Official comment?

One of the best results from the recent redesign of the web sites of The Daily Mail and The Register-Star has been the increase in reader participation through online comments. Lately, the politicians and officials at the heart of many stories on the paper’s web sites are writing their own comments. Or are being carefully impersonated in the largely unregulated world of online comments. First, Hudson Mayor Rick Scalera, or someone posing as the mayor, responded to a Feb. 11 Register-Star “My View” opinion column by Taghkanic-based activist Sam Pratt. Three days later, State Assemblyman Marc Molinaro, or an online simulacrum, commented on a Register-Star article about his recent vote against making it easier to cast an absentee ballot. Bob Sacks, or someone claiming the identity of the Copake Town Councilman, also commented on that article. And if The Daily Mail mentions the Cairo Planning Board, you can bet board Chairman Dan Benoit will comment. In a Feb. 11 “My View” column by Leeds-based businessman Bob Nappa, Benoit pipes in once the chatter in the comments section gets around to Cairo. In each case, officials leave e-mail addresses and phone numbers for constituents to get in touch about whatever issue getting is being discussed. Bravo!

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