Friday, June 4, 2010

Interview With the Upstate Political Report

Jumping in Pools is proud to present interview number 95 in our ongoing series. Today we're interviewing Sam, the creator of the Upstate Political Report, which is geared towards covering races in Upstate New York from a conservative angle. If you want to see red in a blue, blue state, check out the status of the races and make sure that you bookmark. Mr. K and I will be contributing articles to the Report and strongly urge you to check it early and often.

1. When and why did you decide to create the Upstate Political Report?

It’s been a work in progress for some time.  I’ve always wanted to blog about local politics and when I first started blogging about a year and half ago, I originally decided against it. Very few exclusively cover local politics because the reading audience is so small and so is the local blogging community.  You almost have to resign yourself to the fact that you will go unnoticed.

However, last fall I decided to cover a few posts on the local 29th congressional district and do my part for covering the 2010 congressional elections.  Back in October I blogged a post about Eric Massa and Tom Reed in NY’s 29th congressional district, which was well received due to google searches.  I realized that the opportunity in the blogosphere is in local searchers looking up the candidates and if you have ever googled a local candidate I doubt you’ll find much in the way of substantive political discussion.  So there is a very serious opportunity for bloggers to voice their opinions and make a case for candidates online.  Plus, I’ve found that many candidates and political figures in the local are very accommodating to bloggers, which means there is a lot of excellent content for writing.

So last March I revisited the idea, but was still concerned about two things; size of audience and time needed to promote.  Anyone with a site knows that promoting is very difficult when you first start up.  That’s why I decided to try a more community friendly style of approach.  I wanted to get as many excellent Upstate bloggers involved as possible so as to spread out the number of races that could be covered saving time and increasing potential readership.  Since those of us who currently contribute to the Upstate Political Report have established a following on our main sites, we can post on both so that promoting the site isn’t as difficult. 

It is my hope that the site can be sort of a one stop shop for anyone who wants the scope on the local races.  I also hope that other bloggers, readers, and maybe even candidates will become interested in posting the material.  I’m certain that there will be many opportunities as the months unfold. 

2. What has been your best experience blogging so far?

In general, I love how blogging gives any Joe Shmoe a large microphone, so long as you are good at it, you will do well.  I love connecting with people with an angle they haven’t thought of or have but love the way I’ve written about it. 

So far my best experience has been in working with Left Coast Rebel on breaking news on the Coffee Party.  Due to our coverage in March, Left Coast Rebel had been linked by Instapundit, Gateway Pundit, Aces of Spades HQ, Legal Insurrection, American Thinker (I also published there), Free Republic and Riehl World View.  It was a lot of fun.  I felt like we were old-fashioned reporters breaking the truth and everyone was starving for it.  We even managed to become a Wikipedia reference.
3. Has President Obama been better/worse than you expected?

Far worse.  I was only remotely active in educating myself on the 2008 race.  McCain certainly didn’t spark any sort of enthusiasm to seriously follow the election.  I didn’t know what to expect of Obama.  Despite his obviously radical political world view, there just wasn’t enough to know how he’d govern.  I also bought into the David Brooks hope that despite his views, he’d be about doing what’s popular in the polls.  He’d take us left, but not as far left as he’s tried to drag it.  I expected to see government sponsored stem cell research, but bank, GM/Chrystler, and health care takeovers?

The stimulus bill was proposed and I got predictably upset at the irresponsibility of it all and by the GM takeover I was livid.

4. Do you believe that the GOP will take the NYS Senate this year?

Yeah, I think it’s near certain.  Democrat leadership has only been fighting the state government reforms that all New Yorkers know and want to have happen.  There will be a huge Republican turnout this cycle and I don’t see how the Dems will be able to overcome it when there are numerous Republican leaning districts.

5. Do you see a Republican candidate winning either Senate race or the Governor's mansion?

Senate, yes; Governor, no.  All I have to say with the Governor race is Rick Lazio, need I say more.  Thanks to the nomination of Lazio and the political steam roller that is Cuomo, I’d say they have it all locked up, which means there is no real reason for downstate voters to bother showing up to the elections in November.  Especially not to support a NYC outsider like Gillibrand.  The polls will say Gillibrand has it locked up, but I predict a close race in the actual turnout.

6. How could readers send tips to the Upstate Political Report?

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