04 Dec 2005

Stepping Down, Endorsing Margee Ensign

I have been quiet on this site for a while now because I am withdrawing my name from the race. When I first started this campaign, over a year ago, I had put myself up as a candidate because 1) no one else was both willing to run and try new, grassroots, open source ideas dedicated to the goal of involving people in their government, 2) I could not find someone I wanted to support in my district, and 3) I had assumed there would be no significant chance of anyone else defeating the incumbent this election.
It became clear early on that this was not to be the case. Pombo has gained national attention for his questionable and controversial acts while at the same time his congressional mentor Tom DeLay is being prosecuted for corruption charges. Because of this negative attention, the DCCC and other democratic-leaning organizations have targeted our eleventh district. Pombo and the Republican party are vulnerable, so now candidates and money are pouring into this race.
The lack of a viable, ideal candidate that would be willing to use technology and grassroots campaigning changed only a few weeks ago, when I met with Margee Ensign about her impending announcement to join the race. Margee was spoken highly of to us by Jerry Hildebrand when we interviewed him for our podcast, so I had known of her already. When Jessica and I met with her, that was the end of this campaign. Margee is unbelievably qualified, technologically savvy, internationally and politically experienced and still amazingly humble. We are continually impressed with her passion, kindness and strength of character. She is exactly who I want representing me. I have volunteered to do whatever I can to help her campaign and she has very graciously accepted. I have developed a website for her that just launched last week at: http://www.ensignforcongress.com and I will hopefully continue to be involved in whatever capacity I can help.
So what happens to this campaign?
JoinTheConversation.org will become my blog, focusing on open source politics and races and will be a place for me to discuss the continuation of GroundWorks. I will continue to develop GW, first for Margee's campaign and also with other local and national campaigns that have shown interest.
Though the campaign is ending, we have accomplished a lot with almost no money and little time. Our campaign produced several political examples that, as far as I know, nobody had done before:
  • Open Schedule – first come, first served campaign scheduling
  • Micro Goals – small, easily achievable, specific donation goals with reports
  • Call Me – Letting people request a personal call from the candidate online
  • Open Books – realtime feed of donations and expenditures as they happen
I was also the first Congressional candidate with a Podcast and the only one so far with a Tumblelog or a Tag Cloud for the Blog I wrote myself. We were a campaign of firsts, experiments and ideas. Several of them are already being used and adopted by other campaigns, which I highly encourage, and I have learned an incredible amount about all of this.
To those of you who supported me or donated to the campaign, I thank you kindly. You invested in tools and ideas that will be used by many other clubs and candidates for a long time to come. I hope you follow my work at jointheconversation.org as I continue to pursue the open source campaign and participatory democracy one election at a time. If you decide to run for something someday, and I encourage you to, please let me know how I can help.
Thank you all,
Scott Anthony Bylo Chacon
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