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July 29, 2010 On the ballot and does losing weight make you a joke?

posted Jul 29, 2010, 9:38 PM by Eric Cooper   [ updated Jul 30, 2010, 1:40 AM ]
Big news from the Secretary of State's Office: we are officially certified as being on the ballot in November!  Shout out to Jacob Saltzman who was our chief signature collector.  He did a super awesome job.  We had signatures from 30 Iowa counties (20 more than we needed).

Also, we got the 2% we would need to get on the ballot at the Johnson County Fair Straw Poll even though 1) Johnson county is probably the most liberal county in the state, and 2) we haven't even campaigned there yet.  This is very, very good news for our chances to get the 2% we need to get major party status in November.

Other news was that there was a minor hubub about a blog post by an Ames Tribune reporter who made sport of me for losing weight and talking about it on our website. He considers that I have done so absurd (see the comments section of the blog post).

I lost weight so I would look good during the campaign.  We decided to publicize the fact that I lost weight during our campaign because it does provide an interesting human interest angle to the campaign that appeals to many people.  The reason why I posted a weight loss link among all the other links is that before I posted such a link, I would get multiple daily e-mail inquiries asking how I lost my weight.  Like anyone else who is running a website, if your website is getting a couple dozen inquiries a day about something, it behooves one to put a link about it on the website rather than answering 25 e-mails every day.  If that makes me absurd, so be it.  Part of the idea when I posted the information about weight loss was that people would come for the weight loss information and perhaps stay for the political material, so the weight loss link also operates as a marketing technique for our website.

I do mention some of the products that I used to lose the weight and even provide links to some of their websites.  Providing the links caused the author of the blog post and some of the commenters on the article to assume that I am being paid by these websites.  I am not compensated by any of those websites in any way whatsoever.  I know from reading lots of weight loss and exercise books, when the author recommends eating something or taking a particular supplement, it is far easier to find what they are talking about if they give an exact brand name that they would recommend.  I just provided links so people can see exactly what I used to lose the weight, and not because they are somehow paying me to endorse them.

One of the commenters on the blog post says that losing weight and posting about it on my website makes me a "joke" rather than a real candidate.  Not quite sure I understand why losing weight makes one a bad candidate (so do the good candidates gain weight?) or why answering a question that one gets asked two dozen times a day ("How did you lose all that weight?") on one's website makes you a joke.

I think the author of the article meant it in good fun, and I am foursquare in favor of fun, and as far as I am concerned, any publicity is good publicity.
-Eric
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