There are three Democratic candidates for Congress in the primary election in Montana today, but you might have a difficult time telling so by looking for information online. Two of the candidates, Jim Hunt and Robert Candee, have solid, informative campaign web sites. The third, John Driscoll, does not.
Of the two online candidates, both seem to have a reasonable mainstream progressive agenda. Jim Hunt has a bit of an edge over Robert Candee in his ability to pick a candidate. So, if I were voting in Montana today, Jim Hunt would be my choice.
John Driscoll would not be my choice. It’s possible that, abstractly, John Driscoll is the best candidate. However, it’s difficult for ordinary Montanans to make that judgment for themselves, because Driscoll has failed to make himself available for scrutiny online.
It’s not enough any more for a political candidate beyond the local level just to have insider connections and to show up for political party club meetings. It’s an important responsibility, especially in a state as large as Montana, to have an appropriate level of communication online.
Driscoll may win. He’s a political veteran, former speaker of the Montana state House. Perhaps he’s got slick television ads to send a message out to a large number of Montana Democrats. However, when it comes down to trust, TV can’t hold a candle to the Internet. On a TV screen, a 30-second advertisement gives a superficial amount of information. A campaign web site must withstand more sustained attention.
If Driscoll can’t get a web site online for his campaign, then he isn’t going to be able to communicate with the people of Montana well as a representative in far-off Washington D.C. My hope is to see Jim Hunt grab the nomination tonight.