The National Republican Congressional Committee produced the webpage’s content as part of its campaign against targeted Democrats across the nation, including McNerney.
A freshman who beat incumbent Republican Richard Pombo in 2006, McNerney is seeking re-election to a second term. Dean Andal, a Stockton Republican and former Assemblyman and member of the Board of Equalization, is running against him.
This is a whole new campaign world, isn’t it?
Anyone, anywhere with a few bucks, access to a computer, a bit of technical acumen and something to say can jump on the Internet and seek to influence public opinion.
One of the most oft-cited web pages in the 2006 Congressional District 11 campaign was Say No To Pombo, a site dedicated to replacing Pombo.
But the power and mystery of the Internet goes even deeper.
In a campaign tactic that nicely lines Google’s pockets, God bless them, people with web sites can bid for the chance to appear at the top of a “sponsored links” frame when users enter a specific name or phrase, such as “Jerry McNerney.”
Handwork bid to have his site show up twice on Google when you type in “Jerry McNerney,” as “Vote McNerney Out” and “The Real McNerney.” He pays a dime a click.
They were No. 1 and No. 2.
Unfortunately for Handwork, pro-McNerney forces know the trick, too.
TheMiddleClass.org apparently outbid Handwork, and its site — as of 5:51 p.m. Friday — appears No. 1 on the list, under “McNerney Earns an A+” (TheMiddleClass.org is produced by a progressive think tank called the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy.)
But Handwork is no dummy. He also bought Number 2 on the list, with the heading of “McNerney True Democrat,” which offers a link to a Washington Post voting record site.
And no, Dean Andal doesn’t have any sponsored links yet … or he didn’t as of 5:51 p.m. Friday.