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February 27, 2004

Conspiring Session about Citizen Journalism Projects

I've been talking to a few friends and also people who go to the Berkman weblog writers meeting about doing citizen journalism projects for Exploit Boston! (and particpants own weblogs). We're having a conspiring session tomorrow, Saturday, February 28th at Carberry's Bakery in Davis Square at 1pm. Carberry's is located at187 Elm Street. Free wifi is available, too. Anyone interested in contributing ideas and/or some of their time on specific projects (writing, video, photographs) is welcome to join us. See you there?

Posted by Sooz at 02:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Facts

At last night's Berkman's Thursday weblog writers meetings someone mentioned (again) that Joe Trippi's new project "Change for America" is another way for him to take money from people. I didn't really know what to say to that so I figured I should look into the facts instead of joining the presumptions. It was never my impression that Trippi was trying to take people's money when he was working as the campaign manager for the Dean campaign. He didn't receive a salary and according to an entry on the Change for America website from February 11th (that Mike pointed out to me), he made $165,000 for his 1/3 share of the ad agency's (where he's a partner) commission on the $7M television advertising.

The facts are these:

1. I never had budget or check writing authority in the campaign -- nor did I have hiring and firing authority in the campaign. The day to day authority of these administrative parts of the campaign were placed by the Governor in the hands of Bob Rogan, his former Chief of Staff at the very beginning of my time with the campaign and lasted until I resigned.

2. I recently inquired about the contract and my compensation. It turns out it was a 7% contract. Meaning that if $7 million in TV was bought 93% went to TV stations to buy the time and 7% or $490,000 was paid to the firm in which I was a partner. My firm has 3 partners so my third or share comes to approximately $165,000. I will let the grassroots and donors of the campaign decide if that was too much compensation. $165,000 is a lot of money, but it is not the $7 million the media and those leveling the attacks want you to believe either.

So why are they trying to make $165,000 sound like $7 million?

Because how do you stop a movement? How do you stop people from contributing to change their country? Its easy -- make them think the whole damn thing was a ponzi scheme to enrich a consultant.

3. My partner Steve McMahon had handled Governor Dean's media for over 12 years. And Trippi McMahon & Squier were hired as the media firm long before I volunteered to run the campaign when not many would. This is important -- because this fact means that as a 1/3 partner in my firm -- I would have made the $165,000 in 2003 if I had gone golfing in Fiji for the entire year instead of going sleepless in Burlington.

Posted by Sooz at 11:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 26, 2004

Almost a Year

My mom died almost a year ago, on March 20th. The past year has been a series of firsts. First it was her 56th birthday a few weeks after she passed away. Then it was Mother's Day. For years she asked for a mother's ring and my sisters and I never got around to getting it for her. There would always be next year. Times like this make you wonder about regret. Then it was Christmas, the first major holiday without my mom around to call. And then in January it was my 31st birthday and the first time she didn't call to wish me a happy birthday. Around this time last year it was a year since we last spoke on the phone. The grieving process is interesting and I always keep wondering how many more of these "firsts" will sneak up on me.

Posted by Sooz at 02:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Howard Dean to Reveal Future Plans in New Haven, CT Tonight?

Howard Dean is speaking tonight at the Omni New Haven Hotel at 155 Temple Street in New Haven, CT. The first email I received passed on by a former DFA staff member included info about the event being coordinated by Connecticut for Dean. It was billed as a combo volunteer appreciation and fundraising event. A second email went out to the Massachusetts for Dean statewide list indicating that Dean will also reveal his future plans at the event. The event runs 7:30-9:30pm with Governor Dean's address at 8:30pm. The Dean for America weblog also mentioned the event but doesn't list any specific details.

Update: It looks like email #1 was accurate. According to Blog for America, Dean's big announcement/news is happening on March 18th, not tonight in New Haven.

Posted by Sooz at 12:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 25, 2004

BloggerCon II in Cambridge on April 17th

BloggerCon II returns to Pound Hall at Harvard Law School on Saturday, April 17th. Lisa Williams thinks a bunch of female webloggers should conspire on a panel together. I think someone in the Boston area with a big house should host the Saturday night party. I'm settling in at my newish residence so that person won't be me. When my mom would visit she usually stayed at A Cambridge House Bed & Breakfast. It's a nice bed and breakfast at 2218 Massachusetts Avenue near Porter Square in Cambridge. On Wednesday afternoon they still had a few rooms available but they'll probably disappear soon.

Posted by Sooz at 09:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 24, 2004

Preserve The Goodrich Decision: Primary Day Initiative on March 2nd throughout Massachusetts

The Freedom to Marry Coalition of Massachusetts is organizing a Primary Day initiative on March 2nd throughout Massachusetts. They are looking for volunteers who can commit to a 3-hour shift at a nearby polling place. The goal is to identify voters who also support equal marriage rights, and to get them to take action. Training sessions for site captains and other volunteers are being held around Massachusetts this comign weekend, February 28-29.

Posted by Sooz at 08:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 22, 2004

Slinging the Lime

Josh and a friend are in town visiting this weekend. It's been a fun, low key sort of weekend. Last night I made my not-quite-world-famous-unless-you-just-count-people-I-know enchiladas. Vodka gimlets were also consumed. Josh made the most spectacular peach shortcake. Good times. Posted by Sooz at 01:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 20, 2004

Political Hit Man Speaks at Harvard's Kennedy School

Dave Winer and Rick Heller attended yesterday's Institute of Politics session at the Kennedy School of Government titled "REALITY POLITICS: The 2004 Road to the White House." Lynn Sweet, a fellow at IOP, led the discussion which included David W. Jones, the political consultant (hit man) who raised $663,000 from twenty six donors to fund three attack ads against Howard Dean leading up to the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries. At the Berkman Thursday weblog writers meeting last night, Rick pointed out that the McCain-Feingold law includes a section about "527 committees" that allow this sort of thing to be orchestrated against a candidate but not for a candidate. That's wrong on so many levels.

Posted by Sooz at 11:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 18, 2004

Beyond Howard Dean : It's a Movement

Sherry Moore sent this photo via an email postcard earlier today. I'm still voting for Dean on March 2nd. Like he said, change isn't easy. Hopefully it'll be Edwards in November and not Kerry. Click the photo to see a larger image. (I'm not sure where the extra whitespace on the right is from but I'll snip it off when I get home late tonight.)

Posted by Sooz at 04:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 17, 2004

Aunt Sooz!

Thanks to my youngest sister Amy and her partner Mike, I'm going to be an aunt this summer! I always figured that if one of us (3) were to have children, it would probably be Amy. I think I'll be a fabulous Aunt. Hopefully I can get back to Nebraska once before and soon after the new human enters the world.

Posted by Sooz at 09:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 13, 2004

Gabriel Ben-Yosef, Citizen Journalist?

Gabe has been taking his video camera around Boston filming his own news stories and vignettes. On Monday, February 10th he interviewed people at the "Massachusetts State House Rally Against Amending the Constitution."

Posted by Sooz at 04:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Open House at Massachusetts for Dean Volunteer Headquarters This Weekend

Massachusetts for Dean sent this announcement out to its mailing list earlier today about this weekend's open house and office hours.

Massachusetts for Dean Email Newsletter, 2/13/2004

Grassroots volunteers have joined together to open the Mass for Dean campaign headquarters in Central Square, Cambridge. Stop by for campaign literature, phonebanking, lawn signs, bumper stickers, and good times. We are of the volunteers, by the volunteers, and for everybody!

Open House Saturday, 2/14/04
Noon until 5:00 pm

605 Massachusetts Avenue (near Essex Street)
Cambridge, MA 02139-4030

(617) 245-3930

The office is staffed entirely by volunteers. To volunteer, please stop by and sign up. For the coming long weekend, the office will be staffed as follows:

Saturday, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Sunday, 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Monday (President’s Day), 10:00 am to 8:00 pm

Come by and visit, pick up a lawn or window sign, make phone calls to Wisconsin (bring your cell phone), and learn how you can get out the vote for Howard Dean on March 2nd in your community!

Donate to the Mass for Dean Radio Ad Fund!
The grassroots organization www.truthandhope.org is producing radio ads in key primary states to set the record straight about Governor Dean. We’re raising money to bring the ads to Massachusetts. Go to http://www.aspenwilde.com/dfa.htm to listen to the ads and make a contribution. These ads are entirely grassroots created and funded.

Call Voters in Wisconsin before February 17th!
Individual volunteers can go on-line to get call sheets, scripts, and instructions. To get started, send an e-mail to wendy@dialingfordean.com with your phone number and a brief note about yourself. Phonebank captains can download call sheets and instructions at http://commons.deanforamerica.com. E-mail wicalls @ deanforamerica.com for additional details.

Posted by Sooz at 02:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Massachusetts for Dean's New Volunteer Headquarters in Central Square

Rich Chouinard, a volunteer organizer for Massachusetts for Dean, took a few photos of the Mass for Dean office that the grassroots group recently set up. It's independent of Dean for America. The location is excellent -- it's a 5,000 square foot space at 605 Massachusetts Ave in Central Square. The office is home to the group's volunteer activities and a clearinghouse for materials. Click on the photo to see a larger image.

Update: If you're coming to my website by way of Dave's link at Scripting News ... Mass for Dean started up at its first Dean Meetup February 2003, not when the volunteer office opened up this week. :)

Posted by Sooz at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 08, 2004

The Dean Screen in Harvard Square

Michael and I met up with other Massachusetts for Dean volunteers in Harvard Square last night to put up the Dean Screen near Au Bon Pain. The Dean Screen is a homemade kit consisting of a traveling video projector with a PVC tubing frame that supports a bedsheet on which we broadcast speeches Dean has delivered around the country. Click the photo to see a larger image.

Gabriel Ben-Yosef interviewed several people who talked about why they support Howard Dean. Check out the video on his website. Michael's tidbits are towards the end.

Posted by Sooz at 07:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 05, 2004

The bat and the perfect swarm

Jim Moore at Dean for America wrote on his personal weblog about the bat that is bringing in lots of donations today.

You decide as a individual to make a contribution.

And then about mid day--or perhaps later--you realise that you have been part of an historic event--a "perfect swarm." For most people, this will be a surprising and gratifying discovery. You realize that thousands of other individuals made a similar commitment at the same time. It feels a bit uncanny.

What is going on? Swarm power, emergence, something larger than ourselves. Here is a fun thing to do: Take a large crowd--perhaps you are giving a speech--and ask them to clap together to an aligned beat. But don't give them a lead beat. Just ask the crowd to find a beat, by paying attention to their neighbors, and syncing up as they can. I've done this dozens of times, and the amazing thing is how fast a group can come together when it wants to.

Posted by Sooz at 08:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 02, 2004

Massachusetts Patriots for Dean

Massachusetts for Dean volunteers and supporters are gathering at the big New England Patriots rally tomorrow, Tuesday February 3rd at City Hall Plaza in Boston. Organizers will be in front of the Dunkin Donuts next to the Government Center MBTA Station on the Green Line as early as 10;30am. Additional details are on the info page for the Mass Patriots for Dean event.

Posted by Sooz at 11:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack