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House Candidate Lets Web Users Set His Schedule 116

Posted by michael
from the simcandidate dept.
brahn at actblue writes "From ABC News: Jeff Seemann, running for one of Ohio's seats in the House of Representatives, '...has an unusual approach in deciding how to spend his campaign. He asks Web surfers: Should he sleep in? Prepare for his debate? Campaign door to door?' (More coverage here and here.) Best of all: Jeff is fighting back against Diebold and their paperless voting machines -- and they're based in his district!"
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House Candidate Lets Web Users Set His Schedule

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  • I vote for (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 08, 2004 @08:00PM (#10475874)
    Sleep in, read slashot and surf for porn. I want someone that reflects my values.
  • by Skjie (799104) on Friday October 08, 2004 @08:04PM (#10475905)
    Because letting bored internet users make plans for you is always a good idea.
    • by TykeClone (668449) <TykeClone@gmail.com> on Friday October 08, 2004 @08:26PM (#10476079) Homepage Journal
      Not sure how much land area his district covers, but I could see it resulting in being sceduled at the four corners of the district in the same day. In a populous state like Ohio, that's probably not a big deal - think of how funny it would be in Alaska (where the entire state is a single district).

      "Representive - I've got you scheduled for Juenau at 8am and Point Barrow at noon followed by one of the Kodiak islands at 3pm"

      • by Peyna (14792) on Friday October 08, 2004 @09:38PM (#10476434) Homepage
        His district isn't that small; but certainly not as hard to get from one end to the other as Ohio's 8th district would be: map [state.oh.us]

        Actually one of the less gerrymandered looking district maps I've seen. 18 and 6 are the only suspicious looking ones. That and the fact that the district containing Columbus is split kinda weird (Franklin County). It's also curious to note that the part of Montgomery County that slipped into the 8th district contains almost soley Wright Patterson AFB.

        • I took a cursory look at his site, and the district didn't jump out at me (that's one thing that I've noticed on a lot of political sites - they say "I'm running", but not what for!).

          Playing that kind of game with him wouldn't nearly be as funny as it would for the poor guy in Alaska :)

          • In most states (Ohio included) you can find a Comprehensive list [state.oh.us] of almost every person running for office (with the exception of municipal elections).

            From there, I've found pretty good success finding their websites and other information using Google.com.

            Perhaps one of the best resources you can use in determining who to vote for is Opensecrets.org [opensecrets.org].

            This guy must be in a poor district, the incumbent has raised three times more than him, but that still only comes to $126,000. The difference in funds in t
            • Interesting stuff - thanks. I took a look at my district (Iowa - 4th district) and the challenger has only raised about $100K - but he has virtually no chance in winning in this district.
        • by Peyna (14792) on Friday October 08, 2004 @09:53PM (#10476493) Homepage
          To see a more obviously gerrymandered district (which might just be because I'm more familiar with the state) look at Indiana's [in.gov].

          Every little "bubble" you see shooting off of a large district is a larger town that was stuck in the district in order to absorb the democratic votes from it. For instance, the northeast and southeast parts of Marion County (Indianapolis, mostly district 7) are included in the 5th district, which except for those areas, is almost all rural, or very high income (north of Indy).

          Similary, the southeast side of Ft Wayne (very low income, heavily Democratic) is separated from the rest of the city.

          The 4th district was drawn almost specifically to put Purdue and IU in the same district (very liberal tending towns, and most residents are younger and less likely to vote) and then lump them in with nothing but rural voters.

          It's sad that part of the reason that Indiana sends so many Republicans to Congress is because the Republicans at home are the ones that drew the districts for them. (They packed as many democrats as they could into the 7th and 1st district, and spread the remaining ones around well enough to make them ineffective.

          I think that congressional districts should follow cultural and economic boundaries as well as possible. That way, you have voters you have a vested interest in the same thing represented by one person. It makes no sense for a person in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the poorest city to be represented by the same person as that of the richest person in the richest neighborhood. (Southeast side of Indy and Carmel, respectively)
    • by FrYGuY101 (770432) on Friday October 08, 2004 @08:32PM (#10476115) Journal
      I can see it now...

      "Well, uh, first up, I have to go to a support rally for nazis, then I have to proclaim at a press conference "M$ $uX0rz, Linux r0x0rz j00 b0x0rz" (How do I pronounce that?), then I have to calculate Pi to the last digit, resolve an infinite loop, and build a quantum computer, after that I have to setup a free-porn website. Well, actually, I have to set up 1,283,948,283 different free porn websites, but I'll just set up one and tell everybody that recommended that one that it's the one they asked for..."
    • No kidding ... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gstoddart (321705)
      Because letting bored internet users make plans for you is always a good idea.


      What is this, the political expansion for the Sime or something? Other than a gimmick, I'm not sure what this gentleman hopes to achieve.

      What will he do if he gets elected? Hold nightly cam sessions to allow his fans to tell him what to do and wear?

      Just sounds all so wierd to me.

  • any angle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bone43 (688272) on Friday October 08, 2004 @08:05PM (#10475914)
    its nice to see a new angle pop up every now and again, but if elected do you think he will still be letting the web votes run his time in office?
    • Like any good leader, I bet he gets to say, "Your input is valued even when it's not followed." The Internet has such a lopsided sampling (and groups out there cruising for polls to skew ("Hey! Skew you, poll!")) that it shouldn't be consulted like this. I mean, the Internet works best when the individual surfers are the consumers, not the producers (as the always sterling quality of Slashdot discussions makes clear.) And, yes: I'm an elitist scumbag who thinks most people shouldn't be allowed to vote o
  • by SpamKu (809119) on Friday October 08, 2004 @08:05PM (#10475917)
    considering how Diebold is in his district and will proably crush him with massive donations to his opponent.

    If he is very good and genuine, he may stand a chance, but I wouldn't bet on it.

    Nifty Ideas for input, though. And I can appriciate a man who stands up for what he thinks is right.
    • jobs, not donations (Score:3, Informative)

      by SuperBanana (662181)
      considering how Diebold is in his district and will proably crush him with massive donations to his opponent.

      As Walmart found with a small town in CA- when a corporate giant leans into the political process that blatantly, people get really pissed.

      They won't have to do a thing- if Diebold has enough employees in the county, he'll simply loose because a vote for him will be turned into a vote for putting Diebold employees out of work. Happens allllll the time, and people are dumb enough to fall for it ev

    • Why are /.ers so anti-Diebold and 'paperless' voting.
      If companies brought back paper, then they won't need data and storage on computers.
      I just find this bastion of Ludditism surprising here.
      • Why are /.ers so anti-Diebold and 'paperless' voting. ... I just find this bastion of Ludditism surprising here.

        /.ers tend to be technologically literate and therefore understand the large potential for fraud and/or incompetence to render elections pointless if there is no paper trail to audit the election.

        BTW, Ludditism isn't really an appropriate description. The Luddites wrecked machines to protect their jobs. /.ers tend to be against non-paper trail voting because it is Very Bad For Democracy. Big di

      • Why are /.ers so anti-Diebold and 'paperless' voting.
        If companies brought back paper, then they won't need data and storage on computers.
        I just find this bastion of Ludditism surprising here.


        Here comes my obligatory Diebold link [mintruth.com].

        It's not because it runs Windows. The reason is they are a business first. They depend on monetary transactions for their business and they seem to, how do you say... 'screw that up'? How can I begin to trust them in light of their apparent failures and technical problems [swarthmore.edu]?

        Th
    • I used to live right by the Diebold building. It's pretty creepy looking, in an NSA sort of way. One of my best friends from high school who died a few years back, his father is their Network Administrator. I haven't really talked to the family since his death, but I know his father frequents Slashdot. John, if you're out there, can you give us your opinion on this whole thing?
  • GIMMICK. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Noose For A Neck (610324) on Friday October 08, 2004 @08:06PM (#10475922)
    I don't really think any more needs to be said.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    www.subservientcandidate.com :)
  • by marktaw.com (816752) on Friday October 08, 2004 @08:07PM (#10475928) Homepage
    Are you sure this isn't just a plug for the next Maxis game?
  • Uh-oh (Score:4, Funny)

    by HungSquirrel (790165) on Friday October 08, 2004 @08:07PM (#10475934) Homepage
    Best of all: Jeff is fighting back against Diebold and their paperless voting machines -- and they're based in his district!

    He's doomed.
  • by maskedbishounen (772174) on Friday October 08, 2004 @08:07PM (#10475936)
    Lose the flash. Lose the white on light-blue. Lose the red submit button. Lose the JavaScript.

    And then Ramen noodles for lunch. Yum!
  • At first... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pantero Blanco (792776) on Friday October 08, 2004 @08:08PM (#10475946)
    I thought this was a joke, especially after reading his last name, but it seems serious.

    He's trying a gimmick, a bad one at that, to get elected. Getting "in touch with the community" doesn't mean letting them completely plan your day...
    • by Quikyn (808083)
      "It attracts people to come and engage with your campaign in a way that is fun and interesting," Noble said.

      I agree he's trying a gimmick, but is it necessarily a bad one? He's recieving press, he's getting his name out, and if he continues with schedules like the ones suggested in the article, he could make a very good name for himself.

      No harm in him trying to make himself stand out from candidates that do sleep in, don't attend events, but have enough money to advertise their campaign to death. Don't
    • It might not be that bad of a gimmick. It really depends on his intentions.

      Educating the public on what is involved in the political process would be a noble goal and could be done in this way.

      The disconnect between the an {insert country name} politician and the public can't be helping to create a healthier democracy.
  • Voters (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Eryximachus (819128)
    Wouldn't it be nice if most of the voters in his district were slashdot readers. Then he might get a lot of the vote even while he was against a big company.
    • A lot of us are.

      In fact, the company I work for, there are a lot of slashdot readers. Furthermore, we work in the same building where Seemann has his office.

      He's going up against Ralph Regula - the incumbent who's been our rep since November 7, 1972. Seemann's pulling out all the stops but I doubt he's got much of a chance. Regula's name is big around here - the whole family is involved politically - and he's always done right by the people so nobody has ever had much reason to seek out a new candidate.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    How fitting that a story about a Diebold activist would be posted a few lines above the review for the election consipiracy book Mezonic Agenda: Hacking the Presidency [slashdot.org]...makes you think...
  • Marketing (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    To me it is just plain marketing. For one side he gets info for his planning (which days he can gather more people at each place, etc.), even if it is biased (not everyone is connected to the web).
    For the other, (and more important), he is doing his supporters more active (it is not just going to an speech, it is more participative) so they do more work (some old studies about media and politics showed that the message from the leaders was mainly received by their supporters, who where the ones in charge of
  • Wait a minute (Score:3, Insightful)

    by b0lt (729408) <b0lt@ls.qc.to> on Friday October 08, 2004 @08:14PM (#10475987)
    What happens when his opponent hires someone to use millions of proxies for him to drop out of the race? Or something similar?
    • Considering Ohio has less than 1 million people per congressional district, it'd be pretty obvious that they were not his potential constituents, and therefore for the most part, their opinion is insignificant to him.
    • His opponent is the same person that said that no one uses the internet. I doubt he even realizes that Jeff has a webpage, let alone how to go about messing with his poll. By the way, there was a nomination period for suggestions, which were then culled and added to a set of polls for the various time periods. They were for things like: "Go to plant between shifts and greet workers. Rest with family. Wave signs at street corner for visibility. Meet with college democrats." Etc. There were no "spit on Jesus
  • by the-matt-mobile (621817) on Friday October 08, 2004 @08:14PM (#10475988)
    I have always wondered what would happen if one of our representatives hosted a web site that allowed people in his/her district to know what votes were coming up in Congress, how he/she is planning to vote and why, and allowed some informal polling and commentary on the issues. I know this isn't what this guy is doing, but I wonder if it isn't the logical next step. You'd have to think that that sort of system would be the ideal of a representative democracy, but alas I don't expect any career politician to actually document their position on everything and set themselves up to be held accountable to their constituency. Especially since if they ever run for higher office that sort of thing gets used against them.
    • Then you'd have an unscientific sample of people who may or may not be voters in your district.
    • Right. The thing that really bothers me about this kind of setup is this: Whenever Diebold is mentioned the /. crowd seethes with anger over an imperfect voting system. Now, this story pops up and everyone gets all 'valley-girl' and says, "Ooooh, it's, like, so cool!"

      We can't have it both ways.

      It certainly has its merit; but, where is everyone's suspicion?
      • What is there to be suspicious about? The worst that can happen (as regards to this being "democratic") is that he doesn't do what the vote says.

        He doesn't actually have any power currently as he is unelected, so he can't affect much, and in the worst way of it being abused (ie his campaign being sabotaged so he has a lie-in and doesn't prepare for debates) there is still a human element to check it.
        • First, it disturbs me someone is not bothered by "The worst that can happen (as regards to this being "democratic") is that he doesn't do what the vote says." That's the whole point of holding an election: To get people into positions of power to enact change(s) that his constituents desire.

          It really doesn't matter if he's elected or not. What's suspicious is what if he *does* follow the way his constituents 'vote' - which is to say, he votes the way his numbers are dealt to him per issue based upon th

    • This, or some variation on it, sounds like a great idea. Perhaps after this round of elections we should suggest just such a thing to our officials. Assuming that both sides (the representors and the represented) want improved communication it would be difficult to argue against providing basic information (e.g. upcoming votes and reasons for the position the official is taking). I realize that's one hell of an assumption, but I can dream! Do you know who your candidates are? At least find out there names:
    • I have always wondered what would happen if one of our representatives hosted a web site that allowed people in his/her district to know what votes were coming up in Congress, how he/she is planning to vote and why, and allowed some informal polling and commentary on the issues. I know this isn't what this guy is doing, but I wonder if it isn't the logical next step.

      I promise you, when they figure out PayPal, they are gonna be all over that.

    • I don't expect any career politician to actually document their position on everything and set themselves up to be held accountable to their constituency

      When presented with the most recent state budget, our governor made a list of vetoes and included an explanation of why he vetoed each item. The list was published in the paper and online. It was very clear and made sense.

      So naturally, the state congress quickly voted to override nearly all his vetoes. Heaven forbid we get rid of any pork in the budget!
  • by adam31 (817930) <adam31&gmail,com> on Friday October 08, 2004 @08:17PM (#10476010)
    Should he sleep in? Prepare for his debate? Campaign door to door?

    OOO! Let me try. How about build a house with one room. Once inside, take away the door [livejournal.com]. Hilarity ensues.

  • Cool... (Score:2, Funny)

    by greggish (319517)
    ... the first web-controlled candidate. This is jsut crazy enough to catch on.
  • He's cool (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jett (135113) on Friday October 08, 2004 @08:31PM (#10476112)
    He posts on DailyKos.com sometimes, so do a few of his campaign staff. From what I recall of his postings there he seems like he's a genuinely nice guy, definitely intelligent and aware of the issues. He started promoting this gimmick in a diary on DailyKos. It seems like an interesting idea to me, it's a good way to show people what kind of things he does as part of his campaign and it gives them a sense that he is responsive to them.
    • He caught the internet wave when Markos said "Fuck them" about the four contractors killed and mutilated in Fallujah, and Seeman defended Kos. Money flowed to Seeman's campaign from the true believers only then.

      Hey, Seeman? Fuck you.

      If you do not understand what I am talking about, mod not, but read this. [clevescene.com]

      "Markos Moulitsas, posted some harsh words about the American contractors who were murdered, burned, and strung up on a bridge by insurgents in Fallujah. "I feel nothing over the death of mercenaries,"
  • Server using GWS/2.1 (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Did anyone notice that the server claims to be running GWS/2.1, the same thing that Google uses?

    curl -I jeffseemannforcongress.com 2>&1|grep ^Server
    Server: GWS/2.1
  • Diebold (Score:3, Funny)

    by _w00d_ (129045) on Friday October 08, 2004 @08:52PM (#10476230)

    ...has an unusual approach in deciding how to spend his campaign. He asks Web surfers: Should he sleep in?...

    Best of all: Jeff is fighting back against Diebold and their paperless voting machines -- and they're based in his district!

    I can see Diebold continually voting for him to "sleep in past noon" and "begin another cocaine binge" in an attempt to make him lose the election.

    • That's probably why he cleverly only did this for one day, when only 1200 of his campaign loyalists would actually see the page and vote before the "polls closed". As of Friday, his old campaign manager is back on the job. Thus he got widespread free publicity with very little risk.

      So he won't have a Slashdotted Sunday, after all, or even a Diebolded Sunday as the parent suggests.

    • Sounds like something out of the sims.

      1. Have him take a shower.
      2. Have him change a lightbulb.
      3. Profit!
      (yeah, I had to work the underwear gnomes into this...)
  • by jeffehobbs (419930) on Friday October 08, 2004 @09:00PM (#10476276) Homepage

    A sort-of on-topic question which occurred to me during the VP debate, when Cheney was chiding Edwards for missing votes in the senate: why is it so hard to get our congress-people to vote? "Missing votes" seems to be a ongoing and constant criticism of even our best political representatives.

    Do they have to be physically present to cast a vote? If so, why? Can't we afford to get these people a blackberry or a treo or something? (I'm not being facetious, I just don't know.)

    ~jeff
    • The Congressperson must be present in order to vote within a small window of time.

      I found some more info on the Senate [c-span.org] and a lot more for the House of Representatives [house.gov].

      • The Congressperson must be present in order to vote within a small window of time.

        But that's the one time when they really "represent" us? You know, this is, afterall, a *representative* democracy.

        Don't think I'm attacking Kerry when I say this; it goes for all congress people: I understand missing one or two unimportant votes--I really do. But when you're too busy whoring yourself out to special interest groups and corporations to be bothered by your "civic duty," there's a problem.

        I think we nee

        • But what if you are visiting the district you represent during the votes? Not sticking to Washington DC and loosing sight of your constituents? Not to say that all congresspersons are always absent for good reasons, but there are few that do.

          Personally, I wish there was a way to enact remote voting in a secure fashion. But for something as important as congressional voting, I don't think there's a good way to go about it in a way everyone would be in agreement on. Let alone approving such a drastic change
    • There is a lot more to the legislative process than showing up and pushing a button.

      If they don't have to be there to vote, why should we expect them to show up for anything else? Requiring them to be there in person demands a certain level of responsibility.

      If they don't care enough to get off their rear and show up to vote, they don't deserve to be able to be lazy and vote from their sofa.

      If you want them to be there more often, you might want to extend their term, then they would spend less time cam
    • It's the American way! Build capital and let the interest do the work for you. So it goes with voting . . .

      A politician has already acquired the office - so they kick back and let the staff and PACs do all the hard work of figuring out issues. The average citizen never fought or died in a war for the freedoms such as voting - so they kick back and watch cable. Perhaps if one had to register and vote in order to buy cable-tv, or beer, or cigarettes - more citizens would vote.

      Perhaps if PACs were outlawed,
    • I think they ARE representing our values. If less than half of a district votes, then why should the representative? One vote doesn't really make a difference anyway, right?
    • Unencrypted, insecure, unreliable handheld computers? There is an idea. As long as they arn't stolen, or you know, hacked...

      The only way a non-present vote could be established for the senate is through a dedicated, private, NSA-secured national fiber network. Either an entirely new network, or an existing Federal/Military use only network.

      All through NSA supplied and regulated encryption and Voice and Video streaming for the house/senate floor, along with between congresspeople.

      I would be for it mind yo
    • Here's how you could get senators to stop voting:

      Stop counting heads.

      What everyone in this country has apparently forgotten, once a certain number of people vote yes or no, further votes don't matter. These numbers are almost always known before the vote is recorded.

      Why should they show up?

      Seriously, did the entire country skip that day in civics class?
  • Why did I see this article? I can't stand reading /. politics section, thus I set my preferences not to show any politics on the front page. However, I keep on getting them.
  • by bytesmythe (58644) <bytesmythe.gmail@com> on Friday October 08, 2004 @09:42PM (#10476447)
    The constituents are supposed to use an electronic, paperless voting system to support someone who is against... electronic,... paperless... voting... systems??

    I think my brain is starting to bleed.

  • If the schedule breaks... he gets the day off!

    Ok, maybe not... but I'd personally write a little script to automate my voting if he had an option to 'sit home, masturbate while on the phone with DC'.
  • Transparency (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Deliveranc3 (629997) <deliverance AT level4 DOT org> on Friday October 08, 2004 @10:10PM (#10476555) Journal
    If a politician ran on a platform of almost total transparency I would like to think he would get total voteage.

    Republican or Democrat doesn't really matter when you worry they do something meriting impeachment behind closed doors.

    Politicians that do this WILL win it's as simple as that.
  • Hey, I voted.

    [ ] Sleep in
    [ ] Prepare for debate
    [ ] Campaign door to door
    [ ] Go to bathroom
    [ ] Oppress the populace
    [X] Rotate tires
    [ ] Control the means of production

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