Davidson County Republican Party candidate for Chairman Matt Collins responded to my post about the caucus and convention. You can read his comments at: http://kaybrooks.blogspot.com/2009/03/dcrp-convention.html . While Collins invites me to query him via email, I suspect lots of folks in Nashville would love to know more about this candidate and his vision for the DCRP so here’s my open letter to a DCRP candidate from a DCRP delegate. I understand that much of what I have presented will seem adversarial but understand that I too am tired of the Republican Party as it is in Davidson County. I too want to see some fundamental changes. I want to ensure that whoever takes over the party has the ability to actually move the Republican platform forward in this county. It’s proper to examine every potential job candidate for their fitness for the job by examining their past experience, knowledge of the task and how they would carry out the organization’s mission. Since I learned that Collins was running for DCRP chair I have been doing some research and I’ve found several things that give me pause—serious pause. So let’s start the conversation.
We have never met but we have, at the caucus and the convention, been across the table from one another. Unfortunately, you were too busy conferring with your partners in this effort to take over the DCRP to reach across the table and introduce yourself before moving on to whisper to your next partner at another table. I was too polite to interrupt you while you were obviously focused on that task. Your lack of reaching out does concern me. If you intend to lead the DCRP is that lack of reaching across the table be indicative of who you will work with if you do lead the DCRP? Your comment below leads me to believe that you’re bringing in your own team instead. If you truly intended to work with the rest of us…a hand offered in friendship during the caucus and convention might have been a good idea.
I’m concerned when I read what you wrote at Campaign for Liberty on 2/11/09 http://www.campaignforliberty.com/user/Matt_Collins/
"It's very likely that not only will we win the local county Republican Party chair position, but that we'll also get most of the slots on the executive committee filled with fellow limited-government conservative Republicans. In other words we'll probably run our local county party.You are running for the position of leader of the Republican party yet you’re asking your libertarian co-workers for your next set of instructions? Shouldn’t you already have that fixed in your mind? Shouldn’t you already have a vision and mission? In that same vein you stated on the Mike Church radio program on 3/26/09 (http://www.rlc.org/media/0326_rlc_mike_church_show.mp3):
If that happens, then what? What should we do? Ideas? Suggestions?"
“I’m not a political guy. I’m not really experienced at this.”That affirms your need to ask for advice from your libertarian coworkers. This quote from current chair Tom Lawless, who has done an abysmal job of representing the Republican Party in Nashville during his own tenure, indicates he thinks YOU are the right man for the job.:
“ Matt has exhibited to me some extremely good leadership qualities in a very, very short period of time..." http://www.rlc.org/2009/03/Yet, he admits to observing your leadership only over a 'very, very short period of time'. I see all that as a lot of negative and it does nothing toward assuring me that you have the experience and maturity to handle one of the most solid Democrat counties in the state—again also considering your own request for further instructions and confessed lack of experience.
I’m concerned that the very afternoon of the DCRP caucus you were also elected as vice-chair of the Tennessee Republican Liberty Caucus. http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog.php?view=11629 You are politically double dipping parties. I think you need to pick one team to play on and one team that should get your full attention and resources. Obviously, you think the DCRP is fundamentally flawed and you seem very intent in changing the DCRP into a RLC outpost.
And speaking of teams, you made it clear back when Sen. John McCain was in town that you could not vote for him and so I wonder if as the head of the DCRP you would withhold the county party’s support for the state’s gubernatorial candidate based on your personal agenda. http://www.ronpaul.com/2008-06-05/mccain-is-a-coward-says-ron-paul-assistant-organizer/ Again, it’s a team issue.
I’m concerned that at just 27 years old, a fairly new resident of the area and a newbie to the DCRP you don’t have a good handle on the history and players in Davidson County. You obviously have a lot of enthusiasm and some basic networking skills but how far will that get you in working with the current players and then making real changes in Davidson County politics? More about that below.
I find it curious that your business website http://sonicdesigns.com/ has recently been pulled from the Internet and isn’t available for viewing so that we can know more about your business and its practices.
That same website hosted several Ron Paul audio ads which you freely made available to his supporters. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact I far prefer you using your own server space than apparently appropriating NashvilleGOP.org’s space to host files linked from your personal posts at the Ron Paul Forums and Campaign For Liberty. Those files are still hosted at http://nashvillegop.org/misc/. I have a hard time believing that the DCRP is concerned at all with what Williamson County resident Dave Ramsey thinks of Ron Paul or that the DCRP has an opinion on whether Ramsey is a real libertarian or not. Further why would the DCRP host audio of an interview between Michael DelGiorno and TCPR’s Drew Johnson? That file seems entirely personal after reading your Campaign for Liberty post on 2/20/2009 (http://126.96.36.199/search?q=cache:eMrlPPHDYFYJ:lists.tncampaignforliberty.org/pipermail/cfl-list/2009-February/000031.html+nashvillegop.org/*&cd=14&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us) where you encourage folks to join a Facebook group supporting a run by Johnson for governor of Tennessee. There is also a clip from Phil Valentine hosted along with a couple of others. (For those unaware Collins introduced himself at the DCRP convention as a radio producer at WWTN 99.7 and Valentine, DelGiorno and Ramsey are aired on that same station.) If, as merely the Chief Informational Officer for the DCRP you’ve already overstepped that boundary between what’s available for your use and what belongs to the company…is it possible you’ll overstep others?
Further you’ve added news feeds to the DCRP website
“Since I have been made the Chief Information Officer of my local Republican Party I now run the website. I have created a news / opinion page now that links to blogs from CFL, Reason, Mises, LewRockwell.com DailyPaul, and others.” http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?mode=hybrid&t=178746I also wonder if my own email after the caucus to the DCRP inquiring about meeting information, which was never acknowledged or responded to was one of your responsibilities.
And really nit-picky--your comments at the Orlando Ron Paul Meetup space seem inappropriate for anyone wanting to be considered the adult in charge of a county political party. http://www.meetup.com/orlandocampaignforliberty-com/members/4299869/.
And once I move past all of that I wonder just how you are going to take on the thoroughly entrenched Democrat party in this county? Where will you start—clearly, as noted above, you don’t know.
- Will your coup hinder your ability to raise funds with those who have been financing the DCRP or will your supporters be more than able to fill in and overcome that financial loss?
- Will your administration commit to fielding a full slate of candidates for the next primary or will you also write off the urban core?
- Will your administration begin mentoring Republicans to run for office?
- Will the DCRP under your leadership actually support those campaigns with cash and volunteers?
- Will your DCRP fully staff the polls and monitor election results and be willing to challenge violations?
- Will there be a DCRP response to legislation filed by Nashville Democrats in the legislature?
- Similarly, what about legislation and initiatives the Metro Council?
- What will your version of the DCRP do about Democrat control in this city that allowed things like the shenanigans that occurred over the last special election?
- What will you offer, via the DCRP bully pulpit, finances and manpower, to the city of Nashville in regards to serious urban problems like:
Infrastructure to include the convention center, stormwater and riverfront development
Homelessness and affordable housing
Traffic and public transportation
Thanks for your time. I know it’s at a premium this week. See you Saturday.
2009-04-2 UPDATE: I noticed this morning that audio files mentioned above along with the news feeds page have been removed from the Davidson County Republican Party website.