Wednesday, April 01, 2009

My Response to Craig Axford

As I said yesterday, Craig Axford and Rob Miller both gave great responses to my post outlining some of my beefs with the leadership of the Utah Democratic Party.

Here is my response to Craig's comment.

First, I don't know whether to be hurt or flattered you left me out of the list of possible Utah Democratic staffers posting anonymously on your blog. Hopefully it goes without saying since I am using my name here (Craig) it wasn't me. Also, I am speaking purely for myself here - and not the state party.

Oops, I forgot about you. However, you were pretty far down the list of people I suspected of writing it.

That said, it is very easy to criticize the state party for this that and the other thing. And much of the criticism is valid. We could do a better job at internet outreach, we could put on more trainings for candidates and others, and we could put out more press releases on a variety of issues - though it seems no matter how many we put out someone will inevitably say we should have focused on something else.

So why don't we? Well there are three paid staffers in this office. One works exclusively on events and fundraising, the other on conventions, blogging, updating the website to the extent time allows, and now a Facebook page - which one assumes is what Bob is referring to when he says we discovered the internet about a month ago. Oh, and then there is the writing of press releases - which are often ignored by the media. Don't assume just because you don't read something in the paper we have been completely silent on an issue.

However, one of the glorious things about the internet (blog, Facebook, Web Site, etc) is that you can get your message out. Post press releases on the blog. If a newspaper misquotes you, get it on the blog. You no longer have to rely on the "media" to control how silent you are.

Add to that the tasks on our third staff person's desk including, but by no means limited to, monthly FEC reports and all the bookkeeping that goes with it, dealing with payroll, and several hours of conference calls a week with other state party leaders, the DNC, etc. and hopefully you get the picture.

I don't envy Todd's job in any way.

Also, I could have sworn that one of the big selling points when Chairman Holland was running for the position was that the union would still pay him so that he could be at the party full time. (essentially, the union was keeping him on retainer.) Am I wrong in this?

We would very much like to update much of the software we use in this office including new internet tools and better graphic design software. Indeed, give me an hour and I will create a whole list of things I would buy for this office if the resources were available. They aren't.

I understand. However, most of the web tools are free. Also, I know of several people who have offered their time and talents to help build these things, only to be rebuffed by people in the office.

All this criticism amounts to nothing if people aren't willing to put a few dollars where their mouths are and get a lot of other people to join them.

I don't mind constructive criticism. Really I don't. But I do mind it when the criticism is couched in the assumption those of us working at the state party could do it, we just don't feel like it. We are doing all we can with the resources currently at our disposal. And please identify the red states with bucket loads of money doing wonderful things on the internet we could do here if only we had the inclination.

If you would like to donate - go to We would love the help.

Actually, most of the things I brought up could be done for free, and with not too much more time thrown in. Heck, you can set it up in blogger to automatically post your press release when you email it out. 30 minutes of work one time, and you're done.


P.S. I do appreciate throwing in the ask for funds at the end. It's someting that doesn't happen enough.


Anonymous said...

Three paid staffers? The GOP only has two. Typical.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone checked out the GOP's website? Last blog post was about a month ago and then only two in February. State Dems have several RSS feeds going on their page and blog at least once or twice a week. This all smacks of circling the wagons and shooting inwards, which is the last things Dems in Utah need to do right now.

Jason The said...

I disagree anonymous. Constructive criticism is always a good thing, and actually what is lacking in the Utah GOP, ensuring they don't respond to public pressure. Call it shooting inwards if you like, but speaking at least for myself, I say what I say because I care about the party.