Friday, February 21, 2014

An Internet political campaign

The driver of my campaign is that, in Washington DC, there is NOT government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and the causes of that condition are also causes of Congress being dysfunctional and not able to do its job properly for the American people. This should have primacy and urgency for the voters, because, until these conditions are corrected, there will be great failures to act by Congress and/or great errors in actions of Congress.

I think the root cause of the foregoing debilitation is the money monster in politics.

I believe the First Amendment right of free speech is of paramount importance for the country, and I do not advocate a solution of public funding of elections that has the effect of abridging the First Amendment right of free speech.

I believe the money monster in politics can be tackled, while preserving the right of free speech.

A fantastic tool is the Internet and its very low cost for carrying out a political campaign.

Currently, I am conducting my campaign through the Internet, I am not asking for cash donations, and I don't have a plan to do TV advertising, U.S. mail advertising, automated robo-calling, phone bank calling, or yard sign distribution.

The Internet and social media are changing our lives, including how election campaigns are conducted and the modes in which we speak to others and hear what others have to say.  In my campaign, I am endeavoring to put political emails in as many inboxes of voters in the 6th Congressional district as I can, and I am using the Internet to find email addresses.  I am tracking and reporting my campaign's progress by giving page view counts in this entry:  Tracking my campaign's progress.

I know email is egregiously abused (and more effective ways ought to be found to lessen the abuse); however, I do not think my email use is or will be abusive. Email recipients who object to my sending them an email can email me back to say they object to my emailing and will not vote for me for that reason (just as a voter who receives an unwanted robo-call at home can contact the campaign doing the robo-call and say the voter will not vote for that candidate). Owners of individual email accounts may block emails from me. Owners of private email systems which are used by multiple persons (such as employees) may choose to block emails coming from my email address. I hope such private email system owners will agree that I am not being abusive, and they won't see fit to block my emails.

Governmental email systems present special First Amendment questions. I have contacted a University of Alabama constitutional law professor to obtain his views about whether there is a First Amendment violation if a public school takes steps to block political emails that I send to school email addresses of teachers and other employees. I am contacting public school administrators about this matter and inquiring whether they have received a legal opinion of counsel about a First Amendment violation if they block political emails. As of this time, the constitutional law professor I have contacted has not told me his views, and I have not been advised of any legal opinion received by a public school administrator.

I am using email addresses on public school websites and on other governmentally owned websites (e.g., public libraries) to send emails to teachers and other governmental employees. Subject to First Amendment questions becoming clarified, I appreciate public school authorities and other governmental entities may take steps to block my emails, but I hope they won't.

In the entry Governmental blocking of my political email, I am keeping track of where my political email is being blocked and developing alternative avenues of communicating to the voters from whom I am being blocked.

[Edit 3/11/14.  I received a letter in the U.S. mail from Dr. Stephen Nowlin, Superintendent of the Jefferson County Board of Education.  Go to Governmental blocking of my political email for more information.]

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