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'World of Warcraft' Candidate For Maine State Senate Wins Election 220

Teancum writes "Colleen Lachowicz, candidate for the State Senate District 25 of Maine, won the election yesterday against her opponent Thomas Martin. This race was notable in part because her World of Warcraft character that was mentioned earlier on Slashdot, where the Maine Republican Party turned her game playing into a significant issue. It is also notable that she was able to raise a total of $6,300 in campaign contributions from gamers who came to her defense in her successful campaign. The Maine GOP even tried to block these contributions where Lachowicz was cleared of any wrong doing and the investigation was dropped."
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'World of Warcraft' Candidate For Maine State Senate Wins Election

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  • FOR (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:15PM (#41909899)


  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:15PM (#41909901)

    Apparently you can run the state of Maine from your parents basement.

  • by InvisibleClergy ( 1430277 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:17PM (#41909943) apparently running for Senate. According to my sources, that's enough money to buy 4.8 million gold!

  • Precedent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by techstar25 ( 556988 ) <> on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:25PM (#41910029) Journal
    Fortunately she is very well qualified. It actually sets a nice precedent. Video game playing, as a hobby, should not reflect poorly on someones character or ability to hold a position of public office. From now on everyone will remember how this tactic backfired. Thank you Ms.Lachowicz.
    • by casca69 ( 795069 )
      Even better?IF you have a better character, you can now Gank a sitting Senator, and not fear SS intervention!
      • ... well there are 4,400 sworn officers with 87 offices filled with god-knows how many employees. Statistically speaking, there's bound to be gamers amongst that group. And there's a chance that they play WoW. And if there's any sense of humor in this world I'd say that SOMEONE of that subset needs to start doing some virtual bodyguard service.
    • Re:Precedent (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:35PM (#41910129)

      As a gamer, I entirely agree. Although... there is being a gamer, and then there is the person who has a gaming command center in their parents' basement with the delivery tube for the Mountain Dew and Cheetos. I might consider an extreme amount of time playing to be a detriment.

      On the other hand, if she has enough social skills to become a candidate, she's probably okay.

      I'm guessing she's probably a tiny bit more on the casual side.

      • Re:Precedent (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:40PM (#41910191)

        I would consider golfing 8 hours a day to be a detriment too. Or weight lifting. Or knitting. Or pretty much any other hobby that takes up more time than a full time job. It's not about gaming, it's about priorities and the time sink.

        • Re:Precedent (Score:4, Insightful)

          by chilenexus ( 2660641 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:43PM (#41910219)
          don't forget shooting your lawyer friend in the face with a shotgun - and convincing him to apologize to you for it. That's a hobby that we really need politicians to do less of.
        • Re:Precedent (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Synerg1y ( 2169962 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:44PM (#41910231)

          Good example, no politician has yet been reprimanded for playing golf (I'm sure a lot of them do), I think this whole scenario reflects on how acceptable social norms are shifting. There was a time that PC gaming automatically labeled you a nerd with no social skills or chance of acquiring them. Golf has always been accepted, especially by rich white men.

          • Re:Precedent (Score:5, Informative)

            by Jeng ( 926980 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:49PM (#41910297)

            no politician has yet been reprimanded for playing golf

            You might want to google "Obama golf".


            • During Desert Storm, the amount of munitions we could ship to the front was greatly limited because the base commander refused to close the golf course, despite the fact that virtually nobody on base had any time to golf. (12+ hour shifts, 7 days a week, for months on end doesn't leave time for golf.)
              • Damn this new lean and mean military. Didn't anybody consider that combining the roles of groundskeeper and C-5 pilot had a downside.

                How does keeping a golf course open slow down shipments?

              • [Citation Needed.]

                Specifically, which base and which commander? (Actually, answering the first answers the second, so just cite the base involved.)

                I'm pretty sure MAC (the Air Force transport command at the of DS) had many bases supporting munitions airlift, and I doubt every single one has a golf course that (A) has potential to be affected by higher takeoff/landing tempo, and (B) was prioritized above increased ops tempo.

                And yes, if you wish to be snide about it, please, "LMGTFY" it. It'd still be an impr

        • by iONiUM ( 530420 )

          Why is a "full time job" not included in this? Working 8 hours was not the norm in the past, and shouldn't be now. Doing anything for so long is not healthy. It's a shame the world moves to this.

      • Although... there is being a gamer, and then there is the person who has a gaming command center in their parents' basement with the delivery tube for the Mountain Dew and Cheetos.

        Would you consider Jay Leno or Jerry Seinfeld unfit for politics, because they have an obscene amount of cars and garage space?

        No? Then why would you think that of someone who has created a "gaming command centre"? I'm pretty sure Jay Leno has more than a delivery tube in his garage for instance. In fact, considering its size (bot

    • Lachowicz’s campaign attracted international attention after the Maine Republican Party created a website to criticize her participation as a player in World of Warcraft, an online fantasy game.

      "Colleen Lachowicz spends hundreds of hours playing in her online world Azeroth, as an Orc Assassination Rogue named Santiaga?"

      ...The Maine GOP is going after the Democratic state Senate hopeful, saying online comments she’s made using her World of Warcraft alias raise questions about her judgment and maturity.

      I sincerely hope that Republicans are not hypocrites and go with the same zeal after candidates spending hundreds of hours playing the most popular offline fantasy game []. After all, it's not like they have nothing better to do, right?

  • Getting stupid... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Genda ( 560240 ) <> on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:30PM (#41910071) Journal

    Change that... gotten stupid. In the mad rush to distinguish themselves and demonize the opponent, campaigning in this country has just gotten ridiculous. One of the reasons that Romney lost was that he kept saying things about Obama that simply weren't true. The problem supporting Romney became trying to figure out what was correct and what was just flaming bat guano. He destroyed his own credibility (well his campaign manager did it, but Romney let him.) Of course in past elections, the bull pucky would have stood, but so many people have ways of validating claims now and there were so many independent fact checkers this election that BS on both sides got shot down in record time.

    We live a diverse and interesting society. The fact that Conservatives want desperately to take the nation back to 40s is interesting but more than a little brain dead. By the way I distinguish social conservatives from fiscal conservatives. I'm talking about mostly Fundies, folks from smaller more agriculturally based communities, you know pretty much the entire middle of the country outside of big cities. If you look at the red and blue distribution, it should be clear. Maybe in a generation, the impact of technology will have stomped so hard on "Traditional Values" that it'l stop being the source of so much mischief in our society.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SirAstral ( 1349985 )

      careful slinging the guano around yourself... you get dirty too.

      As an independent I find that people like yourself are too busy talking trash about the other side than to notice the trash you and your side are spewing.

      Everyone should go and read George Washington's farewell address, he predicted the Civil War and our current state of affairs because people like you are to busy being what you are...

      Blind and Hypocritical.

      Both Sides lie, and 1 side is busy fooling you!

      If you voted Red or Blue then you are a p

      • Let's accept that even if you hate all the candidates, you still find one slightly less deplorable than the other.
        Not everyone agrees with your analysis.
        It's possible either candidate could win, even the worst of a bad lot, they just need more supporters in key locations.

        If you don't vote, you make their votes MORE powerful/valuable.
        If you do vote, you dilute the impact of their choice, and may be enough to sway the course away from the worst choice.

        There are serious issues with our current political system
        • So you imply that not voting for a red/blue is the same as not voting at all?

          Not sure what you are saying.

          Voting for the lesser of 2 evils is not enough to get me to vote for that person rather than an alternative candidate.

      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        I voted based en economic history of the US, Current recovery compared to other countries and similar events, and what economics have a history of providing the best services for the people while allowing the people to live there life..

        It's not my fault if the party backing that happens to be blue.

    • Re:Getting stupid... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jeng ( 926980 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:45PM (#41910249)

      I think it is funny that the Republicans demonized an activity that over 30 million Americans take part in. []

      Then again around 80 million Americans have smoked pot and they demonize that also.

      • I think it is funny that the Republicans demonized an activity that over 30 million Americans take part in. []

        Then again around 80 million Americans have smoked pot and they demonize that also.

        I think demonizing pot is a bipartisan thing.

        • by Jeng ( 926980 )

          I think demonizing pot is a bipartisan thing.

          True, and once they finally get it though their thick skulls that the public is ready for pot to be legalized then legalization will also be a bipartisan thing.

          My family, that I was not raised anywhere near, are very conservative and even they say it should be legalized.

          • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

            My family, that I was not raised anywhere near, are very conservative and even they say it should be legalized.

            Things are finally changing. In 1968 about 12% of Americans were for legalization, today it's a little more than 50%.

            What surprises me is that the Republicans say they're for states' rights, how can they say that now when two states just legalized recreational pot use? If they were really for states' rights they would be pushing to abolish federal anti-pot laws. Instead, they'll send in the feds to

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by Quila ( 201335 )

        Then again tens of millions of Americans run successful businesses, and the Democrats demonize them. Those couple million in the top 1% are absolutely evil and must be punished.

    • It's not taking back to the 40s that I have issue with. It's the apparent cognitive dissonance that the 40s were not a great time (end of a depression, a world war, etc). Neither were the 50s or 60s or 70s or 80s or 90s. Each decade had share of their own problems. Taking us back to one of them is a quick and shortsighted solution that time always marches forward.
      • by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @03:56PM (#41911115) Homepage

        The 50's were, assuming you were a white male of at least the "skilled working class" level of society, a great time. By feat of chance there was a conjunction of postwar prosperity, an entrepreneurial boom, and a government willing to invest in big things. It was a time when a man could, with a high school education, get a good job and support a family with a single income. For a good chunk of America it was a real golden age. It was also a time of tremendous racism, Cold War, and overt sexism, but those parts don't bother a lot of the more outer fringe of the right wing. There's several problems with trying to return to the 50's though.

        First, the circumstances that created the incredible boom were not exactly pleasant. A good chunk of the reason for the insatiable consumer demand of the time was that the preceding decade and half had been dominated by war and depression... Eight years of not being able to afford anything followed by six years of not being able to get anything leaves people in the mood to spend. On top of that, the War had resulted in the creation or refinement of all kinds of new technology that people wanted to buy. People had money, both because they'd been saving during the War (when there was nothing to spend on), and because the boom created tons of jobs for them to come home to. It was a perfect storm of incredible pent up demand coinciding with equally incredible new products.

        Second, and this is a real pisser, the government was a huge driver of the economy with spending in the 50's. Conservatives recall the social conservatism of the era, but for get the fact that government was a lot less afraid to spend money. Things like the Apollo project and the Interstate Highway project were hugely expensive government programs that employed tens or hundreds of thousands and pumped tons of money into suppliers and ancillary businesses. Sure, these were primarily Cold War defense or prestige projects, not "entitlement spending", but they were huge wealth redistribution engines regardless. They put a lot of money in the hands of working people.

        We can't policy our way back to the 50's, they were a unique time with a unique set of very advantageous circumstances. Certainly we can't let our blinders tell us that all we gotta do is throw the women back in the kitchen, the gays back in the closet, and blacks back in the ghetto to bring them back. Those were the downsides of the 50's not the cause of the upsides. We can, perhaps, try to bring back some of the big government projects that helped drive the economy, but we'll need more tax revenue to do it (taxes were considerably higher by percentage in the 50's), and even with that we won't be able to manufacture the kind of boom caused by postwar euphoria and pent up demand. Looking to the past for inspiration to solve problems is one thing, but you can't ever bring it back.

        • Good points, but even the 50s were an economic roller coaster. Except for the Great Depression, people tend to forget the economic lows after a couple of decades unless they lost their job during one. In addition to everyone other than white males suffering, most people who shared views out of alignment with the era's "traditional values" in any way were mistreated. One of the persecutionists eventually occupied the White House. Not that I'd return the percent of GDP spent on infrastructure to 1950s levels,

    • . In the mad rush to distinguish themselves and demonize the opponent

      Given the tone and content of your post, I find this comment deliciously ironic.

      You could have saved a lot of typing if you had just said, "I'm appalled that people are still allowed to disagree with and criticize my candidate." It would've been a lot shorter, too. It's completely disingenuous to give "your guys" a free pass for spin while blasting "those other guys" for doing it.

    • by Ogive17 ( 691899 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @04:57PM (#41911725)
      As a leader to my post, I voted for Obama yesterday.

      I live in a smaller, partial agriculturally based community that happens to be sort of in the middle of the country (Ohio) where the vote was about 65% Romney yesterday.

      Have you ever stopped to think why people in smaller communities tend to vote Republican over and over? Instead of thumbing your nose, which is what I took the last portion of your post as, as those of us in fly-over country maybe you should stop and walk a few miles in our shoes.

      Cost of living is cheap so it does not take large salaries to live out a decent life. People are typically respectful of others and helpful to those in need. The % of people who continuously rely on the gov't to help them out is much smaller than in larger cities. Life is simple and people enjoy that.

      Despite what the Republican party has said or done recently, the people in these communities have always been against big gov't. We'd rather do it ourselves.

      So spare us the lecture on what YOU think drives the people in this region. Sure, some of it is silly to me but a lot is rooted in the "just let me live my life" mode of thinking. And are "Traditional Values" always a bad thing?
      • by rhsanborn ( 773855 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @05:48PM (#41912253) []

        I've seen a few maps that show that there are considerably higher number of government aid recipients in areas that tend to lean red.

        Further, I take offense to the idea that these people would rather "do it themselves". It sounds a lot more like "I got mine, so don't tax me to get yours". Those people got public education. Many went to colleges that received up to 70-80% of their operating funds from the state (most now receive closer to 15%). Public infrastructure was built in a very short time. Many of these individuals are receiving social security and medicare, something "they paid into and deserve" but they don't want to take any cuts or pay any higher taxes to make sure these programs remain solvent for the next generation who are also paying into it. They got to take advantage of the fact that hospitals would treat them even if they couldn't afford the bill, something the state picks up the cost for.

        I understand trying to make sure these programs are run efficiently. But, the debate in the last 1-2 years has been a lot more about cutting than reforming. And a lot more about making sure our historically low taxes are never raised to pay for the things the baby boomers have already taken advantage of.
      • The thing I don't get about this line of reasoning is that republicans in the USA are MORE big government than anyone! They start wars, encourage wasteful spending by getting the private sector to do their job (for a profit, which can only increase costs, DUH), cut taxes/services forcing more burdens onto the individual, etc.

        That is why I think its all a sort of cultural brainwashing, mixed with racism and lack of diversity. I am not from the USA, however i see the same things in rural areas in my country.

      • Your roads and your electrical / water / utility grids are subsidized at a much higher rate per capita than urban areas. Your low cost of living is a direct result of tax dollars paying to deliver all modern conveniences and energy sources to your community - again at a much higher per capita rate than urban areas. Private companies refused to electrify rural areas as they could not recoup their investments. The postal service delivers mail and packages to/fro your community at a loss that is made up by urb

    • The fact that Conservatives want desperately to take the nation back to 40s is interesting but more than a little brain dead. By the way I distinguish social conservatives from fiscal conservatives.

      Stop calling them social conservatives as they are actually social regressives.

  • by Zephyn ( 415698 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:32PM (#41910087)

    If she's ever successfully put together a 25-player raiding group, building a consensus of 18+ in the Maine Senate might not be that difficult of a transition.

    Getting the other senators to understand a Suicide Kings style of vote management might be a bit trickier, though.

  • While some of the comments may not be the best thing in a political arena, there's a lot worse things that I have seen people say or post out in the wild. Also points down for the other candidates advertising committee for stating DPS stands for deaths per second. If you are going to criticize someone on their comments at least know what they are referring to.
  • Politicians (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dyinobal ( 1427207 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:47PM (#41910279)

    Politician's need to learn about the Streisand effect. Had they never attacked her for playing world of world craft I'd of known nothing about her or even much cared. I'm sure this is true also for younger people in her state.

    When they decide to attack her on this front they pretty much mobilized a larger portion of the young voter demographic for her than she would of otherwise gotten. Even though she herself brought it up the decision to attack her on this front brought it from being an irrelevant and kinda amusing factoid to front page news on many sites and news sources.

    • Actually it isn't the streisand effect, but it is an effect I just don't have a name for it.
    • by Jeng ( 926980 )

      Politician's need to learn about the Streisand effect.

      Let the fools look foolish, perhaps they'll change their behavior.

    • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )
      That really was the case in this race. Apparently MMORPG players around the world got outraged and donated almost $200K to her campaign. That's just crazy money for a state senate race.
    • When they decide to attack her on this front they pretty much mobilized a larger portion of the young voter demographic for her than she would of otherwise gotten.

      [[Citation needed]]

      Seriously, while this sounds "obviously true" to the /, demographic, the Streisand Effect has much less effect in real life than the amount it gets slung around on Slashdot might lead you to think. Especially since this emphatically isn't an example of the Effect [] - which is the backlash that (sometimes) occurs when someone ac

      • Ya I already said that I mistakenly called this the Streisand effect, it was early in the morning for me and I'd not had my Tea. Also I'd say the donation numbers are a good indicator that drawing attention to her world of warcraft ties was a bad idea.
    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      Politician's need to learn about the Streisand effect.

      Politician's what need to learn? Their staffs? Their wives? Their constituents who seem to have never read a book?

  • by SirAstral ( 1349985 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @02:49PM (#41910301)

    I for one actually like the idea of a game player making it into office, regardless of their political affiliation.

    People seem to forget that most people running for office are too busy to be down to earth or able to understand the common person. Once you get rich and powerful reality does not hang around for long unless you make a concious effort to keep it there.

    • by Jeng ( 926980 )

      Also co-operation is a requirement of playing these games.

      You aren't some lone guy with a gun like with fps's, instead you are one of many in a group handling a specialized task trying to achieve a shared goal.

  • Maybe we should recognize that virtual worlds are second homes to many people, and often are preferred to everyday life. Should we set up voting booths in virtual worlds, and let people transition entirely to the digital worlds? It's not like they're going to miss out on anything by not physically standing in line for seven hours.

    • I can see it now.

      "It's great to be able to vote here in Second Life!"
      "I agree! And isn't the penis skyscape lovely today?"

    • by Jeng ( 926980 )

      Should we set up voting booths in virtual worlds, and let people transition entirely to the digital worlds

      Wrong order, the only reason to put up "voting booths" in a virtual world is if the people in the virtual world are unable to go back to the physical world.

      So at some point in the future when a person is able to transition entirely to a digital world there may be a need to set up voting booths in said virtual world.

  • Well done, and congratulations to her. Disgusting scare tactics and gutter politics are offensive, and it's good to see positivity win for a change.

  • Your a member of the GOP and your trying to win your local election but then you have the GOP sabotaging all your efforts.
    Why would you join that party? I've dropped out just because the tank was too lightly geared. But at least he wasn't pushing aggro on the healer.
  • by Bill_the_Engineer ( 772575 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @03:51PM (#41911065)
    That Blizzard nerfed the rogue class so much for MoP, that her time was better spent running for public office.
    • That Blizzard nerfed the rogue class so much for MoP, that her time was better spent running for public office.

      I just assumed that her character had been so nerfed, she figured the only way to get it back was to run for office, and legislate the other classes down to restore rogue to top tier.

  • I could have camped the 25th District, but I heard the drops suck.
  • My friends and family have pretty much all been avid gamers since the Atari days. What in the 7th level of hell does that have to do with anything other than gaming?

    While I wouldn't vote for a Democrat on general principle, I fail to see how her playing WoW is a detriment. I'd go further and suggest that it gives her a feel for how normal people tend to use the internet and means she's probably more in touch than the average government denizen.

    • The evangelicals have a hard-on about any depiction of magic, even fictional. There's a video on YouTube you can probably find with a clip from one of those religious networks and they are going on about the evils of My Little Pony because it depicts magical unicorns. It's the same with the D&D hubbub decades ago, or Harry Potter more recently.

      Conjecture here, but I don't think they feel unicorns and wizards are true, but they feel that evil is real, in the form of the Devil or whatever, and that the lu

  • The Justice Department is investigating claims that she used a +7 charm spell the night before the election.

  • by jeff13 ( 255285 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @12:40PM (#41919681) Homepage

    When this story broke I immediately thought back to my days in the 80's playing D&D and the fear evangelical Christians had of the game. I even remember being chased, yes chased, out of a friends house by his crazed father. I'd no idea at the time but somehow there was a growing fear that D&D lead to devil worship. Or something. I do recall there were even news reports along this line.

    So now, put into a political context, this fear has been reanimated by the Maine GOP to accuse their opponent of being 'not one of us' at best and an agent of evil at worst. WoW is the new D&D! Clever. Fits the GOP play-book, however, it didn't work. Rather like a lot of the GOP play-book isn't working anymore.

    It's worth it to know that in the years since I'd discovered the source of the Christian fear of RPG games. The comics of one Jack Chick. Wonderfully illustrated but deeply paranoid, his comics are familiar to any fundamentalist church goer. The D&D issue can be found here... []

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