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 Is Dave Lang using the City Website to slant the election?

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PostSubject: Is Dave Lang using the City Website to slant the election?   Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:05 am

Is the city clerk allowing the webmaster, Vicki Oakes to use the city’s web site to campaign. Before going into the details perhaps this would be a good time to express few methods radio and newspapers subtly influence people.

Politics is in large part name recognition. Studies in political science indicate that most voters vote on name recognition. Newspapers headlines may be somewhat misleading to lead the reader to the article. The upper right hand corner is generally the most read article in a newspaper.

There are a number of stories in the Ortonville Independent that also slant the story to show who they support. The girl’s basketball story was one of these stories. The story was full of opinion but because of the slant the writer was able to give the impression that it was neutral.

A newspaper will also not report certain negative articles as a sign of support. By failing to report these stories the newspaper is supporting the candidate. All three of these tactics has been used by the local newspaper.

The radio station also has certain methods of pushing an agenda. That is why in national and state elections a radio station has to give equal time. When a station airs ads or interviews also makes a difference as well as the moderator.

Again in this case, when a radio station fails to find the facts or buries a story they are also attempting to influence the voters.

The new media also can print with bias and or prejudice, but it is the other writers that keep us honest. By definition each contributor has the ability to correct the wrong. It is the only media that without influencing a different point of view, an article or thread can be tilted in a different direction. The way this forum operates is it allows opposing views and even encourages these views.

We also believe that our writers are literate and computer savvied people. Although there is more likely to be slants in the threads because anyone can write, the parties using the site are thought to be intelligent; thus, have a greater ability of each reader to decipher fact from opinion.

Please note all media can slant a candidate or a story. The forums are the most accountable, because of you the public and other writers.

Using this information I will now move to how the city clerk has improperly attempted to campaign for certain candidates in an effort to protect his job.
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PostSubject: Is the use of a public site wise in politics?   Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:12 pm

I have been politically active since the young age of seven, when I met my first politician and assisted this state wide race in the early 1960’s. My undergraduate degrees are political science and business communications. In these courses political issues and how to influence people often times comes up and how to do this successfully even more often.

Here are the things I noticed with Dave’s Lang political use of the web site. First, a neutral method and use of the web site, sets a deadline and all candidate’s are up at the same time. It can be argued that Mr. Johnson has been on the site for almost a month and had the top billing until October 25, 2009.

Where the greater abuse occurs is on the Twitter site. First, why was public money used to link to this site?

Second, why aren’t Mel Reinke and David Dinnel not on the Twitter page? Did the candidates have the option of not being on this page? If so, does the omission whether intentional or voluntary send a message to the electorate? I would point out in the debate that both Dinnel and Reinke said changes were needed in the city clerk’s office? Could it be that they are not on the Twitter page for this reason?

Third, when Johnson joined the site he got bragging rights. The others just joined. This is a subtly of support.

The web site is acting without rules.

The answer? Now that the election is soon over, the winner should establish a one or two person task force to establish real rules and make attempt to be candidate neutral.

I have visited over 100 websites for cities and this site needs some rules and some work.

Why does Ortonville want to re-invent the wheel? The issues I raise here are not unique or new. These same issues have been raised for 30 years. My criticism is not unique.

This community would serve its people better by avoiding this controversy instead of creating it. If this community is ever to come together we need to think first and then act.
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