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Yesterday, mariawells posted this diary.  Here's her above-the-fold:

Breaking News: Scoles drops out; Sestak to run

Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 04:08:12 PM PDT

This is my district (PA-07). Paul Scoles was being challenged for the right to run against Curt Weldon by a young Fighting Dem--former Republican--Bryan Lentz. Paul is now dropping out and endorsing Vice Admiral (ret.) Joe Sestak who has just thrown his hat into the ring.

I'm not sure what to make of this yet. I just got it in my inbox.

Not to pick on Maria specifically--her post was just the latest such instance I've come across, the proverbial straw--but I'm not sure what to make of it either.  Plea below the fold...

Here's why: I don't live in PA, and I don't have the party affiliation of every member of congress memorized, by name, along with the names and affiliations of the current crop of candidates.  Maybe there are some here on dKos who do, but I'll bet they're in the vast minority.  So, I have to read pretty hard to infer the affiliation of those people in order to understand your post.  Or else, I have to go poking around on the web to find that information somewhere else.  Neither of those make for a happy reading experience.

My plea to diarists who are commenting on their local races: Please, include a "(D)", "(R)", or "(I)" after a person's name upon first mention.  That would really help to make diaries about local races easier to read and understand, for people outside those states & districts.  It would only take a moment, but it would be really helpful.  Please?  Thanks.

My plea to readers: if posts like Maria's give you the same problems, please go ahead and recommend this diary.  If enough people read this, maybe we can change dKos, if ever so slightly, for the positive.  And, if you see posts like that in the future, post a comment asking for an update with affiliation marks, eh?

Originally posted to jasonbl on Thu Feb 02, 2006 at 09:22 AM PST.


This would:

93%43 votes
6%3 votes

| 46 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Clarifying the race in PA-7 (none)
    I understand your general request, and you may have already done the legwork on Maria's comment, but here's the background:

    Two years ago, Scoles was the token opposition to the GOP's Kurt Weldon, who has a record strewn with cozying up to the Moonies, taking money from a variety of shady foreign characters and laundering it through his daughters' PR firm, and general sleaziness...yet is deemed unbeatable in his largely working-class district.

    Scoles has his own problems, chief of which is that he's an HIV-positive doctor who was bounced from a Philadelphia hospital because he did not reveal his health situation while operating on patients.

    I am not familiar with Lentz or Sestak, but it would be nice to have somebody put up a fight against Congressman Moonie.

  •  seems like (none)
    the second sentence is self-explanatory.  but yur suggestion couldn't hurt.

    The beneficiaries are likely to be...large corporations and development firms. (O'Connor, J. dissenting in Kelo). God bless you, J. O'Connor.

    by xanthe on Thu Feb 02, 2006 at 09:35:52 AM PST

  •  one more request (none)
    On local races also include either a link to a district map or at least a mention of the largest city in the district and if that isn't really large, say SW or whatever of some place that everyone is sure to know. I have benn at one time or another in at least 40 states, but two or three times I had no idea where the towns mentioned were.

    Might as well learn a little geography while we are learning our politics.

  •  re: (none)
    I know I would definitely benefit from this suggestion.

    I'm very interested and want to be more involved, but it's really easy to get overwhelmed and get lost in the mire of names.

    If one of the goals, as I understand it, is to increase knowledge of all of these political points, then clarification can only help achieve that goal. Otherwise it might seem to some that this sort of site is an exclusive club, reluctant to acquire new members or wlecome new blood into the fold.

  •  Good tip, and it doesn't make the assumption... (none)
    that all that interests Kossacks is Demo-left posters and issues.

    One of the things I LOVE about dKos is that it is not a rare thing to find a center or right diarist here. In the tradition of real freedom of expression, righties and greenies and others seem welcome here too.

    Your suggestion is welcome to people like me, who want to know what goes on beyond my own red-state borders, but who do need a scorecard to keep the players straignt.

  •  And Another Plea or Two (4.00)
    That particular diary seems to have evaporated into the ether, but I'm guessing that it may also have failed to include something else most Kossacks would find useful and helpful when discussing "local" races (or at least those that have not garnered national attention):  links to the websites of the Democratic or Independent candidates being talked about.  Or if the person doesn't yet have a website up and running, a link to some other source that provides some background on them.

    A lot of users here are much more likely to click on a simple, convenient orange link to find out more about a candidate, their district and the race than they are to start running their own multi-step Google searches.  Plenty of readers from across the country will get more involved in a race (and some will undoubtedly contribute time and/or money) if we make it easier for them to do so.

    And for diaries about specific House races, it's probably also a good idea to cross-post at Our Congress, since that's an affiliated site to dKos.

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