Saturday, May 13, 2006

Upthegrove blogs, and I mean really blogs

Rep. Dave Upthegrove of lesser King County (Des Moines, eh) actually blogs. I don't mean he has a blog on his campaign website, but he began in April and regularly maintains a blog on

Upthegrove goes beyond the cool bloginess that even the best campaign blogs, even Scott Chacon in California. By staking out a place at, he is moving himself outside the realm of people who would normally cruise political blogs. Its like setting up shop at a mall compared to a library.

And, even though he talks in normal terms about his work as a politician, it comes across as natural:

Busy day for a Saturday. I had brunch with a friend who is active in local Latino affairs and is on the editorial board of Sea Latino-- the major Hispanic newspaper in the state. It was interesting to get his perspective on the recent national immigration debate-- but we mostly talked about how to bridge gaps between political leaders and the Latino community.

I then changed into my suit and sped off to Seattle to give a luncheon speech at the Washington Conservation Voters candidate training. I talked to 16 candidates for the State Legislature (House & Senate) and about 20 campaign managers, about how to run a successful campaign. I mostly shared stories from my experience to illustrate points they were taught in the rest of the training. They asked lots of good questions.

I then scooped up my cousin Ashley (see my myspace friends top 8) and we went to the King County Democratic Convention at the Machinist Union Hall in South Park. Senator Maria Cantwell spoke and did a great job. She was introduced by Kate Michelman (past President of national NARAL), who talked about the need to protect a womens right to choose, and the importance of electing Maria Cantwell. Maria was passionate and well-received.

And, about non-political stuff:
Our team got CREAMED in basketball tonight. The only cool part was playing in the Furtado Center-- the practice facility for the Sonics and the Storm. I made the mistake of working out really hard this afternoon, so I was exhausted for the game....and we only had 5 players so we all had to play/run the entire subs.
This is what Kari Chisolm referred to as using "Skutnick," or humanizing yourself. Folks who aren't that interested in politics often think of politicians and the entire process for that matter not very human, and pretty contrived. By using myspace and talking pretty much like I assume he would talk on a normal day, Upthegrove is using blogs as he should. As we all should.

That said, there are some design issues that he should think about. The headlines are totally unreadable because they're the same color as the background. You can only see them if you highlight them. He has a similar problem with his datelines, they're too dark for the blue background. Change colors Dave.

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