Yesterday, I got an email from Jonathan Miller. Well actually I got two emails from Miller’s group the Compassionate Community. I guess the spam software belched, and yes, I did sign up for the group.
The email was hyping Kentucky’s First Lady Jane Beshear and her project of the Green Team and began with this:
Happy Earth Day!
I'm pleased to tell you that in celebration of the holiday, First Lady Jane Beshear just announced her vision to make the Governor's Mansion and all Kentucky homes more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
The email concludes with a link to a Facebook page:
So, please join us by signing up for the Green Team at greenteam.ky.gov and/or join our Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15267901982.
I know that a lot of the First Ladies have pet projects. The projects allow the First Lady to do “good work” and get good media attention. Usually the projects are more about projecting image that actually accomplishing anything.
I still remember Martha Wilkinson (Wally the Weasel’s wife) poster. Martha, dressed in a 1940’s WAC outfit, was trying to get volunteers for her GED Army.
So a couple of questions:
First, did Miller use this opportunity to touch base with supporters? I don’t understand the use of the Compassionate Community to promote a state government website. Isn’t the standard press release enough? Does the linking of government supported activities and a personal website promoting a book give anyone else heartburn?
Greetings and welcome to The Compassionate Community, where we believe public policy should reflect the fundamental moral value of compassion for others.
On this site, you can:
Order copies of the book (Now in paperback!);
Second, the Facebook page for the Green Team has Jonathan Miller as the creator. Does the Secretary of Finance really have the time to sit around and create a Facebook page? Let’s hope some staffer did the work and just put Miller’s name on the page.
Third, did anyone actually do any research before they put the Green Team web page on the Internet?
One of the tips from the First Lady was to:
Replace regular incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (cfl)
CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of CO2 a year.
Of course this would be a great idea if there wasn’t that pesky neurotoxin problem:
….the bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, a neurotoxin, and the companies and federal government haven't come up with effective ways to get Americans to recycle them.
I guess the thing that bothers me about this little project isn’t the cause; I’ve been accused of being a liberal tree hugger myself.
What bothers me is the amount of time and effort put forth by Miller and staff on a public relations exercise and the linking of a personal promotion website to a Kentucky government project.
Don’t they have anything else to do?
Doesn’t anyone ever think about how things might look before they do these things?