Vote for Me, Not My Facebook Account

This is a piece I pitched, reported and wrote for Slate at the tail end of my internship. The article looks at ways for future politicians to stay safe on Facebook so it doesn’t come back to haunt them:

People who work in politics have always had to worry about what they did before they worked in politics. But the sheer size and popularity of Facebook— 140 million active users, at least 139.99 million of whom have been photographed drunk at a college party—present budding politicians (and budding political operatives) with a dilemma: How do they keep those pics from showing up on the front page?

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Is Sarah Palin Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

There was so much information that came out of both campaigns after the fact. Here’s a piece I wrote about Sarah Palin:

Perhaps the best piece of campaign trail gossip to leak since Election Day is the report — by Fox News, of all places — that Sarah Palin couldn’t name the countries involved in the North American Free Trade Agreement . But if the question is which countries constitute North America, the answer isn’t so simple.

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Dole Loss Ends Bush/Dole Era

A piece I worked on as part of the 2008 Election coverage:

Republican North Carolina incumbent Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s loss means that for the first time in more than three decades, there won’t be a Dole or Bush in office. Dole lost her seat to Democrat Kay Hagan. With 13 percent of precincts reporting at 8:45 p.m., Hagan led 57-41 with a lead of 245,000 votes. Most major networks called the race for Hagan before 9 p.m. In fact, Hagan was doing better than Barack Obama in many counties.

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Is Free Coffee Against the Law?

This is an Explainer piece I worked on as part of the 2008 Election coverage:

Starbucks announced Saturday that stores would be offering a free “tall” coffee to anyone who voted today; Krispy Kreme promised a doughnut with red, white, and blue sprinkles. USA Today compiled a cheat sheet keeping track of other swag offers on Election Day, including chicken, beer, and sex toys. Wait a second, isn’t this voter bribery illegal?

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Does Congress Always Take Off for Rosh Hashanah?

The House of Representatives is taking two days off this week for Rosh Hashanah in the midst of an unresolved financial crisis. Meanwhile, the Senate is still in session. Do members of the House take off for every religious holiday?

No. Representatives get a break for Easter, Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Christmas Day. The Senate operates according to a very similar schedule, except it remains in session for Yom Kippur and, at least in 2008, for Rosh Hashanah.

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Swift Boat Watch: Does Obama Support Infanticide?

The first in our ongoing series: Swift Boat Watch.

Every campaign season, independent groups on both sides drop huge sums on attack ads targeting the presidential candidates. Sometimes, people even notice. (See: Boat Veterans for Truth, Swift.) But, for the most part, they sail under the radar.
So in case you’re not living in a swing neighborhood of a swing district of a swing state, where these ads air constantly, Trailhead will be tracking the latest ads from these 527 s—so named for their tax-code status—and other independent groups, such as 501(c)4s, that are diving into the fray. We’ll tell you who’s behind them, what they want, and just how sneaky their claims are. Depending on this last part, we assign between one and four Swift Boats.

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