Rep. Stark to pioneer e-mail tool for speech

Democrats on Capitol Hill will, for the first time, have the ability to respond immediately to the president’s State of the Union address tonight with videotaped remarks e-mailed directly to their constituents.

The new service — developed by the Democratic founders of Advocacy Inc., Roger Alan Stone and Rob Stuart, best known for their Web video work for MoveOn.org — will be pioneered by Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.). Stark’s responses to the State of the Union will be taped tomorrow and sent out to approximately 50,000 of the congressman’s constituents Friday morning via e-mail.

“We’ve definitely been inspired by the situation,” said Stone, a veteran of 17 campaigns in 14 states. “The proposals in the State of the Union are going to be something that Democrats are going to have to respond to quickly.”

Stone added that Stark, coming from a very “wired district,” had signed on early but that he expected many of Advocacy’s clients on the Hill would become involved as the year progressed.

In addition to reaching out directly to constituents on congressional mailing lists, Advocacy has the capability, by sifting through voter rolls, to add between 50,000 and 80,000 e-mail addresses per congressional district, should a member wish to reach a wider audience.

The Web video advertising campaign created by Advocacy for MoveOn.org during the 2004 presidential campaign won the company an award for best national online ad campaign from the American Association of Political Consultants.

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