Last night I attended the Wicomico County Republican Club meeting, and I left feeling rather deflated. After some reflection, I decided that I definitely needed to write this letter to Diana Waterman, the MDGOP First Vice Chair and our guest speaker of the evening. I also decided I wanted to share it with all of you. You can read Michael Swartz’s synopsis of the meeting here, then come back and share your thoughts with me.
Diana,I debated on whether I would attend the meeting of the Wicomico County Republican Club this evening. I, like many of my conservative activist colleagues, have had to dig a little deeper for motivation since our defeat in November. Because I still care about my state, because I want to do more than just post a hashtag that says #CedeNoGround, because I want to actually live by that principle, I decided to attend. I too believe that we need to start now when it comes to focusing on the elections of 2014, and I plan on working as hard as I did in 2012. I also debated whether I should share my thoughts after the meeting, but after reflection, I realize I’d be remiss if I didn’t, because as a dear friend of mine has frequently reiterated over this past year, “this is not a political battle, it’s a philosophical one.” I think after this evening, I understand that now more than ever. After this evening, I know that it is just not in me to ‘make nice’ with people who don’t appreciate my efforts, solely on the premise of thinking that’s the only way I could be an active component for change in my state.I’m not sure what exactly I hoped for tonight, I knew part of your mission would be to promote the Pathfinders program, which you did. If applied correctly and without prejudice, the program could certainly work. Unfortunately it’s the ‘without prejudice’ part that I think will be the problem. You see, the goals of the Pathfinders program are to supposedly recruit, train, and support potential/current candidates. But I campaigned for an outstanding candidate, one that built a grassroots army of volunteers by his team’s own outreach efforts, not the outreach efforts of the MDGOP. I campaigned and volunteered for a candidate that stood on the side of the road with his volunteers and waved signs along side them, yet received very little promotion or media focus from the MDGOP. Why was that Diana?Tonight, you made a distinct point to recognize the Eastern Shore Representative for the Romney campaign, acknowledging her efforts and hard work. She then returned the favor, gushing over you and the Romney campaign for making sure there was a steady supply of campaign materials at the GOP Headquarters. May I please remind you and those reading this email, there was also a steady supply of Bongino materials. Yard signs, palm cards, bumper stickers, even 4×8 signs for those that requested them. Let me also remind you that many of the volunteers that attended the events at GOP HQ, were Bongino volunteers. You see Diana, I talked to many folks who felt slighted and chose not to support Mitt Romney, because they were well aware that the Romney campaign wrote off Maryland as a lost cause. Strategic decision? Probably, but it certainly didn’t help garner support. Although Romney materials were not only supplied, but PURCHASED by HQ, I would also like to remind you of the abundance of Bongino materials. Those materials? They were supplied by the campaign, at no cost whatsoever. And not once, when I asked for more material, was I turned down.And I have to wonder Diana, while you felt led to commend the efforts of Team Romney, while completely neglecting to acknowledge the efforts of Team Bongino, how do you respond to someone like Kevin Igoe, who was lauded as a “top Republican consultant” in Maryland, who was a Maryland for Romney steering committee representative, yet also a Sobhani campaign operative? Does the MDGOP support THAT? They certainly didn’t speak out against it.My issue is this Diana. You brought up the excellent point that the GOP is known for it’s “circular firing squad”. Well, when I left the meeting this evening, I left with a bullet in my back. And before one assumes otherwise, this is not at all about me. It’s about the volunteers that manned phone banks months before GOP Headquarters were even established or secured. It’s about the volunteers that came from Somerset county just to sign wave off of Route 50 to catch the beach traffic. It’s about the volunteers that sign waved and knocked on doors on a WEEKLY basis, in Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester counties, NOT because the Romney campaign organized it, it’s because the Bongino campaign representatives did. While volunteers were bused out of state, our people had boots on the ground right here in Maryland.You see Diana, I think it’s those efforts and what they accomplished, are exactly why they weren’t mentioned. If not for the sabotagethat was the Sobhani campaign, those efforts would have been entirely more fruitful. Nonetheless, the Bongino groundforce is not only still in existence, it is not only more relevant, it is GROWING. And we may not receive recognition from you, or from the MDGOP for our success, and it is indeed, a SUCCESS, but we will receive that recognition in the form of continuing a movement that will accomplish far more than a ‘pathfinders’ program. For our movement, the path is clear, the objectives are clear, and and the level of commitment stands unsurpassed. We will not cede any more ground, we will not sit back and wait for support from the MDGOP, and we will not be silent about the reasons that this party continues to fail. One cannot preach about ending the circular firing squad, while keeping their finger firmly on the trigger, pointed at their hardest workers.Respectfully submitted,Jackie L. Wellfonder
Update #1: Linked by Michael Swartz of Monoblogue, thank you!
Update #2: Linked by Joe Steffen of Global Rhetoric, thank you as well!