January 24, 2010
Happy Birthday to TennesseeTicket!
Five years ago today, a search ended. An enthusiastic reader of nationally focused political Web sites for the previous five years, I had set out on a quest to find a blog that covered politics and elections in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Surely there must be at least one, I thought.
I never found it, but I did find a site called Chattablogs. It offered a free blog to anyone (even those not affiliated with Covenant College!). So I asked for one, and here it is. (And, as it ran on Movable Type, it turned out to be way less bug-ridden than the original Blogger, which I had tried.)
Site visitor statistics spiked quickly a few months later when several sitting Tennessee lawmakers were arrested by the FBI on bribery charges in the "Operation Tennessee Waltz" sting. I don't know that I've ever regained that traffic summit—but I want it to be clear that the only reason I care about visitor stats is to be sure I am providing information to as many voters as possible.
In 2006, I partnered with former (excellent) blogger Adam Groves to provide a comprehensive list of all candidates running for every applicable General Assembly seat, with supporting detail and links; and added local, gubernatorial and federal candidates to complete the information.
In 2008, esteemed Knoxville blogger R. Neal created a solution that provided that year's election data, and more, on his TennViews site, so I didn't try to create something else.
For the 2009 Chattanooga municipal elections, I was a candidate, so I didn't do much writing here. The invaluable experience of running for local office showed me, however, that this is what I would much rather be doing.
This year, I have made contact with a blogger who has similar goals to mine; talks have begun about a joint effort, though nothing has solidified. Ideally, we would form a network with writers across the state to provide regional and local information to voters in each county. That's probably a longer-term goal. Check back with me in five years to see what has been developed.
And, seriously, to those of you who have read this blog, whether for months or for years (or you just found it today), you have my heartfelt thanks.
Posted by: newscoma at January 24, 2010 10:30 AM