Well my friends, I received my response from Diana Waterman today. It was quite long, so I’m not sharing it in it’s entirety, unless someone gripes about that, and I’ll post it in a comment. For the purposes of this post and it’s brevity, I’m posting bullet points.
- First, Diana explained she started composing a reply, by the time she was done, she noticed the letter had been blogged and reposted by several people. She said she felt the ‘bullet in the back feeling was mutual’ because of that. Sorry, not sorry. This information needs to be shared. You’ll see my full response to that below.
- Diana apologized, said it was not intentional. She worked much closer with the Romney rep and wanted to acknowledge her. She made sure to acknowledge the work of all three campaigns in the email. Ok…thanks? I’m sorry, but I made eye contact with her several times, my Wicomico County Coordinator was almost directly in front of her, to say that it was just a slip of the mind? Just not buying it.
- She went on to explain how she was well aware that the central committees and clubs pay for “presidential collateral” and that there would be no other way to get it if they didn’t buy it. Again, not the point. I wasn’t disputing that, at all. My point was, the Bongino campaign went far and beyond to make sure their materials were fully stocked as well, and that deserved to be acknowledged, especially since they incurred the cost.
- Diana thanked me for all my hard work, and expressed the desire to rectify the ‘wrong’ by posting on the Wicomico County Club website if they allowed her to do so. That’s up to them I suppose. A gracious offer, thank you. But again, I still have a hard time believing that the entire Republican candidate US Senate campaign for Maryland was just momentarily forgotten.
- Went on to say again what a great job we all did and that “the level of dedication from the Bongino volunteers exceeded any other campaign I have seen.” You better believe it sister, and you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
- Kevin Igoe: Much as I expected, Diana reiterated the point that he “doesn’t work for the state party.” Don’t care, addressing that in my reply below. He’s a snake, and should have been called out, period.
- Expressed the desire to meet in person and hear more of my perspective. I also address that in the reply I’m going to put below.
Let me clear, I’m not a monster, and I don’t believe Diana is either. I’ll give her props where they are due. I definitely do see her all over the state, especially here on the Eastern Shore. Whether that is to further the efforts of the party and the candidates, or to secure her spot in party leadership, who can be sure. I personally feel it’s a little of both. I don’t dispute she puts in a lot of hours.
With that said, Dan Bongino was also copied on the email, as was MDGOP chair Alex Mooney (no, I have not heard from him, will certainly share it with you if I do), the Bongino Deputy Campaign Manager, Sharon Strine, and Michael Swartz of Monoblogue, and Secretary for the Wicomico County Republican Club.
Here is Dan’s response to Diana:
This is about a much larger issue than just a WCRC speech. You still fail to see what is happening on the ground. The utter failure to do anything of substance to distance yourself from Republican “Consultants” actively and openly working against MD Republicans is a well-known failure amongst the donor and volunteer community. In addition, further wounding your cause, is the presence of a Parliamentarian who can’t seem to keep his personal feelings out of his political leadership role and has embarrassed himself and the Party. Thus far, nothing has happened on either front other than excuses and cheap talk.
The days of a few Party Mandarins dictating to the minions below them are over. Our treatment at the RNC was abhorrent, immature, elitist, and was completely indicative of a small group of insiders, completely out of touch with real voters, real issues and real activists. After all, the MDGOP as we see it, has no money, no volunteers, and a media operation that serves to humiliate candidates rather than help them. I saw this when I ran and refuse to remain silent about it anymore, because nothing will change if this continues. Combine all of this with the back-channel gossip about my campaign (all completely false and easily dis-proven) which I have been hearing from all over the state, and originating from some in MDGOP leadership positions, and I am shocked that you wonder why people are upset.
Bottom line is that there are a passionate group of people out there who do not care about titles, glory or TV time but do care about the future of the state. Neither I nor my network of volunteers and donors are going anywhere and we will ensure that things change for the better. We will continue to work while you bury your head in the sand.
Bravo my friend, Bravo. And finally, my response to Diana:
I’m sorry you feel slighted by the fact that I shared my thoughts on my blog, but it is just that, a blog and a venue for doing exactly that. I even said in the post that if I received a response, I’d certainly post it. It is my opinion, that the information needed to be out there, and from the response I’ve received, many folks agree with me. There wasn’t any point in my waiting for your response, even if you did offer an apology or whatever the case may be, because it wouldn’t take away from the fact that what happened was wrong, and it’s a pattern, a destructive one. Until the party realizes that, and works to stop alienating grassroots activists, they will fail.
It is personally my hope that over all, not just in the state of Maryland, the Republican party will acknowledge these issues and actively work to resolve them instead of further alienating their hardest workers. That remains to be seen. As Dan said, we will continue to work regardless.
Would I be willing to have a conversation? Certainly, if it were a roundtable conversation with Dan and Sharon present, because they are both factors in the overall issue and as Dan mentioned below, there are issues that the MDGOP has yet to address. The most critical in my opinion, the ‘eating their own’ and the ‘circular firing squad’. You see Diana, you made this statement below: “As a State Party, we will do our best to try to help every one of our candidates be victorious. It’s cyclical – the more Republicans that are elected, the better off the State Party is. The better off the State Party is, the more Republicans it can help get elected.”
Again, I ask, if that is the case, why did the state party not speak out against a Robocall from someone named “Mary” claiming to be a lifelong Maryland Republican? Or the letter that was sent out with letterhead at the top promoting this person as a top “Maryland Republican”, yet encouraging voters to cast their vote for Rob Sobhani? And then the Kevin Igoe issue, on the ROMNEY steering committee for Maryland, yet a campaign operative for Sobhani. It’s those issues that need to be addressed. I don’t care if these people are part of MDGOP’s executive committee or not. It’s NOT about a title, it’s about INTEGRITY. If your ultimate goal is to get Republican candidates elected, then you should be appalled as I am by these people representing themselves as “top Maryland Republicans”, yet encouraging votes for the supposed ‘independent’ candidate. It’s deplorable and disgusting.
I do appreciate your reply.
Once again my friends, I thank you for the outpouring of supportive messages I’ve received. I’m truly humbled, and again, want to make it known that all of you are the reason I chose to speak out, regardless of the consequences.
I would also like to acknowledge and thank Marc Kilmer, the Vice President of the Wicomico County Republican Club for contacting me, also apologizing for the oversight on his behalf and encouraging further dialogue. Marc is a stand up guy, always has been, and although I wasn’t upset with him in the least, I was quite grateful he cared enough to address the issue.
Where do we go from here? As Dan said, we continue working, we continue fighting, and we continue growing.
Do stay tuned, I’m sure this little scenario is far from over.