During campaign season, the one thing we always expect of our politicians is that they will ask for, beg for and/or plead for money. This doesn't make them bad people -- it's a necessity of our rather expensive system of campaigning. Those who succeeed in raising funds in creative (but, of course, LEGAL) ways usually succeed in winning the election.
Why, then, aren't candidates and parties doing more to raise funds online? I don't mean the traditional sort of "online contribution" module anyone worth their seat has on their websites. Rather, I'm talking about some of the online advertising and co-branding approaches that might serve to bring cash into campaign coffers.
Take the example of the recently announced online presidential debates being cohosted by Yahoo, the Huffington Post and Slate. The debate being touted as an opportunity to engage the new generation of younger voters who spend so much of their time online. Nothing wrong with that at all -- it's a noble goal.
That said, someone's going to make some money off of the advertising of this debate. One of the likely candidates is Google through the AdWords program. Others will gain thousands of dollars worth of brand recognition and good will. Should some of those financial gains go to the candidates who are actually making this online event possible? Just a thought...