Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Palousitics Turns One
Today marks the first anniversary of Palousitics.
There were several reasons I created this blog to discuss Pullman politics back on June 20, 2005. I was very unhappy with the way the King County Democrats stole the 2004 Washington gubernatorial election. I was also concerned over the 9 1/2 cent gas tax enacted by the legislature last year, from which Pullman will receive virtually no benefit. In fact, Post Number One was about I-912, the initiative that aimed to repeal that gas tax.
But most of all, Palousitics was created out of my frustration with the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development and its efforts to block Wal-Mart from coming to Pullman. In particular, I wasn't too impressed with PARD's regard for free speech rights after they pulled down the discussion board on their website. It seems they didn't like contrary viewpoints (they still don't).
Palousitics hit the ground crawling last June with no regular readership. Since that time, Palousitics has had over 26,000 unique visits and over 46,000 page views. 662 posts later, the blog is averaging 100-150 visitors per day and steadily growing. Not bad for a small-town niche blog. My good friends at PARD even helped get Palousitics known with some early publicity on their "prototype" website.
Palousitics has never been just about commentary. We have been political activists from the start. The first big issue was last fall's Pullman City Council primary and general election. Palousitics served as a guide to the issues and the candidates. Contributors reported back on the League of Women Voters candidate forum. We were even joined by one of the council candidates, Joshua Coke. I'm proud to say that Palousitics had a not-insignificant role in returning incumbents Bill Paul and Ann Heath to office by large margins. The opposition even tried to make the blog into a campaign issue.
Later, Palousitics led to the founding of Businesses & Residents for Economic Opportunity (BREO). We worked hard to get Wal-Mart supporters to attend and/or testify at the Wal-Mart appeal hearings back in January of this year. In this effort, we were wildly successful. I remember looking around at the second session of the hearing and seeing how many people were there because of this blog.
In April of this year, Palousitics was honored by being invited to attend the Second Annual Wal-Mart Media Conference, along with major media outlets such as Sixty Minutes, ABC World News Tonight, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.
And the activism isn't over yet. There's still the last appeal hearing on Wal-Mart coming up this Thursday in Whitman County Superior Court. We'll keep fighting until the Grand Opening. Palousitics will continue to present the truth you won't see in the papers or from PARD, and hopefully open some minds along the way. We'll keep breaking the major stories and getting the in-depth coverage on Pullman issues you won't find anywhere else.
Palousitics will also be there to make sure that Pullman continues on the path of growth and propsperity and never again falls under the sway of elitist intellectuals.
None of this would have been possible without Palousitics' regular readers and contributors. April E. Coggins, the first Palousitics regular, has been a major part of the success of Palousitics. So have Uncle Bubba, Ray Lindquist, Joshua Coke, Sarcastic Housewife #1, Scotty, WSU Stretch, Cheryl Keeton, and Pullman Chamber Guy, cc, et. al.
Thanks everyone and Happy Birthday! Here's to another great year, that hopefully will include the opening of our Wal-Mart Supercenter!