| The first official candidate announcement in the race to replace Ellen Tauscher in CA-10 comes from Adriel Hampton, who not only works for the SF City Attorney's office and has a background as a political reporter but has become a leading progressive on social media such as Twitter and what he has called "Gov 2.0". In his campaign announcement Hampton indicated his desire to build his campaign around using the Internet to produce more democracy in DC:
I am just a guy, but I am a guy with a dream. I want to take aspirations of everyone like me to Congress. It is time for "just folks" to take back the reins of government.
As our country has grown in population, it has grown more and more difficult to stay connected to our elected leadership. The founders intended the members of the House of Representatives - the People's House - to represent no more than thirty thousand people, yet CA-10 has more than twenty times that number. While the gulf between The Hill and the Bay Area is wide, our tech revolution can bridge that gulf.
Each major media revolution has allowed a new generation of leaders and politics - from FDR and radio to JFK and television to President Obama and the internet.
President Obama showed us what loose networks of concerned citizens can do, becoming the first "social media" candidate. I want to use these new tools to join him in Washington DC to transform a government that has become strangely disconnected from the everyday realities of people in District 10. We have much work to do, starting with building a 21st century economy. But in this time of great challenge, I have great hope.
I really like this, a lot, and I think it can be a powerful message for a candidate in an era when populist democracy is becoming a more important part of American politics. Hampton has the right ideas about how to channel that and turn it into an effective organizing force.
What Hampton will need to do is articulate his policies, his stance on the issues, in a way that directly addresses the economic crisis. Voters in CA-10 will want to hear about his ideas on Gov 2.0, but they'll also want to know where he stands on the bailouts, on jobs, on Obama's budget, and on other important issues like global warming and marriage equality.
Especially considering that Mark DeSaulnier, should he run, will have a commanding position given the broad support and admiration he has from many Democrats in the district, especially the grassroots - as well as strong labor connections.
Brian Leubitz pointed out to me that this may well resemble the race last year in CA-12, where Michelle McMurry offered an interesting and innovative platform but had no chance against Jackie Speier, who brought strong progressive credentials to a district where she was truly beloved by many voters.
Still, it's good to see Hampton in the race and let's hope we can have a substantive campaign about how the Congress can chart a more progressive future for our country.
Adriel Hampton's campaign site