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Democrats Try to Silence Dialog with Gen Y

The Democrats have long positioned themselves as the political party of the younger generation. And, it is widely assumed that if Generation Y turns out to vote in large numbers, Barack Obama’s chances of becoming our next President increase significantly.

So, it comes as a big surprise that the Democratic leadership in Congress is trying to shut down the outreach of its members through popular online sites:

New lines are being drawn about the restrictions Members face when using the Internet.

House Minority Leader Boehner today released a memo, entitled the “Internet Freedom Alert”, criticizing a letter sent by Rep. Capuano to the Chairman of the Committee on House Administration.

Member Web use restrictions are among the main Open House Project priorities, and one of the chapters of the report is about the restrictions set by the Franking Commission, which operates under the Committee on House Administration. (This chapter was written by David All and Paul Blumenthal.)

Boehner’s letter today rightly sounds the alarm about Capuano’s newly proposed Franking commission guidelines.

Studies have shown that online forums are the town halls of years past for a whole new generation of Americans.

A recently released survey shows that Generation Y prefers to connect with government online in an interactive manner similar to the way they seek out news and other information.

The survey was commissioned by Meritalk, an online community of government information technology specialists, to examine the information-gathering habits of Gen-Y and its priorities for the next administration. A poll of 2,000 people born between 1977 and 1990 showed that 88 percent will obtain their news online during the next four years. Seventy-four percent want more information on government spending and programs, and 85 percent said they want the next president to reach out to the public online at least monthly.

“Generation Y really wants direct, honest, genuine communication [from the government],” said Liz Vandendriessche, spokeswoman for Meritalk. She said that through its research, Meritalk sought to capture how the fundamental relationship between government and citizens is changing.

Keeping all of this in mind, this recent action by Democratic leaders really begs the question, “What are they thinking?”