Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Senate Site

Let's face it, it's potentially dangerous for a politician to go "on the record". It's even more dangerous when they allow feedback and scrutiny to share the same space as their statements. Senator Chris Buttars' proposed human origins bill is being completely dismantled by readers at The Senate Site in the exact same place it was unveiled. Senator Buttars originally planned to unveil the bill at the Eagle Forum Convention. The Senate Site is a much more appropriate place to begin discussion of new legislation. The Senate Site is a credit to Utah politics and an increasingly important resource for political junkies.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand the idea behind the Senate site. It provides the Senate the ability to combat the media misinterpretations.However I don't think they thought about the opportunity they provided the political junkies to give the media ideas from the site. It could be a brutul session on the Senate site since it is a campaign season.

12/28/2005 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Reach Upward said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/29/2005 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger Reach Upward said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/29/2005 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Reach Upward said...

I think it's wonderful to send up trial balloons and vet ideas via official political sites like the Senate site. I believe it can make the legislative process more efficient because it allows legislators to see problems early on. They can tweak, retool, and even scrap proposals before the legislative session ever begins. They can get opposition and alternative arguments early on and develop strategies for dealing with them. In the BBE (Before Blog Era) most of this had to happen during the legislative session, thereby, consuming a lot of the available legislative time and resources.

Paul Graham writes here about this idea here. He says that publishing an essay before it "has had a couple thousand page views" is like "releasing software without testing it." I think the same is true of legislative proposals. Doing it the old way without vetting it on a blog is archaic. It parallels what Graham says about writing, that the "old method now seemed alarmingly unreliable, like navigating by dead reckoning once you'd gotten used to a GPS."

I wish legislators would step out of the dark ages and blog about every legislative proposal. Maybe someday they will.

12/29/2005 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous The Senate Site said...

Thanks for the encouragement. We'll do what we can to keep things interesting. Next step: audioblogs.

12/29/2005 02:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a past and future legislative campaign manager, the senate site makes for an easy research tool for attacks on certain legislators. They can dig their own holes as deep as they would like and I would love to help them do it. Especially when I know that they are often not the ones responding but the "Senate site" is doing it for them. Seems pretty dangerous to me.

12/30/2005 10:01:00 AM  

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