DCRP chairman candidate Mike Collins responded to my open letter of three days ago. You can read his full comments here. My response follows.
Let’s go over the ethical issue of appropriating the DCRP website for your own convenience first. I find your explanation to not make sense based on my own 10 years of experience running several websites. And the issue, while seemingly small, does reflect on your character.
You begin your explanation by writing:
"Regarding the WTN files hosted on the DCRP site, I am surprised anyone found those. I had not linked to those from anywhere on the website, and someone would have to really go searching hard to find them. It's quite interesting because I did my best to make them as obscure as possible; in other words it's highly doubtful that anyone from the general public would "stumble" across them; they would have to know where to look."
That whole trying to hide the files things is just not right. Regardless these files are not hard to find once you begin a Google search on your name. You've posted them in several places and made no attempt to hide their URL so the 'nashvillegop.org/misc' was in plain sight. In fact they weren't even hyperlinked which may make them stand out even more to anyone reading your posts which included mention of the files. If you did your best to make them as obscure as possible perhaps we should also be looking for a new webmaster.You wrote: "...I had needed a quick, easy, and convenient place online to store a few interviews I wanted to keep; this seemed like the logical choice especially since they were not intended to be seen by anyone coming onto the DCRP website."
In my own on-line life I don't find it inconvenient to update my websites from anywhere I can get an Internet connection—the public library, Panera, and Starbucks all immediately come to mind. Lacking access you could have left the files on your laptop, burned a CD, used a flash drive--I don't see the urgent need to utilize someone else's resources for your personal files.
I can only assume, since you didn’t rebut with something like "[Name] specifically gave me permission to park those files", that this was something you did without permission or knowledge of the DCRP. In fact you intended to keep DCRP visitors from finding them. They were not merely parked they were advertised and presumably accessed. That was money out of pocket for the DCRP. While some might equate this with taking home a box of paper clips from the office the fact remains…they weren’t your “paper clips”. Donors must have full confidence that their money will not be misused. I would suggest you reimburse the DCRP for the server space and bandwidth you used for these personal files.
Regarding your own website it seems odd that the DCRP "Chief Informational Officer" would fail to turn his own unused website into a campaign tool. The placeholder web page doesn’t even contain basic contact info. It’s just a line saying “Site coming again soon.” So the delegates you sent your postcard to are stuck with minimalist details such as you were and Eagle Scout, have volunteered regularly since the age of 15 at an unnamed homeless shelter and 'understands the Internet and new technologies' (this last one I know could be done better.) Enough about websites.
Let's move on to your failure to assure me that under your leadership the DCRP would be a team player and endorse and work for the election of the Republican Party candidate for governor. You completely ignored that question. If that's by design, it's very troubling that you cannot state clearly "Yes, of course, the DCRP will work for the election of the Republican Candidate for governor".
You also ignored several other important issues I listed. So I'm left to conclude that if you can 'build the party' by bringing in the 'disenfranchised' we still don't know what specifics they'll work on once they're members since your statements of 'grow, support, increase, work, move and reach' are exceptionally vague.
You wrote: “I am NOT a political expert, and yes this is my first time involved in Party politics. But that is a clear advantage to the Party. I don't have any personal vendettas, back stories, or other personality differences that appears to have divided the DCRP for so long; this is obviously a good thing.”
A clean slate would be a good thing if that just meant no negative baggage but a clean slate is also inexperienced and lacks institutional knowledge and partnerships that are essential in strategizing and winning. If you believe that you don’t have any personality differences with current party members you haven’t been paying attention.
Again, thank you for your time. It's clear that we likely agree on several important issues and it may be that we'll partner on those someday but I'm still unconvinced that your plan is to revitalize instead of remake the Republican Party in Davidson County.