A Tale of Two Bloggers Who Ran for Council

Back in my college days I wrote for a alternative campus newspaper. It was a fun and creative way to express my political activism at the time. However I learned a valuable lesson back then… my writing may have consequences. They may be amazingly positive consequences or dangerously harmful ones. I remember these lessons each and every time I click the publish button on my blog today.

Yesterday I read something that put blogging consequences up against the spotlight of running for public office. Allow me to tell the story of two local bloggers who also became candidates for local office. It’s an interesting contrast of how words can have negative and potentially positive consequences.

Tim Enloe

Tim started the Access Milton website and hyper-local blog in 2004. It’s a cool site that provides a great service to Milton. I don’t always agree with Tim but I’m a regular reader.

Some years later he entered the race for Milton City Council. It didn’t take long for an alternate website to pop up, called EnloeArchives.com. This site alleged that Enloe removed some embarrassing content from his blog. The site reprinted his alleged words in a negative light.

In all fairness, it is tough to validate how truthful this site was or in what context the words were written. Nevertheless, the content was out there even after it was supposedly taken offline.

Remember, the internet is forever. There are tools like the Internet Wayback Machine that archive websites. I had to use this service to research this article as even EnloeArchives.com is no longer active. The archives are in the archives, so to speak.

Jimmy Gilvin

Story number two is a little more recent. My regular readers probably know of Jimmy Gilvin and his blog  GA Jim. Last week Jimmy filed to run for Alpharetta City Council. He’s registered an internet domain for his campaign, JimGilvinforCityCouncil.com, but it just redirects to his blog. So basically he’s going to use his WordPress blog as his campaign website. In a post yesterday he said…

A normal politician would never start a blog like GA Jim in the first place and if it did exist they would be sure to delete it before running for office. It contains heartfelt opinions, stances and positions that will undoubtably be attacked by my political opponents. The typical politician would erase GA Jim with the click of a button and eliminate hundreds of posts containing their thoughts over the last two years. With the blog erased they could take any position that would help them get elected without fear of contradiction. That’s what any normal politician would do.

Maybe Jimmy doesn’t know of the Wayback Machine! It doesn’t matter because he’s removing nothing. You could say he’s leveraging his blog as a tool for his campaign. It gives him a distinct advantage over other political newcomers. Voters can read years of his archives to get a sense of his positions. Other political newcomers like Hans Appen or Lance Large in Milton will have to expend a lot of energy communicating their views and motivations to voters.

Enloe and Gilvin. Two distinct examples of the consequences of a blog on the writer’s campaign. Enloe was not successful in his campaign. Were his alleged comments and their removal a factor in his loss?

Will Jimmy’s blog and his openness play well with voters? Or will they even take the time to read it? We’ll find out in November. I’d imagine the campaign of Cheryl Oakes is reading every word of it right about now!

3 Responses to “A Tale of Two Bloggers Who Ran for Council”

  1. Mike September 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Hopefully he wrote at least somewhere about all the “apartments” at Windward Mill, Prospect Park and Peridot that were never approved and don’t exist.

  2. Lee September 6, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    I see that the sarcastic Mike Kennedy is back. Ironic that he returns when I talk about the consequences of your writing on the internet.

    The city is prevented by law from approving more apartments. Were this law not in place, I honestly believe this council would allow many more apartments in Alpharetta. Would you disagree?

  3. Jon Mahn Sun September 19, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    I don’t really like the idea of a ‘blogger’ as a candidate. They aren’t usually serious options for public office (no offense Lee). They may have their opinions but they are not usually leadership material. Just having a keyboard and an opinion does not mean you are a leader.

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