Record producer Howie Klein, who calls his home blog Down With Tyranny, is fast becoming this cycle’s George Soros. He’s making an impact on the election but, unlike Soros, who just wrote some big checks to front groups and then walked away (faster after Kerry lost), Klein is working with shoestring budgets and the power of open source collaboration.
Want to know more?
Klein described what he is up to today at Firedoglake
(yes, I know bloggers are filtering up-and-down to other blogs, but
that’s another show).
It all started at a live-blog session with a
musician he’d never met from a band called the Squirrel Nut Zippers.
They put together a song,
everything including studio time donated. Someone else created an
animation for it with a 1950s cartoon feel. The song and video can be easily customized to fit any candidate or campaign.
What did this cost? Very little. What is it worth? Quite a lot. Klein and other bloggers are now working to get money together
so they can run these ads on TV. He estimates it costs just $20,000 to
"move numbers" in any one race. Compare that to the $40 million being
spent in one Tennessee Senate race, and you begin to get at the
implications. And remember, all this is happening outside the system.
It’s not being done by the Democratic Party, it’s not some well-heeled
527 group. It’s a bunch of bloggers with a PAC, acting in a viral
The purpose of the campaign laws was to reduce the corrosive impact of
money on our political campaigns, but if the candidates Klein is
supporting with this effort win through — despite enormous financial
disadvantages — what does that say about campaign finance reform? And
is there any way to regulate it?
I don’t see a way. We’re talking citizen involvement, not money. We’re talking creativity, not money.
See how you feel when the Far Right does it. Then we can talk about it. Meanwhile, go over to YouTube and enter Have You Had Enough at the search box to see what we’re talking about.
And now, for your dancing pleasure, the original video for the original song, which was called Put a Lid on It: