'Social media' has become major tool in candidate fund raising
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 1, 2010 - Missouri state, local and congressional candidates are taking a rest today after a frenzied week of fund-raising that literally ended at midnight Thursday.
Facebook, Twitter, text messages and e-mail accounts were filled -- especially Thursday night -- with last-minute appeals for campaign cash.
Even Jack Dorsey, the creator of Twitter, jumped in with a Thursday Tweet telling his 1.5 million followers that midnight was a "critical deadline" for Tommy Sowers, the Democratic candidate for 8th District congressional seat. Dorsey supports Sowers.
Why all the fuss? Thursday was the last day for donations that will be made public on Oct. 15 in the final major campaign reports for the Nov. 2 election. Large tallies on those reports often are used to help fuel candidates' efforts to show momentum as their campaigns head into the final stretch.
This week's very visible, last-minute pitches -- which once were largely relegated to actual fundraising events, phone calls and letters -- highlighted how the virtual "social media" have been embraced by politicians and wannabes as a cheaper, and possible more effective, way to mine for money.