Blue Louisa: A blog Covering Central Virginia & national politics from a progressive perspective
An earlier piece, vote for progress not emotions, discussed how many of the candidates running for local office are not using social media platforms like Facebook to promote their re-election or candidacy for office, and others appear to have little understanding of how to communicate with potential voters, making little if any attempt to persuade anyone to vote for them.
Weeks after speaking with multiple candidates a surprising number of them still don’t have a Web or Facebook campaign page. Some like our current Treasurer, Henry Wash after spending ~ $ 8 K on signs during his first campaign 8 years ago, says he doesn’t see any need to promote himself any further.
Since he’s running unopposed, and given the number of Wash signs around the County he’s probably right.
Other incumbents like Cuckoo Supervisor Willie Gentry, also running unopposed, says “people know who I am”, and doesn’t feel any need to go over the $ 1K threshold that would require him to file financial reports, and from all appearances is content to let his personal Facebook page double as a campaign page.
Surprisingly, staying under the $ 1K threshold is a sentiment shared by Charles Rosson running for the open Commissioner of the Revenue seat, who has yet to put up a campaign FB page, and it's probably why he has so few campaign signs up.
While Republican Dan Braswell, also running for the open Commissioner of the Revenue seat, and Eric Purcell currently running unopposed for the open Louisa Supervisor seat, discussed their plans at the AG fair for using social media to reach voters. Yet weeks later, neither has a working campaign page.
Although Purcell claims that he has information ready to be posted, and confirmed this agian at the recent Rural Broadband Summit that he will be getting it online. While Braswell is seemingly content to let his personal FB page double as his campaign page.
Troy Painting who is running a quixotic campaign for Sheriff appears to be relying on the volume of his signs around the county to win the day, and has no Web or Facebook campaign page.
Meanwhile, the other two Republicans running for office; Donnie Lowe for Sheriff, and Toni Williams for Jackson District Supervisor, Facebook pages are little more than placeholders, with no meaningful information about the candidates. What both of these pages have in common is that their primary message is an emotional appeal, not content which might inform potential supporters.
Nor is this an oversight, it is a deliberate attempt to control the flow of information, ensuring that voters can’t readily scrutinize their past deeds, what they stand for, or even what they propose to do in the future.
A tactic they have copied from their upstream brethren, Delegate John McGuire and Senator Bryce Reeves whose Facebook pages are filled with fluff about all the “important” people they met with. What is left out of their one sided messaging is that their meetings always were closed to the “public” so unless you’re a like minded soul with money to give, you ain’t invited, and definitely aren’t welcome.
In Donnie Lowe’s case, all the public is “allowed” to know about him consists of a barrage of signs around the county, and after the fact notices about this or that “community unity” event he attended. And while Toni Williams Facebook page isn’t over the top like John McGuire’s constant second amendment, flag flying freak.
His content free Facebook page is aimed squarely at an audience that overlaps McGuire’s 2A fanatics, his evangelical brothers and sisters. And the subtle “Christian whistle” visual iconography on his campaign page will fly right by the uninitiated without a second glance.
In direct contrast; the two independent candidates with working Facebook pages, Bernie Hill who is running for the Jackson district Supervisor seat, and Stacy Coleman Fletcher running for the open Commissioner of the Revenue seat, that she has held since the previous Commissioner resigned 8 months ago.
Are openly talking about what they bring to the job, what qualifies them for this office, and where they stand on relevant issues. And in Bernie’s case, he is taking his message directly to the residents of the Jackson District with the first in a series of mass mailers.
Something he will need if he is to have any chance of countering the weekly letters to the editor that Toni Williams fellow Replican'ts, and congregation members are submitting on his behalf.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.