I don’t get it. Politicians seem to think that we voters just aren’t smart enough. I’ve written about negative campaigning before, so I’ll spare you all the repetitive rant (just read that post if you’re interested). Scott Walker, a Republican, is the Milwaukee County Executive. Tom Barrett, a Democrat, is the Mayor of Milwaukee. Both are candidates for Governor of Wisconsin.
I’m a life-long Republican. My extended family is generally Republican. I’m an advisor to college republicans. So, it probably won’t surprise you to know that in any political race, the Republican candidate is where I’m at. That said, I never vote straight ticket. I do my own homework and make an informed vote. That homework includes reading articles, blogs, web sites and any information I can get my hands on about the various candidates. This also means I read a lot of crap, especially negative crap. While the negative campaigning I wrote about a couple of years ago was on TV, I suppose it was inevitable that it would spill over into Twitter.
When Scott Walker bashes Tom Barrett on Twitter (yeah, I know, it’s not “bashing”, it’s exposing the truth, blah blah), all that does is tell me why I should not vote for Tom Barrett. It does not tell me why I should vote for Scott Walker. And it also leads me to believe that Scott Walker is arrogant enough to think that if I don’t vote for Tom Barrett, then of course I must vote for Scott Walker. Not buying it.
For the Governor’s race, there are two Republican candidates right now, Scott Walker and Mark Neumann. So we’ll need to select one in the primary who will then go on to run against the chosen Democratic candidate. Hence, I’m spending my time now-a-days trying to find out as much as I can about each. I’m reading web sites, watching RSS feeds, and following twitter users. Recently, Scott Walker started tweeting about Tom Barrett. The problem is that I didn’t follow him on Twitter to read about Barrett. So I figured I’d wait it out and see where he goes with it. But it didn’t get better. As I write this, 7 of Walker’s last 20 tweets are about Barrett. That’s just not why I followed him. Typical negative campaigning though.Â So I unfollowed him. One strike against Scott Walker.
Unfortunately, as is the case in most political campaigns, it won’t be long before the other guy starts bashing, and we’ll all be even again. What a crappy way for voters to be informed and make smart choices.
Fragmented internet presence
And while I’m talking about Scott Walker, someone’s giving him bad advice. His internet presence is becoming more and more fragmented. I’m a professional web site developer, and the way Walker is going about it is all wrong. First of all, he’s got two twitter accounts (that I know of): @ScottKWalker and @ScottWalkerHQ. Unnecessary and confusing. Second, he has at least five campaign web sites:
There is no need for all these web sites. I talk with friends and acquaintances about politics. I give out web site addresses so others can get info for themselves. When I was recently giving out Walker’s address, I didn’t know what to say. Really. There’s just no need for all this. Why have content on one site that does not exist on another? Why duplicate content among multiple sites? And why own a domain name with your opponent’s name in it? That’s about as basic as negative campaigning gets. I suspect someone thinks they’re getting some kind of cool search engine presence or something like that by having all these web sites. That’s not going to work. The confusion and fragmentation will trump any perceived benefit.
There should be one web site with a single, unified message. In the web site business, we have a three-word mantra that we live by: content is king. No trickery, no stunts. No fancy search engine finagling. Just one web site with content that is true. In Scott Walker’s case, the site should obviously address all the critical issues facing Wisconsin voters today; but we should all go be going to the same place to find out who he is.
Scott, please just cut the crap. Refocus your negative resources back to yourself. Show Wisconsinites that if we send you to Madison, we’re putting a positive thinker in office. There’s still time.