What are the lessons you learned from the 2008 McCain campaign in Bay County, Florida?
I learned that we have a lot of highly motivated, well-informed and enthusiastic volunteers, led by Teresa Eaton, Glen Leirer and Melissa Hagan, that really rose to the occasion when money was hard to come by in difficult economic times. They all deserve our profound thanks. I am proud to associate myself with these fellow Republicans that are genuinely nice people who care so deeply about the future of this great nation. We can achieve truly great things together.
Is there anything about the Bay County REC you would change?
Ted Haney did great things as Chairman. We merely need to build on our county-level success. I’m familiar with running campaigns with little money, so things that might seem small like T-shirt sales can be extremely important. The pancake breakfast was the kind of retail politics I love. Teresa and Vicki did an excellent job with that. As far as change goes one of my goals is outreach. I have done it before. Outreach is essentially engaging a diverse cross-section of voters that might be more resistant to Republicans in constructive dialogue about the issues. I’d like to form an Outreach subcommittee to work on these issues.
Why did the GOP lose Florida? How much blame would you assign Chairman Greer?
Democratic registrations were up statewide. Obama spent a lot of money here on advertising. I have done a lot of fieldwork in my time, and I have to say the Obama website and ground game were outstanding. They excelled at GOTV (get-out-the-vote efforts) like enlisting local churches and Gulf Coast to bus in voters. As far as blame, communication between the McCain national campaign, RPOF and the REC could have been better. Chairman Greer, as for me personally, I do not blame him, but I really wish he had not actively attempted to discourage Ron Paul supporters from participating in the Republican Party. It was implied in a conference call attended by a Orlando-area source of mine that Ron Paul supporters were determined to take over the GOP and must be stopped. Here in Bay County Chairman Haney showed true leadership by agreeing to a meeting with me where we came to a mutual understanding to work together for the greater good of the Republican Party.
How do you feel about Governor Crist? Would you encourage him to campaign in NW Florida more?
Personally, he seems like a decent guy. We do have something in common. Both the Governor and I attended FSU and are Florida State football fans.
He received an A rating from the Cato Institute, which makes him the most fiscally conservative Governor in the nation. That means a lot to me. On the other hand, his message after the election indicated he is open to working with Democrats. There is a time to find common ground, and there is a time to stand your ground. As a party and as Americans we need to work together to solve some of the serious problems facing this nation, but not at the expense of our conservative principles.
There are rumors Gov. Crist will have a primary opponent. (Maybe Sen. Gaetz. Maybe Fmr. Speaker Bense. Maybe Fmr. Speaker Marco Rubio. Who knows?) Whether he does or not, he needs to meet with us here in Bay County to try and mend fences. When I was at the John Rich rally for Sen. McCain, I heard strong boos when the Governor was introduced. I get e-mails from RPOF inviting me to $1000.00 a plate dinners with the Governor. I’m still waiting for the one informing me he will be in Panama City.
RPOF allocated NO money to the 2nd Congressional District for an opponent to Allen Boyd in 2008. This implies he cannot be beaten. Do you share this
view? Would you fight for this funding as Secretary?
You bet I would fight for more funding. Boyd is mediocre at best. I’d pressure the RNCC and RPOF, trying to get as much money as possible to put the effort into beating Allen Boyd. Frankly I am embarrassed he is our Congressman, and he did very little campaigning in 2008 and still won. He failed to explain his bailout votes and he I cannot recall the last legislation he has introduced. As Communications Director for Mark Mulligan for Congress, I could not believe the complete lack of reporting on the corrupt dealings of Mr Boyd and the difficulty of getting any coverage whatsoever.
What are your ideas about technology and how it can be used by the GOP?
I want to use it as a tool to make our party more accessible to the rank-and-file Republicans and party activists. I want to make it easy to get involved, connect with other Republicans including the leadership, keep track of volunteers and build a voter database of e-mail addresses and cell phones for mass e-mail/text messages. I favor recording all of our REC meetings on video. I love Rebuild the Party and their social network on Ning.
Do we need a State GOP Convention here in Florida?
Yes. It is a great opportunity to network with Republicans from across the state and compare notes. It would be more empowering to grassroots activists. They would feel like they are more a part of the process.
Who did you support in the GOP primary and why?
I was a regional field coordinator and county treasurer for Ron Paul 2008. We raised over $2000.00 locally. I was responsible for 8 counties (Bay, Washington, Jackson, Holmes, Calhoun, Wakulla, Liberty, and Gulf) and spent a lot of time on the road engaging voters on the issues.
I felt Ron Paul was as close to the traditional Taft/Goldwater/Reagan Republican philosophy as anyone running. He talked about the Constitution, the Federal Reserve and ending the IRS, all topics I have been interested in as a fiscal conservative for many years. People expressed concerns at the time about his desire to withdraw from Iraq. I strongly support our troops as an Army veteran but there will come a point where we will not be able to realistically afford either large-scale long-term military deployments or our vast network of bases overseas without large tax increases. We have to develop new foreign policy objectives based on the new political and economic realities of the multipolar world we live in.
Why do you want to stay involved in the Republican Party?
I want to use my unique skill set to help the Republican Party any way I can, and I feel that I would make a great party Secretary. I am a grassroots organizer, online political operative, and a duly elected GOP Precinct 26 Committeeman. I ran for State Committeeman and gained nearly 6,000 votes without spending a single dollar on my campaign. I am involved in the #dontgo movement. I am currently the county eCampaign Director, which includes starting a blog and creating pages and groups on social networks such as Twitter, Myspace and Facebook. I also consider myself a strategist. I have sat in on a number of strategic discussions over the years. My political experience includes field operations, outreach, oppositional research, market research/polling and speech writing. I want to use what I have learned through experience to teach others and to work together with my fellow Republicans in a spirit of party unity on behalf of free-market economic solutions, maximizing personal freedom, our
shared conservative principles and the idea of a limited government provided for by the Constitution of these united States that I took an oath to protect and defend.