Friday, April 03, 2009

Matt Collins Part II

DCRP chairman candidate Mike Collins responded to my open letter of three days ago. You can read his full comments here. My response follows.

Mr. Collins,

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 '' 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.


Matt Collins said...

I'll give a response to this as soon as you apologize for misrepresenting that you were a simple neutral inquisitive individual looking for more information. You are shilling for my opponent and lying about it.

These are the types of tactics that are part of the problem with the Republican Party; acting like Democrats. Using underhanded tactics such as this is exactly what the Party needs to get away from.

SHAME on you for purporting to be neutral when you definitely were not. The Party would be better off without you and people who use your methodologies.

Kay Brooks said...

I went to Matt Collins this morning after the election. I explained that my posts were not personal, that Kathleen Starnes had nothing to do with my posts, that I had actually campaigned for an office and that when someone asked Friday afternoon if Collins could call me I responded that it wouldn't change my mind at all and would be a waste of effort.

Collins accepted my handshake before and after our talk and I'm hopeful that our working relationship in the Republican Party will be good for Davidson County.

Matt Collins said...

Mrs. Brooks,

It was your mistake to decide against me without at least holding a conversation with me. This was offered as you mentioned several times by both myself and by a mutual friend.

Your actions of innuendo, smear, attack, and FUD against me were damaging to the Party and unnecessary. If you had asked me about the issues of which you raised I would've been more than happy to explain. I still maintain that you were working for my opposition, and being used by her camp as a tool or proxy, even if not consciously or knowingly.

But since you took the time and effort and have come to me in person I will take the next step forward in an effort to put this behind us. Because as I mentioned you and I probably agree on more than we disagree and we should work together to get limited-government conservatives elected into office so that we can fix the Party with the ultimate goal of fixing the country.

If you would like to delete all posts and comments in this blog regarding this subject I would be willing to support you in that. I see no reason why this correspondence needs to stand as it would only serve as a distraction from this point forward.

-Matt Collins
Vice Chair - Davidson County Republican Party
Vice Chair - Republican Liberty Caucus
Davidson County Coordinator - Campaign for Liberty

Kay Brooks said...

Matt Collins wrote: "If you would like to delete all posts and comments in this blog regarding this subject I would be willing to support you in that. I see no reason why this correspondence needs to stand as it would only serve as a distraction from this point forward."

You said this same thing Saturday morning when we spoke. I told you then, and repeat now, that every poster has the ability to delete their comments. You are welcome to do so at any time.

Matt Collins wrote: "It was your mistake to decide against me without at least holding a conversation with me. This was offered as you mentioned several times by both myself and by a mutual friend."

I don't know how you define 'several times'. I do know that you made an offer communicate here on this blog and then once late Friday afternoon through your 'intermediary'. Again, it would have been a waste of time. Getting to know you better would not have changed what I considered your lack of qualifications, your divided loyalties and your misuse of the website.

Instead of trying to edit this blog and blogging for Rand Paul at Campaign for Liberty you might want to put your Chief Information Officer hat on and spend your time updating the website to include linking to the latest press release about the convention results and updating the leadership page. Folks shouldn't have to go to AC Kleinheider's blog to find that information.

Matt Collins said...

I have not misused the website at anytime. Don't believe me? Ask the two previous chairmen, including the one who appointed me.

Also, I am no longer the DCRP CIO/Webmaster so it is not my responsibility to update the DCRP website any longer. I have given all of the access information to the current chair with an offer to keep it updated at her request in the interim; so far no response on that matter.

If you would be willing to delete your posts about me, then I would of course be willing to delete mine about you. I think that would be best.