Elections

Special Report: Front Line State on the Front Range with Revealing Politics

20130906-092330.jpgA lot of people in Maryland have been reading The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care). The book tells the story of how the left organized in Colorado to turn a traditionally very red state to blue in a short period of time. It is a great resource for those of us trying to do the reverse in Maryland. It’s not the only thing about Colorado we conservatives in Maryland or other Democrat-controlled states should be paying attention to—we should also be watching how the right in Colorado is fighting back.

Kelly Maher, @okmaher
Kelly Maher, @okmaher

Specifically I’m referring to the blog Revealing Politics. Headed up by the feisty Kelly Maher, Revealing Politics has gone on offense to expose corruption and bad actors in Colorado politics. Remember when Colorado State Representative Joe Salazar basically argued that women lacked the judgement to carry concealed weapons for self defense? It was Kelly and Revealing Politics who kept the pressure on him. Salazar is a Democrat who won’t likely ever achieve higher office and all it took was for someone to make his own words known to the public.

After meeting Kelly and learning what Revealing Politics was up to I saw that somebody in Colorado was already making real the vision I had for the future of Front Line State in Maryland. Revealing Politics uses online video heavily to show people stories the old media isn’t covering. The operation is very much in the spirit of the work of Andrew Breitbart or James O’Keefe.

At the Americans For Prosperity conferences in Orlando last week Kelly told me about her plans for a “transparency project” for the upcoming recall election. The recall elections for State Senate President John Morse and State Senator Angela Giron were initiated by a gun control bill that opponents say was rammed through the legislature against the will of the people. (Sound familiar, Maryland?) The situation is being characterized as a referendum on guns and has attracted national attention.

Revealing Politics naturally saw this as a situation ripe for voter fraud so they formed a plan to monitor all the polling places with live streaming web cams. I’m pretty certain that has never been done before. The plan was made public via press releases because transparency is the goal. Either the streaming coverage will document voting irregularities or it will deter such irregularities.

They needed help so Revealing Politics paid for me to come out to Colorado Springs. Did I mention that Maher is also a fundraising dynamo? In some ways she’s like Colorado’s version of Hillary Pennington (Strategic Victory Consulting,Purple Elephant Politics).

So here I am in the shadow of Pike’s Peak streaming video of a polling place. My tiny, rented Toyota Yaris is littered with cables, 3G hotspots, cell phone battery packs, camera gear and empty water bottles. So far my location has been uneventful, though yesterday I was approached by a police officer who had received a complaint about someone photographing people. Maher and her team have done their homework though and all of the coverage is being handled in compliance with the applicable laws.

Whether or not the recall elections are successful or this effort uncovers any voter fraud I’ve accomplished one of my goals in coming out here. I wanted to see how Revealing Politics works and see what I could glean for use back in Maryland.

Revealing Politics is very youthful and unafraid to try new things. They are willing to try new things without over-thinking them before the fact. They act and address technical problems as they arise. No one on the team had done live streaming election monitoring before but we learned by doing. We found out what works and what doesn’t and adapted as necessary. In that respect Revealing Politics’ strength is as a new media innovator–something the right desperately needs. As a Maryland conservative, my mind is now working on how we could use similar techniques to address voting irregularities at some of our more problematic precincts.

The big takeaway for me is that Front Line State and the Maryland Citizen Action Network (MDCAN) both need to involve more young people and raise money to let us pursue innovations to address the unique challenges conservatives in Maryland face. We will need your help in accomplishing those goals. I ask my friends in Maryland to pay attention to Revealing Politics and be on the lookout for similar groups around the country from whom we can learn new tricks.

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