Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Bean Town

This week finds me in Boston, Massachusetts attending the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures (www.ncsl.org). NCSL is the largest trade association for state legislators in the USA -- primarily because it receives government funding directly from the various state governments. I encourage any readers interested in cutting the size of government to explore how much your state spends to support NCSL activities.

By far the most interesting session I attended today was the one focused on "new ways to communicate with constituents." The primary focus of this session was on the use of blogs thus I had a personal interest as a blogger myself but the website review delivered by state Representative Steve Urhquart of Utah was the most insightful portion. Rep. Urhquart highlighted the HUGE differences between the "Obama for President" (OFP) and "US Senator Obama" (USSO) websites. The OFP website was very innovate and provided a full range of interactive options for voters while the USSO website was VERY static, boring, and not at all interactive thus suggesting -- "once we get elected we no longer need your (voters/constituents) input................"

Having learned enough for the day I headed for dinner near my hotel. The front desk staff gave me a choice of restaurants - Olive Garden (an Italian chain restaurant) or "224" a local Italian restaurant -- so of course I opted for 224. My starter was an excellent mixed greens salad with strawberries, oranges, and goat cheese followed by a pepper, mushroom, and smoked bacon (bacon lovers should visit my friend's blog at -- www.baconunwrapped.com). Overall it was an excellent meal with a very personable staff so I will rank them with a 3.5 on my 5 point scale.

The only downside - no spumoni on the menu for dessert!! :-( Now off to the hotel gym to work off some of this pizza.


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