Mobile, Alabama - Political candidates routinely use the Internet to campaign, using web sites, Facebook, Twitter and e-mail. Now, one Alabama candidate has developed a new online campaign tool.
Jim Zeigler, a candidate for Alabama State Auditor, is using Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, to reach voters. Zeigler registered the domain name ZeiglerStory.com and linked it to the lengthy Wikipedia article detailing his life.
For voters who want facts, a link to Wikipedia is a good and free resource, Zeigler said. I am able to get voters to see my entire story.
The recurring theme to that story seems to be that one person can make a difference. Wikipedia s article on Zeigler is a long one, requiring a 12-section index at the top. It goes back to Zeigler s childhood in the Sylacauga suburb of Oak Grove, where his father Bloise Zeigler was Mayor for 20 years.
It breezes through in encyclopedia style his victory over the fraternity political party, The Machine , for University of Alabama Student Government President. His election at age 25 to the Public Service Commission. Through a series of close election losses that earned him the nick-name Mr. 49%. Through a comeback of sorts, defeating a challenge from former Supreme Court Chief Justice Perry Hooper, Sr. for statewide delegate to the Republican National Convention.
Through a series of challenges to government actions, including ethics complaints and taxpayer lawsuits. To his present-day representation of citizens fighting against turning the Mobile River Delta into a national park.
Zeigler says he is working on a hit counter to measure exactly how many people go to the site.
There is no way to know how many people saw your ad or roadside sign, but we can tell exactly how many open ZeiglerStory.com.
We have come to rely too much on superficial campaigning - 30-seconds ads, slick junk mail, and roadside signs. Those do not tell much. My development of a link to a Wikipedia article is a step back toward campaigning on the track record of the candidate. That can be a big improvement, Zeigler said.
Zeigler says his search of the Internet did not find any other instance in which a political candidate linked to a Wikipedia article. I may have invented a brand new way to get the message to the voters, he said.
The link does not require permission or participation by Wikipedia.
Other candidates can do this too, but so many have a weak record. I have been blessed to lead the good fight of the taxpaying public against wasteful and over-reaching government. My track record makes an interesting story, he said.
Zeigler is running in the June 3 Republican primary. It is an open seat, with incumbent Samantha Shaw constitutionally barred from seeking a third straight term. Other candidates are:
Dale Peterson of Birmingham, a retiree and former candidate for Agricultre Commission.Hobbie Sealy of Montgomery, a retired official of the state conservation department.Adam Thomson of Montgomery, a 28-year-old employee of the Secretary of State.
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