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: Journalism Is Personal

annfriedman:

You probably read this post at Gawker, in which Hamilton Nolan aims to put the fear of Cronkite into the aspiring Thought Catalog contributors of America. You probably also read that Andrew Sullivan is striking out on his own, hoping his readers will pony up enough money to cover the…

My first attempt at gifshop app on my phone. Oliver is not quite this crazy chasing reflections - but close!

My first attempt at gifshop app on my phone. Oliver is not quite this crazy chasing reflections - but close!

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Colorado politics: When small money beats big bucks

Super PACs and nonprofits funded by the Koch brothers and Karl Rove, along with their barrage of TV ads, got plenty of media attention in the 2012 presidential election.

But Democrats used similar techniques - often on a smaller scale, with different methods and, in the most prominent instance of the presidential election, more successful results.

Fair Share Action is one example.

The Super PAC created in early August wasn’t a big-bucks operation. The group raised a little more than $5.5 million and spent about $3.7 million, according to the FEC report filed Dec. 6. Hey, the group even ended up with $1.8 million in the bank.

It may not sound like much, but it may have had a significant impact in President Barack Obama’s win over Republican Mitt Romney in the swing state of Colorado. 

That’s because Fair Share Action spent at least $1.8 million in the state, much of that working to get out the vote for Obama in Colorado.

The group did spend $497,000 for an ad buy in the closing days of the campaign, according to its independent expenditure reports with the FEC. (You can sort through those records here.) Those ads were purchased in concert with Priorities USA Action, the Super PAC supporting the Obama campaign.

But the bulk of the Fair Share Action’s Colorado cash went to feet on the ground - the group was still running ads for organizers in Boulder’s Daily Camera on election day. And most of that action was in Colorado, though the group also supported candidates in other states, including Florida, Arizona and North Dakota. Here’s what they say about the 2012 campaign on their web page:

"We didn’t win relying on big corporate money. Door to door and vote by vote, Fair Share Action organizers are building a democracy and an economy that works for ALL of us. Fair Share Action weighed in on key electoral battles in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Wisconsin."

So if it wasn’t big corporate money, where did the money come from?

From Denver philanthropist and gay activist Tim Gill, for one. Gill kicked in $250,000 to the group and his Gill Action Fund gave $218,000 in September. AFSCME, the public employees union, kicked in $100,000 around the same time. Merle Chambers, who turned to philanthropy after selling her oil and gas company in 1997, gave $200,000 in October.

And like Rove’s various American Crossroads mingled groups, Fair Share Action is part of a larger web of interwoven groups. Fair Share Alliance is a related 501c(4) group that kicked in $500,000 in cash, plus in-kind staff time to the Super PAC. Since such nonprofits don’t have to reveal their donations to the FEC, it’s unclear where the cash came from. 

Meanwhile, Environment America gave $550,000 in September. The related Environment America Action Fund gave $1.8 million in November and Environment Colorado gave $250,000 at the end of October.

It’s worth pointing out that Environment America and Fair Share Alliance list the same Washington, D.C., street address. And Environment America is apparently different from, but sharing the same Boston headquarters address, as Environmental Action, which donated $200,000 to Fair Share Action. 

That address on the fourth floor of 44 Winter St. is the same address used by Brad Martin, the treasurer for the Fair Share Action Super PAC. Martin is listed as the executive director of Fair Share Action and a senior adviser of Fair Share Alliance. 

It’s also worth a mention that the treasurer of Fair Share Alliance’s board of directors is Pete Maysmith, also executive director of Colorado Conservation Voters and former executive director of Colorado Common Cause. 

The thing is, one of the main goals for Fair Share Alliance is, as their website says, “Fighting big money in politics.” 

Working with Colorado Fair Share and Common Cause, the alliance helped fuel a successful Colorado initiative encouraging the state’s congressional delegation to vote to overturn the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision that enabled Super PACS like Fair Share Action. Fair Share Alliance donated $175,000, Colorado Fair Share gave $295,000 and Common Cause gave $51,250 to the groups supporting Amendment 65.  The Alliance also contributed $403,900 worth of in-kind support, while Common Cause gave $52,983 in in-kind help.

Earlier this year, Fair Share Alliance told a reporter they’d been transparent in their support of Amendment 65, even though they keep the names of donors to the nonprofit private, even when the money is being used for a political campaign. 

This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last, that Democratic interests combine their financial and strategic resources to achieve common goals.

Adam Schrager and Rob Witwer did a great job writing about this in their 2010 book "The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care.” 

Obama defeated Mitt Romney by 137,948 votes in Colorado. It sure wasn’t the kind of money Karl Rove and the Koch brothers tossed around in the 2012 campaign. But it’s possible Fair Share Action’s door-to-door canvassing, mailings and phone calls had something to do with that.

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mattwaite:

Drones, soldering irons, micro controllers, multimeters, code … I reject your notions of what a journalism education must be. How journalists gather information, how it is collected, how it is stored, how it is processed, how it is analyzed are all open for wild experimentation. And there has never been a better time. 

mattwaite:

Drones, soldering irons, micro controllers, multimeters, code … I reject your notions of what a journalism education must be. How journalists gather information, how it is collected, how it is stored, how it is processed, how it is analyzed are all open for wild experimentation. And there has never been a better time. 

Fishnette

tlangford asked: When are you going to put more pictures up?

when did you even ask this?!? why am i just seeing this? yikes!

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Derek Willis: How I Got Here

dwillis:

I meant to finish this by Thanksgiving, as a way of acknowledging the key role that female mentors have played in my career. Better late than never.

A resume is a fairly terrible way of summing up professional experience, particularly since it attempts to impose a uniform structure over stories…

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Get ready for the Amendment 64 civic lesson!

It will take place on three levels: Federal, state and local.

It will involve the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government.

Amendment 64 is now part of Colorado’s state Constitution - it’s provisions would be difficult to repeal unless a court overturns them.

There are many questions to resolve:

  • Will the Justice Department look the other way at marijuana use in Colorado and Washington? Will Congress pass legislation allowing state laws to take precedent when it comes to pot? Will these laws be taken to federal court?
  • What regulations/laws will the Colorado General Assembly put into place? Will there be a statewide referendum to apply an excise tax to marijuana sales on the November 2013 ballot? How will the executive branch proceed with the legislature’s directives? And how involved will the state courts get in figuring out how Amendment 64 will be implemented?
  • Which local governments will ban marijuana-related businesses? Which will allow - and hope to profit from - them? How will local law enforcement respond to the new laws? (Already some are dropping minor possession cases, but others aren’t.)

Watching implementation of Amendment 64 will be a government-watching geek’s dream (and perhaps the government’s nightmare).

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source2012:

Avalanche of misinformation
Colorado’s airwaves have been awash in misleading ads, according to a new report by the nonprofit FreePress.net.
In August and September, six of the biggest nonprofits and super PACs spent more than $6.5 million to air nearly 5,000 ads on Denver’s four major-network affiliates, the group found.
But even when local reporters called these ads’ claims “debatable,” “misleading” or “playing fast and loose with the facts,” that didn’t keep the TV stations from pulling the ads — or from doing business with the offending groups.
That troubles Timothy Karr, senior director of strategy at Free Press.
“Lying is a liability not only for super PACs and other groups that produce dishonest ads, but also for the stations that air them,” he said in a press release.
Strikingly, Free Press found that the big four Denver TV stations devoted only 10 minutes and 45 seconds to local reporting on ads from these six groups, while at the same time airing 29 hours of ads.
That’s a ratio of one minute of news to every 162 minutes of ads by the six groups studied: American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS, Restore Our Future, Americans for Prosperity, Priorities USA Action and House Majority PAC.

source2012:

Avalanche of misinformation

Colorado’s airwaves have been awash in misleading ads, according to a new report by the nonprofit FreePress.net.

In August and September, six of the biggest nonprofits and super PACs spent more than $6.5 million to air nearly 5,000 ads on Denver’s four major-network affiliates, the group found.

But even when local reporters called these ads’ claims “debatable,” “misleading” or “playing fast and loose with the facts,” that didn’t keep the TV stations from pulling the ads — or from doing business with the offending groups.

That troubles Timothy Karr, senior director of strategy at Free Press.

“Lying is a liability not only for super PACs and other groups that produce dishonest ads, but also for the stations that air them,” he said in a press release.

Strikingly, Free Press found that the big four Denver TV stations devoted only 10 minutes and 45 seconds to local reporting on ads from these six groups, while at the same time airing 29 hours of ads.

That’s a ratio of one minute of news to every 162 minutes of ads by the six groups studied: American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS, Restore Our Future, Americans for Prosperity, Priorities USA Action and House Majority PAC.

(Source: opensecretsdc)

i finally made a GIF

Because, really, this is what happens at Boulder City Council meetings. Except he’s moving away ‘cause they’re so mean.


GIFSoup