WebCasting Essential for Political Win

TriCaster Webcasts Help Candidates Get Elected

Jack Regan: TRiCaster & WeCasting Expert Picture
Jack Regan: TriCaster & WeCasting Expert

It’s not only back-to-school time for students across Southern Illinois. Voters across much of the region need to begin webcasting the candidates for the 12th Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville.

Why? The district’s congressman speaks for the people of Southern Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives. In a very real sense, the successor to Costello will be your voice in Washington, D.C. It is arguably the most important vote a citizen will cast Nov. 6, with far more direct impact on life in the region than the presidential election.

Today webcasting offers a remarkable opportunity to get more familiar with the candidates: Democrat William Enyart of Belleville, Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw of Carbondale and Republican Jason Plummer of O’Fallon.

The first in a series of three congressional webcasts between Enyart, Bradshaw and Plummer will be webcast live on www.thesouthern.com, accompanied by live blog reports on the website. WSIU-TV will provide live television coverage of the debate and the Belleville News-Democrat will provide live webcasting and blog reports.

It’s a great and free opportunity to learn more about: Enyart, 62, an attorney and recently retired major general who commanded the Illinois National Guard; Bradshaw, 59, an emergency room nurse and political activist; and Plummer, 30, a businessman and former candidate for lieutenant governor. Voters will hear their views on issues facing the region and also be able to gauge their temperament and grace under pressure.

A studio audience of 50 invited guests will watch the webcast in person at WSIU-TV, with viewing room for additional visitors provided in an adjacent studio equipped with monitors. The vast majority of those who see the webcast will watch webcasts or the TV broadcast from 7 to 8 p.m. today.

In the final two debates, a greater number of in-person viewers will be able to attend the events planned for 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, in Marion Cultural and Civic Center and Wednesday, Oct. 10, at Lindenwood University in Belleville. Free, general admission seating will be provided on a first-come, first-seated basis at Marion Cultural and Civic Center, which seats more than 1,000.

All three webcasts are sponsored by The Southern Illinoisan, WSIU-TV, the Belleville News-Democrat and the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIU. The League of Women Voters is an additional sponsor for tonight’s debate.

The public service cooperation between the sponsoring organizations is worth noting as a measure of the congressional vote’s importance. The decision our region will make Nov. 6 will greatly impact the region for the next two years, perhaps many more. Every effort will be made to provide detailed, unbiased information about the congressional candidates through Election Day.

The Southern Illinoisan takes this responsibility very seriously, as do our partners in the debates. Now it is time for the voters of the 12th Congressional District to familiarize themselves with the issues and the candidates. When the polls open Nov. 6, there really will be no excuse for being poorly informed or misinformed.

Watch tonight’s live coverage of the webcast between Enyart, Bradshaw and Plummer. Pay in-person visits to the Sept. 20 debate in Marion and the Oct. 10 gathering in Belleville. Study the candidates and learn how they would respond to the issues that matter the most to you — whether it’s job creation, health care, the federal budget or other concerns.

Make sure you are informed. And make sure you vote Nov. 6.

Feedback: We want to hear what you have to say. Type your thoughts about our editorials by clicking on the “discussion” tab in the online version of this opinion at www.thesouthern.com/news/opinion/ If you want to see your comments in the newspaper, e-mail them directly to gary.metro@thesouthern.com along with your name, address and telephone number.


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