Online Politics at the State Level

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The panel Online Politics at the State Level will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21st, in Meridian D&E .




  • Colin Delany - Colin Delany is founder and editor of, a website that focuses on the tools and tactics of Internet politics and online advocacy. Launched in July of 2006, received the Golden Dot Award as "Best Blog - National Politics" at the 2007 Politics Online Conference. The site also features an "Online Politics 101" e-book. Delany started in politics in the early '90s in the Texas Capitol (where public service is considered a contact sport) and moved into the online political world in 1995. In 1999, during the first Internet boom, he helped to start a targeted search engine for politics and policy, which lasted about as long as such ideas usually do. Since then, Delany has worked as a consultant to help dozens of political advocacy campaigns promote themselves in the digital world, and between 2003 and 2007 was the Online Communications Manager at the National Environmental Trust. He also plays bass in a rock and roll band.
  • Mike Panetta - The Honorable Mike Panetta, U.S. “Shadow” Representative (D-DC) Vice President, Public Affairs and Emerging Media, Grassroots Enterprise. Since the early 90's Mike Panetta has been at the forefront of using Internet technology for political and grassroots campaigns. Mike Panetta is currently the Vice President for Public Affairs and Emerging Media at Grassroots Enterprise where he manages a number of the firm's non-profit, trade association, and political clients and leads efforts to embrace new technology for political and advocacy purposes. In November 2006, Mike was elected to the District-wide position of Statehood Representative in the District of Columbia. The position is often referred to as the U.S. "Shadow” Representative and should not be confused with the office of Delegate to Congress, which is currently held by Eleanor Holmes Norton. In this role, Mike is a leading voice in the fight to give the District of Columbia a vote in the U.S. Congress and serves as the Executive Director of the Free and Equal DC Fund, a federal political action committee. In the 1990's Mike was the Executive Director and treasurer of X-PAC, a political action committee for "generation x-ers" that focused on progressive Social Security reform. During his leadership tenure at X-PAC, Panetta petitioned for, and was granted, an Advisory Opinion from the Federal Election Commission opening the door for the use of web-based advocacy spots for political campaigns. X-PAC ran several online independent expenditure campaigns including (which he re-launched in 2005) and released several web video electioneering pieces during the 2000 election. Mike also has experience working with government agencies in helping them utilize technology to better serve their communities. Working for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a contractor with Advanced Technology Systems, Mike maintained the agency's flagship site, and provided advice and counsel for many of HUD's other Internet projects. Mike has also worked as the Membership Director at 20/20 Vision, a non-profit environmental advocacy organization and for the Federation of American Scientists as the organizational web master and Research Analyst. Mike graduated from American University's School of Public Affairs in 1993 with a B.A. in Political Science, and earned an M.A. in Political Science from the same school in 1994 with a concentration in American Politics. He is frequent commentator on the use of technology in political and advocacy campaigns.
  • Patrick Mara - Patrick is Principal at the Dolan Group, LLC, a fundraising and government relations firm registered in the District of Columbia. Previosuly, during the 2008 election cycle, he ran a successful primary campaign against a legendary 16-year DC Council incumbent. Patrick walked to over twenty thousand households in all eight District of Columbia wards which included significant outreach to non-traditional Republican groups. He participated in approximately thirty community debate forums and was featured multiple times on WTOP with Mark Plotkin and National Public Radio with Kojo Nnamdi. Patrick raised over $250,000 for both the primary and the general election. He received endorsements from The Examiner (Two), The Washington Post (Three), the Greater Washington Board of Trade (Two), the DC Chamber of Commerce (Two), the Greater Capital Association of Realtors (Two), the Restaurant Association (One - General), as well as other organizations and individuals supportive of free market ideology and education reform. As the only candidate to support John McCain for President, he carried the mantle for the Republican party in a town that is 75% registered Democrat. For the seven years leading up to his DC Council Campaign, he was Manager of Government Relations at ML Strategies, LLC, where his client focus was in the areas of clean energy, healthcare, higher education, telecommunications and technology. He previously worked at a Washington-based consulting firm specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energy work for the Department of Energy. In this regard, Patrick performed extensive work relating to renewable energy and electricity deregulation. He was the primary author of the Department of Energy's Electric Utility Restructuring Weekly Update. In addition, he worked with the Office of Transportation Technologies on a series of alternative transportation initiatives that involved daily interaction with most Executive Branch agencies, including the Department of Transportation. During this time, he also had an office at the Washington site of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory where he contributed to the implementation of a Presidential Executive Order relating to alternative fuel vehicles. Prior to his government consulting position, Patrick served under the late Senator John H. Chafee (R-RI) with the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. While there, he focused on clean air, wildlife, transportation and coastal issues. In addition, he was responsible for many of the activities related to the Subcommittee on Clean Air, Wetlands, Private Property and Nuclear Safety. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over the Clean Air Act and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, among other important areas. He also interned for both Senator Chafee and Congresswoman Sue Kelly (R-NY). He has been active in several campaigns including those of Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Lincoln Chafee (R-RI). Most recently, Patrick vigorously campaigned in both Manchester and Nashua for Senator John McCain (R-AZ) during the New Hampshire primary. He is a member of the DC Republican Committee Executive Committee. Patrick is also a member of the District of Columbia Republican Advisory Council and was elected an Alternate Delegate to represent John McCain at the Republican National Convention on behalf of District voters. Patrick had the opportunity to serve as a role model to three young men from Washington, DC, public schools for several years as a mentor in the Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund. In addition, he served for multiple years as a board member of Hope for Kids. Hope for Kids is a charity that raises funds for the purchase of clothes and toys for the purpose of donating the items to underprivileged youth in the DC-area. He currently serves as a mentor in BUILD at the Maya Angelou Public Charter School. Patrick is an avid hiker and mountaineer. In fact, he is a Life Member of the Appalachian Mountain Club and completed advanced training to climb such peaks as Denali and Everest. He received a B.S. with a double major in environmental science and political science from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he currently serves as Vice President of the Alumni Executive Board. At Marist he was elected Student Body President in his Senior year. Patrick also earned an entrepreneurship-focused MBA from Babson College, completing coursework in Wellesley, Massachusetts; various locations in eastern China; Hong Kong; and St. Petersburg, Russia. Patrick attends mass at St. Patrick's Church, the oldest parish in Washington, DC.


Video from recorded panels will be posted here after the conference.

We still need a volunteer to record this panel. (Set up a tripod; hit "record" - panelists, you can do this, too!) Email Lynn Stinson to volunteer. (Other panels needing volunteers to record video.)

In the meantime, here's video from last year's conference:

Notes and resources

Panelists: Post any link or notes you'd like the audience to have before, during or after your panel.

Audience members: Know any related/relevant points/links? Post them under the "general" section.

From Colin

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From Mike

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From Patrick

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General/from discussion

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