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Heard on the Hill: A Techie Throwdown

Rep. Karen Bass may not be Congress’ most prolific user of Twitter or Facebook, but she’s still making a play for geeky dominance.

This week the California Democrat’s constituents will receive a mailer featuring the latest tech trend — a QR code, or “quick response” code. The code, which looks just like a barcode, allows smartphone users to access a website, contact information or other data. By snapping a photo of the code and logging onto an app, residents of California’s 33rd district will be taken to a short welcome message from Bass.

The Congresswoman’s new media director, Paul Bell, tells HOH that Bass is thrilled to pioneer a hot new technology — she’s also printing a QR code on her business cards so people can more easily connect with her.

“This is something that nobody else is doing in Congress,” Bell boasts.

But it isn’t Bass’ only geek-out moment, Bell says.

“She tweets herself and reads her comments on Facebook and has always been pushing to bring new media into the work we do,” he says.

Looks like Bass is angling for the title of Congress’ social media maven — if the QR codes catch on, that is. Here’s hoping the battle for alpha geek may be just as epic a showdown as Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates.

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