At a park scheduled to become a new elementary school, Baltimore County executive Kevin Kamenetz showed true Democrat colors this week when confronted by citizens who oppose the construction. Protesters say county officials have refused to meet with them so Kamenetz shouting, “It’s my job to talk and your job to listen,” probably was absolutely the worst possible thing to say.
This sort of attitude seems typical for members of the Maryland Democrat machine, whether it’s a county executive building a school or a U.S. Senator forcing Obamacare down people’s throats. Delegate Justin Ready apparently concurs.
— Justin Ready (@JustinReady) April 28, 2013
After interim chair Diana Waterman narrowly won the election to officially become the next Maryland GOP chair, it didn’t take long for her attack dog, John Wafer, to (somewhat ironically) take to social media to boast about defeating a “negative blogger campaign.”
In the run up to the party convention, Wafer cast a lot of online aspersions against bloggers (acting as the party’s “Pit Yorkie“ ), accusing them of posting false information and the like. When asked to provide specific examples though he failed to deliver. To me he just appeared to be annoyed that rank and file Republicans have a forum to discuss why they are dissatisfied with the dysfunctional Maryland GOP.
During the campaign, Diana Waterman talked about reaching out to new media and conservative groups in the state. Immediately thereafter the party issued rules denying bloggers media credentials to cover the party convention. Now less than a day after the election, the party secretary is continuing his anti-new media rants. Alienating the only ideologically friendly media in the state is not a wise move.
In a state party that got crushed in the 2012 elections and has consistently failed to even slow down the Democrat machine, no one deserves to be so cocksure about narrowly winning a three-way internal election. The ship is still sinking. The crew shouldn’t be celebrating.
The new party chair should stick to her promises about “campaigning in the twenty first century.” A good first step would be to rein in the arrogant rhetoric of old fossils like John Wafer.
Tune in to a special RedMaryland Radio broadcast about the MD GOP convention and John Wafer’s genius new media outreach strategy.
The leadership of the Maryland Republican Party continues to make itself look ridiculous. Whether it’s conceding defeat to campaign in other states in 2012, having it’s previous chairman resign and flee the state to run for office in West Virginia, or chasing Governor O’Malley’s larval presidential campaign around the country, there isn’t much reason for rank and file Maryland Republicans to be confident about our leadership.
[As always, full disclosure: I am supporting Greg Kline for MD GOP chairman and he has my official endorsement for whatever that is worth. One reason is that Greg, having helped found a successful blog and internet radio network, understands that new media is important in winning political campaigns.]
Interim Chair Diana Waterman seemed to have bought into the notion herself with her April 15 email entitled “Campaigning in the 21st Century.” The email extolled the virtues of digital technology and social media. That this mailing came out after Greg Kline began emphasizing the need for new media outreach made it seem like this was coming from a defensive position, but as I’ve stated before, I’m not a party insider, this really could be something Waterman is passionate about. I don’t really know, but I am admittedly a cynic.
In the last few weeks, the Growth and Opportunity Project from the Republican National Committee made some very sobering recommendations. According to the report, “We also need to communicate with young voters where they get their information. We can’t use old communication tools for young voters. Technology is second nature to young voters.”
Technology and grassroots organization go hand-in-hand. There are nearly 1.5 million voters in Maryland between the ages of 18 and 40 who should not be ignored. I believe this effort to broaden our efforts will lead to a group of younger volunteers, activists, and candidates. This means the Maryland Republican Party must improve MDGOP social media and grow our audience. We should maximize the use of Facebook, Twitter, Vine, YouTube, and other social media outlets to spread the Republican message to our active online communities.
However, as the MD GOP prepares for it’s convention this weekend, this article showed up in the Baltimore Sun.
The article includes the text of the the MD GOP’s rules for obtaining media credentials to cover the convention including the following:
In order to attend MARYLAND REPUBLICAN PARTY’s meeting and events, or obtain free copies of publications as a journalist, you must be a credentialed member of the media.MARYLAND REPUBLICAN PARTY retains the right to grant media passes to print journalist (newspapers, magazine), broadcast journalism (radio or television), wire and news services for redistribution to other news organizations, or online new services (electronic dissemination rather than conventional print and broadcast distribution).MARYLAND REPUBLICAN PARTY will recognize journalists who have obtained credentials from a capitol press corps, official press organization or the U.S. Congress.MARYLAND REPUBLICAN PARTY will not allow journalists to register as “media” for the purpose of writing a personal online blog, or for persons whose news outlet is funded by a corporation; trade association; think-tank; public relations or marketing company/firm; individual; political candidate/party; or activist/lobbying organization. These individuals may still attend MARYLAND REPUBLICAN PARTY’s meetings, but must register as an association, lobbying group or individual and pay the corresponding registration fees.
Thanks for your e-mail. Credentials are for members of the press. If you have a sponsoring media outlet like the Washington Post, Annapolis Capital, or WBAL or if you have been registered with the capitol press corps, we would be glad to consider your application.
About this Jacobsen asks some reasonable questions.
Why would you want to discourage political bloggers from attending your convention? CPAC gave us media credentials, so am I to assume that your Spring Convention is so much more important than CPAC that we’re not good enough for you?
Why would you let in for free The Washington Post which is going to trash, distort and mock anything you do or say, but charge admission to people who support your candidates and want to help?
It seems curious that an organization that struggles to get media attention in a Democratic-dominated state would try to limit coverage in any way, but, hey, those bloggers are in some cases renegade Republicans who have the temerity to think the party could be run a bit better.