ONE OF THE challengers to New York City Public Advocate has turned to the Internet to promote his candidacy in the Democratic primary this September. His campaign went live Monday on over 20 New York City blogs,, New York Magazine’s Web site, and a handful of influential progressive political blogs.One of four Democratic challengers to Gotbaum, is not the only Public Advocate candidate to have an online presence. Gotbaum, herself a Democrat, also has a Web site–as does Norman Siegel, former executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, who came in second in the 2001 Democratic primary for Public Advocate.

But he appears to be the only Public Advocate candidate so far to purchase inventory on other sites. So far, his online ad buy includes more than 100 Google AdWords keywords–including his opponents’ names, several creative misspellings of his own name, and a gaggle of prominent New York politicians. The blogs on which he is advertising include DailyKos, MyDD, and TalkingPointsMemo–all prominent Democratic blogs. The campaign also has purchased the first full buy of the New York City network of blogs on Blogads–22 independent blogs by New Yorkers, which offers a week of ad strips for $601. The buys on appear only on the New York/Region page, and are geo-targeted at readers within the five Boroughs.

His move has drawn notice by other bloggers, including Jeff Jarvis’ BuzzMachine and new media commentator Jason Calacanis–a personal friend of his. Also, his posts about his candidacy on his own blog apparently have boosted his Internet popularity; Intelliseek’s BlogPulse tool noted spikes of blogs mentioning his name in the last week on April 22, 27, and 29, peaking on the 27th with .001 percent of the blogosphere posting about his candidacy.

He is employing an online-only, grassroots fund-raising strategy, limiting donations to $100. As of yet, his campaign has not put out any TV ads, but he isn’t ruling them out. “I don’t think it’s prudent to not do any TV. But to get the word out about my base–which is a wired New Yorker–the best way to do it is online,” he said. “There are still a lot of people who aren’t online.”

The campaign also is doing some online-offline crossover, such as targeting constituents who have Web access in low-access areas, and asking them to print out and distribute weekly campaign newsletters.

He declined to release how much money the campaign had raised thus far, but said that the numbers will be released in a May 15th filing, as is required by New York election laws.    .

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