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Preview: A recovering political hack?

A recovering political hack?





 



Labor & paying it forward

Sat, 05 Sep 2009 18:14:23 -0400

The last few years I have stepped away from political work and organizing to focus on business. From Human Rights organizing to progressive electoral candidates, the campaign trail wore my health and my sanity thin. I came back to Arizona to launch a PR firm, and through this process reconnected to friends and mentors of the past. The last few month’s I have been working with Alfredo Gutierrez launch a new web space called La Frontera Times. His idea, the “Huffington Post” of the Immigration Movement.

Working along side my friend Alfredo, I am reminded why I got involved in politics. You see, it was his campaign for Governor in 2002 which brought me into electoral work and getting quality leaders elected. Before that I was strictly involved in community organizing and social change movements. Not involved in traditional campaigns. It was his spirit, his honesty, and his drive for justice that got me started in what was a long trail of campaigns.

Recently I have taken the plunge back into political campaigns taking on a new position at a political consultant firm. I find it interesting that at this point in my life, Alfredo… is by my side again.

This morning he posted an essay about unions and this notion of “work.” He dives into his inspiration and his personal journey at a time I, myself, and reflecting. In this essay you see how Cesar inspired him. To this day, Alfredo has inspired me. Take a moment and please read this article and share, as we reflect “Labor Day.”


My college years were intertwined with my awakening as an activist and a lifetime shaped in some indefinable way by Cesar. I was in my first year when I heard that Cesar Chavez was in Tolleson organizing farm workers. We heard of the house meetings that were going on, rumors of a coming strike and finally a mimeographed flyer that announced a meeting where Cesar would speak. A bunch of us cajoled a car and drove ourselves to the trodden down union hall. The place was packed with women, men a mob of kids and suffering from what seemed complete disorder…everyone was speaking simultaneously to everyone else. By our clothes and demeanor we were not farm workers and we were stared at suspiciously but otherwise left alone. After awhile a short fellow stood and began to speak. The room quieted quickly. This was an important guy; he’s probably going to introduce Cesar I thought. I waited for Cesar. I expected a Chicano Martin Luther King that would rivet us with a command of the language and a good preachers oratory. After a moment I realized this was Cesar. He was unremarkable, he was humble, his voice was not powerful, it quivered and was often delicate. I was not impressed. Nonetheless over the next few days his words, the serenity that seemed to surround him and the obvious impact he had on everyone in that room kept coming back to me. It was not long before I was volunteering and organizing in the fields.


The full article is written here: Workin’….A Personal Recollection




Expectations & Reality v. 2010

Thu, 30 Jul 2009 21:48:00 -0400

I am a recovering political hack. That said, I really have no political need to worry about my opinions. It is pure freedom and feels great!

I am going to have fun this cycle discussing expectations and reality. From elected officials, legitimate candidates, dedicated activist, wactivists, and long run candidates alike.

The first one, since I already legitimately raised issue with his “mistake” of posting nude photos of his “roommate” linked to his campaign website, is John Paul Mitchell aka “AzNextGov” and his high hopes to be the next Governor of Arizona.

He put out a press release and announces a “big” online town hall. Even was worried about his website shutting down as seen in the screen grab:

(image)

This was his expectations. The reality was this screen grab:

(image)

The most he was able to attract was 22 people at a time. 2 of which were me on two different machines. When it comes to expectations versus reality, this candidate will give me good material to work with.

Let’s predict his response to this blog shall we?

a) “it is still early in the campaign cycle and we are building building building”

b) “we never expected a huge turn out, this is the begining of a grass roots movement. with each event we build”

c) “the event was a success, and I  believe AZ is ready to elect me, the next AZ Gov.”

He can down play it all he wants. But he did send out a press release calling it an “historic event.” He also Tweeted expectations of his site crashing due to the traffic.

All I can say is that this campaign will make for some quality entertainment. Unrealistic expectations and nude photos are already giving this campaign a great start!




Update on the below story

Tue, 05 May 2009 18:50:14 -0400

I have had a lot of feedback from the below post. From the AZ Republic to notable bloggers. It is my understanding that the woman in the photo was unaware that the candidate was linking to those photos. I have issues with this defense because if you post nude photos online, they will get out. You must know this.


I left the post up all day as an example of what NOT to do in regards to campaign outreach and the social web. I think I made the point. At 5pm today I left the post up but took down the photo at the request of @aznextgov.


This is by no means “giving in” because this was not suppose to be an “attack” on John Mitchell. This was supposed to be an example of why social web consultants on political campaigns are important, as well as executing common sense.


Thus, the post remains up as an example. I held onto my world and took the photos down.


Authenticity on the social web is very critical. Be yourself, be real. In regards to candidacies, this too is true. If nude photos are “you” then let America decide. Do not spin. Or you will be held accountable. In this case I feel that the twitterverse has responded and continues to respond to @aznextgov.


This should not be a surprise. If you run for office, expect higher scrutiny.


- The so called “recovering” political hack.


P.S. I am supposed to be done with this world right?




Gubernatorial candidate posts nude photos online

Tue, 05 May 2009 13:13:00 -0400

An Arizona Gubernatorial candidate for 2010 is the showcase of what NOT to do by posting nude photos of himself and a woman on the internet through Flickr, a social networking photo posting site. Many know that I am a recovering political hack now a social web consultant. I am of the philosophy that being authentic and honest on the social web, meaning putting your real character out there and being less reserved, is an effective and positive way to utilize social networks. However, there are limits, starting with common sense. Case in point… The latest in crossing the line is from 2010 Arizona Gubernatorial Candidate John Paul Mitchell (aka “aznextgov” on Twitter.) He has nearly 2,000 followers on Twitter. Last night he posted new head shots on his Flickr account, which also included pictures of a nude women. He even failed to block out the face of the woman, whose nude photos are now on the internet for the world to see. This is irresponsible and offensive behavior. Soon after these photos were posted, he and I had a conversation about appropriateness and tactful use of the social web, he apparently has took that to heart and deleted a significant amount of the photos. Photos were grabbed and posted and to specific nude photo I edited to protect the innocent here: (photo removed: see reason) Questions: 1) How does anyone think that posting nude photos of your partner in a public space a social norm? 2) When running for governor how does someone not think this is an issue? His response to this; aznextgov: @kspidel I’m very positive, upbeat, confident, and passionate. I think that can go a long way. No crack here!about 9 hours ago kspidel: @aznextgov have you seen any gov look like that and be credible in a right wing state? seriously? what kind of special crack are you on? # in reply to aznextgov aznextgov: @kspidel apparently people can’t take photos of themselves. # in reply to kspidel kspidel: @aznextgov ear ring topless photos in ur bathroom photos of ladies that u apparently dig = ASU kid w/ a book to sell. How is this serious? # Maybe this was just a way to raise money? Epic fail! Ok people, let this lesson be… Hire a social web consultant before you seek public office! Kthxbye ;) UPDATE: I have been asked to remove this by AZNextGov here. Out of respect of the innocent (the woman) I will bemove this post by close of business today. But this needs to be an example of what NOT to do. Thus I feel responsable to leave this story up for the day.[...]