Extended Interview: Mark Hunter
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SAMARA ABERMAN, NewsHour Media Reporter: First question: Why are you here tonight?
MARK HUNTER: I’m here tonight because I’ve been an avid supporter of Howard Dean’s candidacy pretty much from its beginning. I came to the campaign initially through the Meetup.com organization. So I’ve made it a point to attend each of the Meetups as they happen month-to-month, although I’ve also become active with the Dean campaign in other ways.
SAMARA ABERMAN: How did you hear of Meetup.com originally?
MARK HUNTER: You know, I don’t recall precisely how I first stumbled across it. I think once I became determined to involve myself in electoral politics this time around, I started researching the candidates, and as I researched Howard Dean, part of the research I was doing was on the Internet. I was led by one link or another to Meetup.com, I think.
SAMARA ABERMAN: Do you think you’d be likely to donate money to the campaign on-line?
MARK HUNTER: I already have, and I’m likely to do so again.
SAMARA ABERMAN: Does learning about campaigns via the Internet appeal to you and people you know?
MARK HUNTER: Very much so. I think the Internet has become a primary purveyor of information for most people. I’m a college professor. I work with college-age students, and there is an extraordinary level of excitement and interest in the Dean campaign at my college campus, at least, and I think that is, in part, attributable to the ease with which students have been able to access information about him, not only the information that’s provided officially by the Dean campaign, but throughout the whole network of bloggers and various net-savvy people that have attached themselves to this effort. It’s a very, very impressive presence on the Internet.
SAMARA ABERMAN: A kind of growing one. If the Meetup Web site didn’t exist, do you think you’d find yourself at a campaign meeting anyway?
MARK HUNTER: Yes, because I had determined that this election cycle was one I could not afford to sit out.
SAMARA ABERMAN: That’s all of the questions I have, Mark.
MARK HUNTER: Okay. My pleasure.
SAMARA ABERMAN: Thank you very much.