Sunday, June 07, 2009

Democratic Congressional candidate Adriel Hampton is strongly for reform, Government 2.0

I just had the pleasure of interviewing Adriel Hampton- he is running a reform candidacy for the upcoming 2009 Special Election for U.S. Congress, CA-10 (a San Francisco area district). A Democrat, he is presently running a "insurgent campaign"- and it has been close to the people; in addition to government reform issues, he has been working for greater "Gov 2.0". Adriel can be reached at his campaign web site.

ATR: Welcome, and thank you for your valuable time in answering a few questions on your 'reform' candidacy for U.S. Congress, and on your work in social media.

ATR: As you know, All Things Reform follows the latest happenings in the world of government reform (and a bit of poetry!); including 'Government 2.0', what could you bring to Washington on these issues?

Adriel: David, I can say unequivocally that I am the candidate in the CA-10 race who understands the promise of Gov 2.0 for really moving our government and our economy forward. I am running because of my strong concern that our political elite is greatly out of touch with the economic and cultural realities of everyday folks in the San Francisco East Bay, and I believe that reform under the 2.0 rubric is essential to making our government people-focused again. I believe wide-scale tech-based and cultural reforms in government - along with single-payer or public option health care, which I strongly support - will help revolutionize our economy and our politics.

ATR: What current reform legislation in Congress is most important to you and why?

Adriel: Health care reform is the single most important legislation in Congress right now, and we must have a public option in the final product. Guaranteed health care for all will allow the transformation of our economy from one tied to a dying industrial base into an America fueled by small business and innovation (and smooth the transition from autos and heavy infrastructure to a "green" economy). I support HR 676, although I am open to private options in addition to single-payer - anyone who pays their taxes for the national safety net should also be able to deal with specialty insurance if desired. I am also very interested in HR 1207, and support more Congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve.

ATR: I follow your multiple accounts on Twitter right now for your Special Election campaign... how do you use the service, and what other social networking services do you use thus far? Why do you feel they are very important in a congressional campaign for office?

Adriel: In addition to Twitter, I use Facebook and LinkedIn. I have a number of other accounts as well, but mainly as placeholders for the content from Twitter. I was heavily immersed in social networking for community building and activism before the opportunity came to run for an open Congressional seat, and I've tried not to change my style too much. I believe that the openness of social networking, especially the anarchic/democratic nature of Twitter, represents the style of leadership, transparency and collaboration I want to see in government (Rep. John Culberson is a good example of keeping that style, from a conservative viewpoint, while in office). In addition to modeling reform and opening up more as a person, Twitter (and to a lesser extent, Facebook) has helped me to recruit a number of very talented volunteers locally and from around the country, and to have debates on issues in advance of in-the-flesh-life. Social networking has helped me be a better-prepared candidate. And let me just say, zero-cost communications is changing everything.

ATR: It's interesting that you note in your campaign as your being an "insurgent" congressional candidate. You are running as a major party candidate in the Democratic Party; why do you fashion your campaign in this manner? How does your campaign compare to all of your competitors in this and in other respects?

Adriel: If I was the only Democrat in a heavily Democratic district, I certainly would not be the insurgent! However, I am running against a field of well-known professional politicians, including my Lt. Governor, a State Senator, and my Assemblywoman (I was the first to announce my intentions). I am the Democratic candidate who lives in below-market-rate housing (for moderate income families only), is pro-peace, anti-Drug War, pro-EFCA and anti-Taft-Hartley, and I am running my own campaign. All of my opponents, in addition to their careers as Sacramento politicians, are running heavily managed campaigns. I'm about reaching people directly and bringing back "government of the people, by the people, for the people."
Running in a field of professional politicians also makes it difficult to raise money, so I'm asking folks who agree with what I'm trying to do to pitch in $5-20 at ActBlue.

ATR: Thanks again for your interesting, modern campaign's insights. Good luck, and i look forward to following you on Twitter and elsewhere!

Adriel: Thank you!

Adriel Hampton is a journalist, Gov 2.0 and new media strategist, public servant, and licensed private investigator. He is running for U.S. Congress in the 2009 special election for California's 10th District. He has pledged to vote against funding for expansion of the Iraq and Afghan wars.

David Weller
All Things Reform

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