In my last two appearances before the Dayton Daily News Editorial Board, I attempted to make a case for this site being an important part of representing the people- of having an open discussion with constituents about the issues facing their representative. I was written off as “a blogger” – as if it was a mark of shame. (City Commission Endorsement, Congressional Endorsement)
However, the rookie member of the board actually complimented an elected official for maintaining a blog the other day- hath hell froze over?
As a state board member, Ms. Haverkos has diligently studied the issues and was a thoughtful voice in debates. She even launched a blog with another state board member (www. stateofohioeducation.com) that tracked state education issues, a great service for constituents.
Of course, because “blogs are bad” this is the first we’ve heard about it in the DDN- and, it would seem that Susan Haverkos is no longer involved with the site.
There are very few representatives locally who are blogging. One exception is the Mayor, whom the Dayton Daily News didn’t endorse, Gary Leitzell. Although infrequent in posting, it still serves as a vehicle for hearing positions straight from the horse’s mouth. Of course, when Gary uses it to publish his letter to the DDN that they didn’t choose to publish, you start to understand why the DDN isn’t too happy about blogs- it’s a way around its self-assumed “power” over the region.
Congressman Mike Turner even has a blog– but it’s probably not written by him- nor are there any comments or discussion (in other words- it’s not really a blog). It’s his press releases- on which you may “leave a comment”- but nothing will come of it.
Social media have been used to run campaigns- but almost always seem to be forgotten once the prize has been won. It’s sad that when elected, most representatives stop communicating with the people they represent the moment they start “representing” them.
I almost believe it should be mandatory for all candidates to maintain an active online forum, before and after they get elected- if for no other reason than that we can no longer trust the media to get it right.
(If you know of other local active blogging elected representatives- please leave a link to their site in the comments- thx)