Meet Jonathan Taylor. He’s one of those wealthy internet start-up whizzes who wrote software in high school, moved to Silicon Valley, made it rich during the dot-com surge and created and sold two businesses. He’s moved back to his roots in Florida and, at 45, is a self-described “mentor/investor” based in the Orlando suburb of Maitland.
Until two weeks ago, the only political thing Taylor had ever done, he says, was vote. But when he got “irritated about the confusion over Amendment 1,” he decided to personally finance his own internet marketing campaign to “get the reality about the amendment out” and urge people to reject the utility industry-backed amendment that creates a new barrier to competition.
“The language reads pro-consumer when in reality it’s pro-confusion,” said Taylor, a “former Republican” who says he is now “sort of without a party.”
“I have many intelligent friends who are pro-solar, who just didn’t understand the realities of Amendment 1. It’s pretty amazing, actually.”
Taylor has given himself a budget of $100,000 and, using his years of online marketing expertise, developed social media ads on Twitter and Facebook, created a web site landing page called FloridianSolar.org, paid for boosted posts, and called out the utility-financed political committee for breaking Google’s online advertising rules.
In two weeks, his tracking software indicated that his efforts had reached five million voting-age Floridians. His personal posts, on his company’s Entrenext web site, reached three million Facebook users, has had more than 55,000 shares and 32,000 likes.
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