Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Obama Thinks You're a Worthless Pile of Shit

I'm not competent to testify on the legality of this move, but the sheer Dickitude of Obama's campaign is astounding. Micah Sifry lays it all out for us (h/t MyDD)

In November 2004, Joe Anthony, a paralegal living in Los Angeles, started a unofficial fan page for then-newly-elected Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) on Inspired by Obama's keynote address at that summer's Democratic convention, Anthony had never been politically active before. "I was just blown away," he told me. He put time into the site every day, answering emails from people wanting to "friend" the page, pointing them to voter registration information, and, once Obama threw his hat into the ring, telling them where to find out more detailed positions taken by the candidate.

By the time of Obama's official campaign announcement in late January, Anthony's Obama profile--which had the valuable url of had more than 30,000 friends, well more than the other contenders. Over the following weeks, it continued to grow at a rapid pace, generating lots of headlines about Obama winning the "MySpace primary." Yesterday, the profile had just over 160,000 friends. Today, that url has only about 12,000. And it's under new ownership. Joe Anthony, one of the super volunteers of the Connected Age, has lost control of the page he started to the professionals on Obama's staff.

For someone who's touting themselves as 'a new kind of politics', this just smacks of 'meet the new boss, same as the old boss'.

Joe Anthony had 160,000 friends on the unofficial MySpace page, and was coordinating with the Obama campaign very closely, even going so far as sharing the password with them so they could correct inaccuracies.

Obama eventually decided he needed direct control of the unofficial MySpace page, so Obama's campaign put forth the suggestion of a one-time consulting fee. Joe put forward a figure of about $50k, and (rather than negotiating like normal people) Obama's people told him 'we have no money', stabbed him in the back and stole the site out from under him. Hell of a way to treat a long-term, high-performing activist, jackass.

Maybe it was too much money for his effort (but where the hell is that Q1 $26 million going?), but I bet you none of Obama's exorbitantly paid consultants came even close to getting a list that large or that engaged.

To put all this in perspective, go read Chris Bowers' excellent treatise on the One-Way Flow of Progressive Money. We the netroots give and give and give to get these people in office, and our institutions give us nothing but scorn and derision in return. Unlike Wingnut Welfare, in which any proto-fascist who can string two words together gets piles of money and book deals constantly shoved down their pie-hole.

Fix your Fuck-up, Obama. Now.

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