Saturday, August 11, 2007

Walberg Watch: One Year

One year and three days ago, Timothy Walberg defeated the well-respected incumbent Congressman Joe Schwarz in the Republican primary. One year ago today, the blog Walberg Watch was started.

This post won't be about Tim Walberg and it won't be about the people who hope to defeat him next year, though I promise there will be plenty of posts about those subjects in the future. Instead, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on the last year, and take a deep breath before beginning the next one.

I started Walberg Watch because I was worried that the 7th District would go completely unnoticed by the world, and that Tim Walberg would walk to an easy victory. I certainly don't claim any credit for the attention the 2006 race received-- Tim Walberg's radical positions and statements led to that-- but I am proud of the website I built.

Since August 11, 2006, there have been 240 posts (including this one) and more comments than I can count.

Walberg Watch has inspired others to start their own congressional watch blogs (though, to be fair, the 4th and 9th district blogs came first).

The blog has expanded from one person-- some guy called Fitzy-- to five contributors reflecting a variety of backgrounds. Don't ever think that this is a one-man show, just because I post the most often. There's more going on backstage.

There have been dozens of incredible, insightful comments made by readers. You all have educated us, pointed out important inconsistencies or events we might have otherwise missed, and critiqued the arguments made on this blog. What's more, you've done so in a civil manner-- rare on so many blogs-- that contributes to the quality of this website's content.

Reporters from multiple newspapers have contacted Walberg Watch, and the blog was featured on the front page of the Jackson Citizen Patriot.

I have spoken with or been in e-mail contact with three announced Democratic challengers, their campaign managers, and individuals at a variety of levels of state and national government and in the Democratic Party.

Setting aside all modesty, I'll even go so far as to say that Walberg Watch has become a trusted source for information on Michigan's 7th Congressional District, its representative, its candidates, and the day-to-day events of election campaigning.

And, last night, on the eve of this anniversary, Walberg Watch received its 20,000th visit. Here's the screen shot of the Site Meter statistics:

And traffic is trending upward. After just 176 visitors in August 2006, July 2007 saw the most visits to date-- 2,665. August 2007 is already on track to beat it.

Folks, I'm happy today. Yes, Tim Walberg is still in office, and yes, it'll still take a lot of hard work to defeat him. But after a year of blogging the adventures of the 7th District, I feel good about what we've done and where we're headed.

So, I'm going to relax today and leap back into blogging tomorrow. Share your thoughts in the comments. Want to see anything new on the blog? Candidate interviews? (We're working on that, but got a little sidetracked.) Video? Podcasts, even? Let us know.


I think the reason your blog is so successful is two-fold:
1) The great job being done by bloggers such as Fitzy to raise awareness of the ineffective representation we have in Representative Walberg.
2) The great job Representative Walberg is doing at helping bloggers raise awareness of his own ineffectiveness.

Francis Pepper
Congrats on one year! Hopefully by January of 2009 this blog will no longer be needed.
Walberg says he supports the war, but he votes against the troops. With the president, but against America.

Read more at my latest post at "To Play the King:
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