Connect with us


Being ‘Friended’ by a Politician



Politician on DaisI was on Facebook recently, minding my own business  (Well, ok, I was minding everyone else’s business.  I was on Facebook.) when I got a “friend” request from from someone I didn’t know. Nothing unusual there.  I’m sure we all get tons of requests from strangers.  In fact, a vast majority of my “friends” are other Realtors who, I guess, just search for other Realtors using social media.

I’ll also admit to being a little bit of a Facebook and Twitter whore.  You know, just “friend” or “follow” and 9 times out of 10, I’ll reciprocate.  Hey, I have an ego and lots of friends and followers (I particularly like followers) are nice.

Well, anyway, there I was just clicking around when I saw this request and, of course, there is really very limited information about the person.  Maybe some mutual firends or a little personal info but not much else.  So, I decided to accept and check into it a little more.  I could always un-friend later.

Is She a Realtor or a Politician?  She’s Both!

It turns out this woman — a member of the State Senate — showed her Realtor card first in the Employer line up…then attorney…then, oh yeah, State Senator. What’s really baffling is that I’m not even a direct constituent.  She actually represents another Legislative District.

The more I thought about it, the more baffled I was.  I’m not a huge contributor to individual campaigns. Sure, I give a decent amount to RPAC (and you should, too) and there are a couple of individuals I particularly like but this State Senator wasn’t someone on my radar screen.  Then the light bulb went off.  Of course, the Senator of Facebook has some diligent staffer busily accumulating friends in the event they might provc useful down the road.

Can I Be Co-Opted Through Social Media?

You know, there are a couple of business folks I work with because they’re in the social media circle. The title guy I use is competent, thorough and on Facebook.  A lender I worked with for years recently jumped on Facbook and I decided to stick with him anyway.  However, I’ve also seen all manner of other vendors want to hook up with me on Facebook and Twitter and sorta, kinda hope I’ll refer them some business.  I’m wondering if this politician (or her staffer) is thinking the same thing.

Is it a good political strategy to get as many friends and followers as possible in the hopes of garnering a legion of supporters and/or contributors?  I guess it worked for Obama.  Can it work for the local guys, too?

A Postscript

Benn, get well. Stay well. Live long and prosper.  My thoughts are with you, dude…and with Lani.

“Loves sunrise walks on the beach, quaint B & Bs, former Barbie® boyfriend..." Ken is a sole practitioner and Realtor Extraordinaire in the beautiful MD Suburbs of DC. When he's not spouting off on Agent Genius he holds court from his home office in Glenn Dale, MD or the office for RE/MAX Advantage Realty in Fulton, MD...and always on the MD Suburbs of DC Blog

Continue Reading


  1. Benn Rosales

    December 20, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Ken, bless you. We’ll be always be well with friends like you.

  2. Missy Caulk

    December 20, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Ken, I actually have about 423 people friending me that I have not friended back. It just got too much. I have a group now for just about everyone, so if they don’t fit my group then I just wait, it was just getting unmanageable.

    I do think the politicians are going to be using (or hiring) more social media “specialists.”
    I know the Gov of MI is following me on A2BreakingNews on Twitter, it says verified. And I am following and communicating with Terry Lenn Land our Secretary of State. Heck if they want to talk I’ll talk back. LOL

    • Ken Montville

      December 21, 2009 at 2:59 pm

      Amen to that, Missy. I hope more politicians understand that social media is a two way street and not just another avenue for their advertising.

  3. RealEstate Babble

    December 20, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    AgentGenius: Being “Friended” By A Politician Full

  4. Real Estate Feeds

    December 20, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Being “Friended” By A Politician: I was on Facebook recently, minding my own business  (Well, ok, I was mindin…

  5. RealEstate Babble

    December 20, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    AgentGenius: Being ‘Friended’ by a Politician Full

  6. kristin terry

    December 20, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Being ‘Friended’ by a Politician: I was on Facebook recently, minding my own business  (Well, ok, I..

  7. Matthew Rathbun

    December 20, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    President Obama’s staff did a good job of engaging consumers in social media. I doubt they had to go out and look for folks 🙂

    During our last election here in the Commonwealth, I followed two people who were running for office and both (or their staff) actually answered questions I posed on their Facebook page.

    I know one of them as a fellow homeschooler and it was great to follow the day to day progress of their election and ultimate win.

    I suppose it has a place, but in my instance they were people who I would actually vote for.

    • Ken Montville

      December 21, 2009 at 2:57 pm

      It’s always nice to be on the same page with politicians that connect via social media. In my case, the person following me is just fine with me, politically, but there really isn’t much I can do for her since she’s in another legislative district. Maybe through a few bucks her way? I gotta sell another house, first. 🙂

  8. The Social REALTOR

    December 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Being 'Friended' by a Politician

  9. Debbie Woodall

    December 20, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Being 'Friended' by a Politician

  10. Debbie Woodall

    December 21, 2009 at 1:26 am

    Being 'Friended' by a Politician

  11. TucsonKent

    December 21, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Sometimes having a politician on your friend list can be beneficial – I had a situation where the city building inspector didn’t show up…my rant on FB was noticed by the mayor…my inpsection was completed 45 minutes later with apologies.

    • Ken Montville

      December 21, 2009 at 2:55 pm

      Now, that’s the way social media ought to work!

  12. Gwen Banta

    December 21, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Ken, if I friend you, will you throw a few bucks my way? My party is strictly social. It’s the BYO party. No contribution is too small.

    BTW – I’ve been missing from action. What happened to Benn? All the comments have me very concerned…

    • Ken Montville

      December 21, 2009 at 8:15 pm

      Not a problem, Gwen. The check’s in the mail. Or if you’d like I can wire it….just send me your account number, routing number…..

      I don’t know all the details about Benn. Obviously, he’s well enough to comment here on AG. I heard he ended up in the hospital with a heart issue. I only know stuff from following a few of Lani’s tweets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The House Judiciary antitrust investigation holds big techs’ feet to the fire

(POLITICS) CEOs of Alphabet, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon set to testify in House Judiciary Committee antitrust investigation hearing today.



house investigation

The House Judiciary Committee is closing in on the end of a year-long investigation into tech giants Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, to evaluate possible antitrust abuses. CEOs from all four companies were set to testify on Monday, July 27, 2020. The hearing has been pushed back to Wednesday, July 29, to allow members of Congress to pay respects to civil rights leader Representative John Lewis (D-GA) who died of pancreatic cancer on July 17.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and Sundar Pichai of Alphabet (Google’s parent company) have all agreed to testify. This will be Bezos’ first time in front of Congress, whereas all the others have testified before on different matters. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was invited to testify by Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), but is expected to not attend.

The Antitrust Subcommittee began the investigation in June 2019. Each business has been the subject of scrutiny for their roles in dominating their respective industries and playing an outsized role in market competition for smaller businesses. The Committee is interested in evaluating current antitrust laws and whether they apply to, or should be updated for, these mega corporations. They have already heard testimonies from smaller companies like Sonos and Tile about these companies’ alleged monopolistic practices.

The focus of the investigation for Apple is on the App Store, and whether it has implemented policies that are harmful for app developers. Google has a tight hold on the online advertising market. Amazon – which during a five-week period early in the pandemic saw an increase in value equivalent to the total value of Walmart, the world’s largest firm – has been criticized for its treatment of brands that sell on its e-commerce platform. Facebook is being investigated for its acquisition practices, cornering the social media market with purchases like Instagram.

Amazon is expected to face additional scrutiny for its treatment of warehouse workers during the pandemic. Facebook and YouTube (a subsidiary of Google) have been the subject of regular criticism about monitoring hate speech on their platforms, and their treatment of the workers responsible for doing so (Facebook in particular).

The hearing is set to occur virtually in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Watch the hearing live at 12:00 p.m. EST Wednesday, July 29 on the House Judiciary Committee’s YouTube channel. Please do note the hilarious irony of streaming a Congressional antitrust hearing on YouTube, which is owned by Google, which is owned by Alphabet, which is testifying at said hearing. God Bless America.

Continue Reading


Additional unemployment benefits outside of the CARES Act

(POLITICS) Unemployment is at an all time high in the United States and individuals need to be aware of reapplying for additional benefits.



unemployment broke

June saw some additional jobs in the US and unemployment fell as of early July, but CNBC advised pausing on any celebration just yet, saying that “The employment crisis is still worse than any time since the Great Depression, the country’s worst economic downturn in its industrial history.”

The unemployment statistics in our country right now are really scary – especially for individuals and families that see a looming deadline of July 31 for the supplemental $600/week provided by the Federal Government through the CARES Act put in place in March. There are discussions on extending these benefits as many families have not been able to replace their incomes or find new employment opportunities, but it doesn’t seem like anything has been finalized there yet. Congress is in the middle of a variety of options:

  • Discontinue the additional $600/week but allow those on unemployment to continue to file and receive their state benefits (usually up to 26 weeks or possibly extended up to 39 weeks by The CARES act)
  • Send out additional stimulus checks (Congress is currently exploring a $X Trillion stimulus package)
  • Extend the additional funding (on top of the weekly amount allotted by state) but cut it from $600 to $200
  • It’s also been put on the table in the House of Representatives “The Heroes Act” to extend the additional $600/week until January 2021 ($3 trillion).

There are some additional benefits that are available (different than the funds by the CARES Act), but you may have to reapply for them. So, make sure to check your state’s unemployment pages and your filing status. Some states do not require you to reapply and you can continue on with extended benefits.

According to CNBC, “The additional aid expires after the end of the year. (This is a different program than the one paying an extra $600 a week through July 31.) For some reason, the [Department of Labor] has taken the position that people have to file for the additional PEUC benefits,” said Michele Evermore, a senior policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project.”

No doubt that this can cause additional stress and uncertainty especially when you have questions about your filing and are unable to get through to someone on the phone. With the way that the unemployment cycle is setup, technically July 25 is considered the last date for that cycle (and July 26 for New York), so be sure to check and see what the next steps are for you if you are currently filing.

Continue Reading


How will pausing the reopening of states impact the recovery of the economy?

(POLITICS) The resurgence of COVID-19 has left Americans with a lot of questions about our nation’s economic future. That ambiguity is seemingly a feature, not a bug.



COVID-19 reopening economy

The rest of the world watched as the United States dramatically reopened “the economy” last month. Now, it seems we’ve changed our minds about that.

The White House has repeatedly said that it will be up to individual states to form their own pandemic response plans moving forward. But letting local governments devise their own solutions has produced large gaps in their preparedness, as well as profound confusion around the best practices for balancing the country’s public and economic health.

California, which represents the largest economy in the US and the fifth largest in the world, was one of the first states to put serious quarantine restrictions in place. The decision to relax those orders only came after anti-lockdown protestors demanded that Governor Gavin Newsom reopen the state’s beaches, businesses and churches. Newsom may now regret this capitulation as California just called for a second round of statewide lockdowns.

Other state legislators are slowly following their lead, as the threat is becoming very dire in some places. Florida, for instance, is now a global hotspot for COVID-19 and Miami is being called “the new Wuhan”. The state is also currently struggling against another wave of unemployment, partly because their economy is heavily dependent on summer tourism (which has persisted despite the spike in cases, but not nearly at pre-pandemic levels).

Florida, California and Texas are altogether responsible for 20 percent of all new COVID-19 cases globally.

Every state is fighting two battles here. Coronavirus relief efforts in the US are still seriously underfunded, and most health organizations here lack the resources to effectively test and treat their communities. But the problems that have emerged for workers and small business owners, like evictions and layoffs, have also been devastating in their own right.

In essence, the United States reopened in an effort to curb the nation’s financial freefall and ballooning unemployment. Economists predicted at the beginning of July that reopening would allow the US to avoid a recession, and all would go smoothly. These projections likely did not account for a spike in cases that would halt this economic rebound.

That’s not to say the circumstances here haven’t improved at all over the past months; currently there is no acute shortage of ventilators, and doctors have had some time to refine their strategies for treating the virus. Overall, the national unemployment rate is slightly declining, while working from home is going so well for companies like Twitter and Facebook that they will be permanently switching much of their staff to remote work.

By comparison, though, New Zealand took the pandemic much more seriously than the US did, and they are objectively in a better position now in all respects. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern cracked down hard and early, closing the country’s borders completely, and instituting rent freezes nationwide. As a result they have virtually eradicated COVID-19 within their borders. A report from S&P Global also expects New Zealand’s economy to recover quickly compared to the rest of the world.

While this tradeoff seems like a zero sum game – as if we have to pick either our health, or our wealth – it is not. In fact, we could very well end up with neither if our lawmakers don’t proceed with caution.

Continue Reading

Our Great Partners

American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!