It seems Danny Glover over at the Beltway Blogroll (who, unlike David, at least didn’t refer to me as a friend since we’ve never met) took up David’s battle flag and charged up the hill today.
Turk, a competitor of All’s in the e-politics world, took the attack up several notches with a post headlined “I’ve Lost What Little Respect For David All I Had Left.”
“David is, by all accounts, a master of self-promotion,” Turk wrote. “It’s entirely possible that he made a conscious choice to take the contrarian position solely to further his agenda of making David everything that David can be. … I think David is calculating and has come to the conclusion that taking these positions gets him noticed. I think that’s why he took his post against RedState and circulated it to the media (as Erick alleges).”
When All responded, Turk pounced again. Among other things, he criticized All for not having embraced efforts to improve the RightRoots online fundraising site that failed miserably last year and for instead building a competing site, Slatecard.
I honestly don’t know where to begin on this one. Let’s start with the softballs and bat some out of the park, then we can work on those wild pitches.
First, David is anything but “a competitor … in the e-politics world.” The fact is, I have a day job with a major trade association. I do some consulting work on the side, but I do it for people who call me. I’m not out chasing business like the eQuivalent of an ambulance chaser. David’s managed Internet operations for a couple of Congressmen with name ID in the teens. That’s hardly what I would consider a wealth of experience. When he does something… anything… that makes a difference in an actual election, come talk to me…
Second, let’s tackle the accusation that RightRoots was a “failure”. I’m not sure what Danny’s resume includes, but here’s a basic fact that may have escaped him in his climb to the middle. Challenger and open seat races are often losers. Rightroots picked 21 seats running against entrenched Democrats or for open seats. The slate went 2 for 19. That’s almost 10% for those of you keeping score.
If you’re judging anyone’s “success” as a function of winning in 2006, you’re going to be declaring a lot of people losers. How many seats did we lose last year? How many challengers got elected? How many sitting Democrats lost? Putting that at the feet of RightRoots is just stupid. Saying RightRoots was a failure because the GOP got its ass kicked up and down the ballot plays into the hands of all those who claim the Internet’s not important because it’s never made the difference. Ignoring clear success that occurs within an environment of failure misses the forest and the trees.
Now looking at RightRoots as a function of how much was raised is a whole different story. Through the help of a group of top bloggers, the site (which was a pilot project anyway) raised $300,000 in 90 days. That exceeds what ActBlue raised in its first 90 days and places RightRoots ahead of well established and well connected PACs in this town that raised and spent far less.
My point about David was he, knowing that an effort was underway and knowing we had established a name in the field, chose not to help with that, and instead chose to launch a competitor because he could put his name on it, and take credit for it. Don’t believe that? Look at his Facebook page and see who he lists as his employer.
Employer: Slatecard.com PAC Position: Executive Director Time Period: October 2007 ‚Äì Present Location: Alexandria, VA Description: Slatecard (http://slatecard.com) is a utility to support and enhance Republican activism.
As I said in both of my posts, I believe David is self-serving, and puts himself above the cause. But, as I also said, if that’s what he feels he needs to do to get ahead, that’s his prerogative. I don’t respect it. I’ve worked for too many people in politics who got ahead (and got their candidates elected) by playing the game with integrity and a commitment to the cause.
I also feel it’s unfortunate that Danny felt the need to selectively represent my posts and completely ignored the lengthy discussion of why I feel, on the merits of his argument about Ron Paul, David All is way of the mark. I sent Danny the following note after I saw his post. I’ll let you know if I hear anything back.
I’m surprised at your post. I’m not sure if you didn’t read my posts completely, or if you just chose to selectively represent them. In my first post, I specifically stated that I had no problem with David being a rabid self-promoter. I don’t respect it, but if that’s more important to him than the cause, so be it.
I repeated that sentiment in the second post, and specifically stated that if that’s his business model, that’s fine. I then spent considerable time exploring exactly why he’s dead wrong about Paul or his supporters falling into the fold should he lose. You failed to mention that as well.
Finally, RightRoots, with no budget, and set up as a pilot project to test whether we could actually raise funds effectively on an ActBlue model, raised 300,000 in 90 days. That number greatly exceeds what ActBlue was able to do in their first 90 days (which also fell directly before the election). I’m not sure how that qualifies as “failing miserably”, but if generating more contributions than established PACs that have been raising money for years is failing, i’m not sure I understand your barometer for success.