• comment on a post MA-05: Niki Tsongas (D) Up By 9 over 6 years ago

    Eh.  I think the independents leaning republican are pretty much republicans who refuse to admit it.  I mean, I live in Boston, and pretty much no one in the state wants to admit being a Republican.

    Tsongas is relatively weak compared to, say, Deval Patrick, in a relatively conservative district, and is still running over 50% with a near double digit lead.  I wouldn't be too worried.

  • comment on a post Help start a new blog - The Pro-Union Employer over 6 years ago

    I'm very interested in this.  I'm a 3L law student with an interest in union side labor law.

    Biggest problem I see is that cooperating with a union could lead to a charge that the union is company run, which is an unfair labor practice.   Note that I'm only a law student, and I could be dead wrong.  But it's something to be concerned about.

    dansomone at yahoo dot com

  • on a comment on Organizing online workers over 7 years ago

    I agree with this.  There is pretty much no way to form a union under current nlrb rules for online workers, especially with the current nlrb makeup.  Without the legal force of a union, a strike would be difficult to maintain, and, well, so would any other sort of economic pressure, like a slowdown.

    I am not a lawyer, just a law student, so take that with a grain of salt.  I have taken both labor law and employment law, though.

    A more productive mode might be to start a "member-owned" version of something like e-bay.  Let the rules be set by a wiki, or something?

  • comment on a post Waste, Waste, Waste over 7 years ago

    Ok, but if the consultant who is running your ad buys gets a commission based on the amount spent on ads... waste is GOOD for them.

    Isn't it?

    I mean, the campaign manager decides "we need x number of contacts with z voters, y% should be from paid media on TV."  At that point, you can either deliver those eyeballs as effectively as possible, and minimize your fee, or be super effective, and get paid less.  Why would any consultant ever be effective?

  • on a comment on Pssst ... Wanna Buy an Ad? over 7 years ago

    But, if your comission is based on ad buys... why would you want to use money effectively?

    The serious candidate is the one who pays the most comissions, in other words, the one who uses money LEAST effectively.

  • on a comment on Pssst ... Wanna Buy an Ad? over 7 years ago

    "Why should candidates be taken seriously only if they are wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads that are mostly reaching people who can't vote for them?"


    Because on the Dem side, the insiders/consultants get paid on commission.  So the serious candidates are the ones who spend serious money on broadcast ads.  

    The solution isn't to convince people to switch to cable.  The solution is fees to consultants based on performance and transparency.

  • both.

    And that is another example of simple answers to simple questions. /atrios

  • I don't know about the technical definition of cybersquatting.  But to me, it is grabbing a domain name early, sitting on it, and using it to blackmail the person who should be the owner.  This guy actually put a great deal of time and effort into organizing on a social networking site.  That, at least to me, is very different from exploiting the ability to register a domain name before someone else.

    ::shrug:: I don't really have that much of a dog in this fight. I just don't like the term "cybersquatting" for a guy who put in the time to actually help the candidate.

  • I haven't been following this in detail, but still, the cybersquatting charge seems silly.

    The guy started out as a volunteer.  But then his volunteer thing blew up to the point where he was spending hours a day on it.  At that point, the campaign wanted to officially take over his work.  That's not cybersquatting.  That's organizing so effectively that the campaign wanted direct control, more then just the shared password access they already had.

    The guy admitted that he had no idea what to ask for.  He went for what, 50k?  Compared to the fees big time consultants get, that's peanuts.  I think it is a bit high, considering he did start as a volunteer, but still, is it really that bad of a first offer for someone delivering 140k+ names?  The Obama campaign should have come back with a counter offer, not gone over his head directly to myspace.com, right?

  • Interesting.  I worked for GCI, and am now in law school focused on labor law. Not that I am not a lawyer (IANAL!), so don't take any of this as legal advice...

    The outside sales exception is fairly broad, so I'm honestly not sure how successful this suit will be.  There is a department of labor opinion letter from last year saying that charitable solicition is not outside sales, but there are a few issues using that as precedent.  

    First, it is an administrative decision, so while there will be some level of deference, it won't be binding.  (Don't ask what level of deference, please, it will make me go look at my admin law notes, I'd rather punch myself in the nuts).

    Second, the cases establishing the exception make it fairly clear that people who are out on their own, and provide few services other then customer contact, are outside sales.

    There are probably some issues related directly to class certification, as well.  (For example, field managers and canvassers would be very different in terms of hours worked, so the Fund could have a challenge on typicallity)

    I'm not going to go too far into detail on this, but the case is not cut and dry.

  • "Doug Phelps ... literally stole the [PIRGs]  member lists, and used it to start the GCI canvasses."

    Umm, what?  As far as I know, the GCI canvass started going door to door without any lists at all.  At least, that was how it was in March of 04, 2 months after the company started, when I was a director in Boston.  Saying Phelps stole lists seems odd.

  • comment on a post Potential Renzi Resignation Could Open Up AZ-01 over 7 years ago

    Pederson is not the ideal candidate for the district.  According to wikipedia, AZ 01 is Graham, greenlee, Apache, Navajo, coconino, Yavapai, gila, and pinal counties.  

    According to the AZ sec of state site, and ignoring the various 3rd party people, Pederson lost those counties 125765 to 104706.  That means 55% to 45%.  In other words, he slightly underperformed there relative to the rest of the state.  Not exactly a good sign.

  • comment on a post John Edwards is Done, But He Doesn't Know It Yet over 7 years ago

    wow.  Well, first, these are just guesses, but...

    1) Your poll is typical framing 101.  Someone who doesn't agree with your assumptions has no answer to give.  For example, if I think that "flip flopping" is bad in general, but in this case follows the trend of the nation, will not anger any liberals who aren't already in Nader-purity land, and will win over a lot of independents who have decided that yes, they were wrong too... what do I vote?  It's a cheap trick that should be discouraged.

    2) Why do you think people are against targetted, limited tax raising?  Most people would prefer the Clinton 90s with higher taxes on the rich to the Bush 00s with lower taxes on the rich.  You don't meet the "rules of criticizing progressives" with your anti tax tirades.

    3) Your immediate claim that it's about being black seems, well, overly defensive and a bit of a stretch.  I haven't gone back and read any of your other posts, but at least in this one, you don't defend your substance of your assertions, you just pull the "you can't understand a black man unless you are one!" card.

    4) Your immediate claim that there is some sort of "party line" when the front pagers here seem pretty varied on the candidates they like seems... a bit of a stretch.  There have been a ton of anti-edwards posts lately.  Why would yours be so, so hated on?

  • comment on a post Why Street Protests? over 7 years ago

    A few answers:

    1) If done right, they are fun.  My guess is, for most people, far more fun then canvassing, phonebanking, or blogging.  They are a great way to celebrate the fact that yes, we are here, and yes, get used to it.  Personal expression, yes, but also a reward to activists and a way to build a movement.  I know that I recruited a few people into the anti-globalization movement by dragging them to marches.

    2) If done right, they are actually a great way to dispell the "dirty hippy" meme.  When you manage to marganilize the mumia obsessives and answer idiots, and have, you know, a wide range of people of all ages and colors there, it is a great event that shows the progressive movement is alive and well.  And yes, the media will spotlight the 4 "anarchists" in black masks that break a few starbucks windows and then go back to school at oberlin the next day.  But isn't the idea of the "netroots" to push back against that nonsense?

    3) "They Work For Us" is all about economic populism.  They do not mention Iraq.  Street protests are one way to show Dems and the few swing repubs that there is a large movement out here.

  • comment on a post Denver To Be Site of 2008 Democratic Convention over 7 years ago

    I live in Boston, and was here for the 04 convention.  It did NOT help to build the state party.

    1) The convention is a financial/attention drain.  Cash that could have been going to party building was going to conventions expenses. Attention that could have been going to local candidates and issues went to the convention instead.

    2) It annoys the locals.  Traffic soars through the roof.  Sections of the city are shut down.  Massively increased police presence.  

    Honestly, I think conventions should always go to "safe" states like MA or CA, or states we won't win for a few cycles.


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