Generally supporters of a person running for office are asked to lend their name, then sit back and watch the candidate go. That’s all well and good, but in the case of media and social media, a good midcourse correction is in order. Thus this point regarding the actions of two Oakland City Council candidates this space has expressed support for: Mario Juarez and Sean Sullivan.
First, some house cleaning. In the 21st Century, media is a do-it-yourself affair. The trouble is, most people over the age of 40 don’t get this, and count on mainstream media coverage of what they do, and almost exclusively. Or, rather than use an available blog with powerful reach to type their own message, the candidate waits for the blogger to be available to blog about them – even when the candidate has their own account. This has been the behavior of both Juarez and Sullivan.
In the case of Juarez, it bit him in the ass.
I’ve told Mario time and again to be open not just to the media, but to blogging about his message and his approach in his run for the Oakland City Council District Five Seat. I have said the same to Sean Sullivan. Both have accounts here at Zennie62.com. Both have not used those accounts. Mario has a Twitter account I’ve told him about – but no attempt to use it. None.
Now, comes an email I got from the Wellstone Democratic Club (anyone black in that organization?) that distributes a CBS 5 news story about Juarez and some real estate negotiations where the accusers claim they did not get the service they were promised. I’ve told Mario that if he has a story to tell, tell the story, otherwise someone else will do it for him.
Maybe now he will get it. The CBS 5 story is damaging but Mario could survive it if he gets to work now. Mario’s only recourse is to respond in a way that’s respectful to the accuser. It’s not a political hit per-se. But when you’re running for office, you have to make sure all people are on your side.
Sean Sullivan’s otherwise powerful money-raising performance has been marred by a poll that shows him in a three-way tie for the lead in the District Three Oakland City Council Race, but with 65 percent of the over 500 persons polled undecided. Social media can help close that percentage, but Sullivan has to blog about his message – more than once. He’s not done this, and he’s relied in one case on a recent blog post that’s not widely read at all. Meanwhile, this blogger’s account opened for Sullivan – one that reaches out to 200,000 Twitter followers, and is the sister blog to Oakland Focus and San Francisco Focus – both owned by this blogger – sits unused.
When you’re in a political battle, you have to tell your story as often as possible and be as transparent as possible. When you get the support of this blogger, at least do what he asks you to do. That’s the price of admission.
Mario and Sean – get to work.