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With Cosponsor.gov, Eric Cantor joins growing crowd of marketer-legislators

With Cosponsor.gov, Eric Cantor joins growing crowd of marketer-legislators

Noticed the trend of legislators going beyond issuing press releases and fully embracing social media to distribute and market their point-of-view?

Rep. Darrell Issa has been especially active in marketing himself and his committee’s activities, including design-heavy graphics and an active twitter account.

Today Rep. Eric Cantor’s office launched a new website, Cosponsor.gov, which allows anyone to show their support for bills by clicking a link to “cosponsor” a given bill.  The site, which had a “soft” open about a year ago, uses a Facebook app, which you must authorize to access your email address and friends list, among other items, and then displays your “cosponsor” on your page.

In return, you are informed of the progress of a bill you have cosponsored.

Efforts like these to inform and engage Americans about the processes of government are positive, although I’m unsure it will reach beyond those already engaged in watching the political theater. The growing trend of marketer-legislators is more interesting to me; although it may seem off-putting for those representing us to focus on marketing, at the core of the discipline in the consumer and the consumer’s needs.

If we can return our representation to a more consumer-centric model, that can only be a good thing.

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Comments

Henry Hawkins | June 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm

In a nutshell, regarding media, the few mega bullhorns of the past are breaking up into millions of tiny bullhorns.

I like the general idea.

I won’t be using this particular application. I do not trust Facebook.

We are NOT “consumers” and government is NOT a product to be marketed. Does no one have sufficient experience in either product or governing to comprehend just how deadly this is to genuine honest governance?

Marketing is just one more way to “drive” masses of people and shove aside those who are not sheep. This is the worst thing the Axelrod Administration has done. Whether real people see this for the evil it is or not, it becomes a matter of self defense for otherwise wise people to have to turn their truth into a “message” and take part in a horrible cult of personality. Just like Microsoft, eBay, and Facebook foist unannounced, unwanted new features, redesigns, and discontinuances on us, refusing to respond to individual needs, so a market-based government will become just one more dictatorship in which a few people decide which parts of what law they want to drive us toward and which ones they will “stop supporting”. Welcome to Product Marketing & Public Relations Government 101.

May God help us as we wander through the 21st century version of Gutenberg’s galaxy. We will be grateful the Good Lord created chaos before this is over.

Wonderful. Wider distribution of more and better information about his positions is welcome. But authorization of access to my email address and friends list? That’s too high a price to pay – and I don’t even have a facebook page much to the frustration of my family’s younger generation. While there may be technical reasons for requiring this, anyone paying attention cannot escape the growing resistance to the constant clamoring for personal information and daily news of careless, inadvertent, or deliberate release of the information and malicious and improper use of it by our government, other governments, hackers, thieves, and a global collection of internet idlers and malcontents.

Did it ever occur to Cantor’s people that some might be interested in hearing more about conservative positions without having to explain themselves to a bunch of liberal or progressive “friends?” The cost is too high, unnecessary, and may be counterproductive. Cantor’s crowd might do well to find a way around this privacy hit and remove it. Who knows, some conservative crowd might just be ahead of the curve for once.

Owego, per your comment, when I tried to log in to my credit union yesterday, where I have been a member for almost 40 years, FiServ has added a new set of questions they wanted me to give answers to before it would let me log in. These are the actual questions:
“What is your oldest cousin’s first and last name?”
“In what city or town did your mother and father meet?”
“In what city does your closest sibling live?”
I will tell my credit union anything they want to know. But I believe giving such information to a 3rd party for-profit vendor jeopardizes the security of my account. 🙁

Charles Curran | June 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Lovely. I’m sure that someone tracks this blog,plus Cantors new site. I haven’t been audited for a while, why not?

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