, and everyone is the same. Even I used to hold that belief. I was on the campaign in 2006 and I saw something that made me want to come back in 2008: determination.

Steve Harrison is determined to increase our quality of life. He's determined to get our troops safely out of Iraq. He is determined to finally have our roads and highways better taken care of and with less traffic (potholes, anyone?). Steve Harrison, along with our many supporters, is determined to Get America Working Again.

Many of you are probably hoping I would comment on the recent events regarding Vito Fossella.

Too many of my friends and former classmates have been involved in DWI accidents. Some have died, some have been injured.

Drinking while intoxicated is a danger to everyone. Vito Fossella recognized this four short years ago. What a difference four years makes.

Steve Harrison has shown leadership by standing up against DWI. This is an issue that has been growing and growing and it's about time someone didn't turn their back on it.

To the DC Democrats who we have "irked" because we speak up when we see something that's wrong, we owe you no apology. Steve Harrison wants to represent the people of the 13th Congressional District and not the people who have gotten a little too cozy with DC.

They have forgotten who they are truly beholden to: us.


At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I think SH's website is more useful than last time, the graphics are still pretty bland.
Here's some advice: leave the DUI thing alone. Everyone in NY13 can decide for themselves whether or not Vito f***ed-up. Having Steve go around and point out the obvious makes him look desperate. Plus you guys need to worry about beating Recchia first.

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! Welcome.
I think it is more important to keep the website up to date and changing than to go fo too much "Flash" which can detract from message.
I went to the silive forum. Yikes. I agree the campaign probably does not need a web-presence there. The Harrison supporters seem quick enough to post links to the press I'm sure they'll link to (and maybe drive a little traffic to) the website if something relevant is posted there.
Let the DWI/bigamy thing play out by itself. Vito is headed toward self-destruction. Stay away and look slightly saddened at having to watch him do so.


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