Monday, December 19, 2005

Empowering Individuals Versus Institutions

Laurin Manning is a law student at USC that has a blog about SC politics called The LaurinLine, which has become quite popular and influential.

The proof of that is that Phil Bailey, executive director of the Senate Democratic Caucus, chose LaurinLine to criticize Democratic gubernatorial candidate Frank Willis. On another occasion, Mr. Bailey also criticized Carroll Campbell. Mr. Bailey tried to make his attacks anonymously, but unfortunately for him it was possible to identify him, and Laurin did.

This created quite a stink. The State ran an article about the Willis incident, in which SC Democratic Party chairman Joe Erwin and executive director Lachlan McIntosh felt obligated to respond. The Post and Courier has an article about the Campbell affair.

Here's Laurin's version of what happened. Here's more reaction to what happened on another blog.

My point here is not to comment on the politics of the situation. I'll leave that for you to decide.

What is interesting to me is that college student creates a web site at little or no financial cost, quickly gains credibility, and rocks the political establishment. It is a great example of how empowered individuals versus institutions have become and of how small the world has gotten, even on a local level.

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