Sunday, November 21, 2004

No smell to money, is there? Mike McCurry doesn't think so 

Thanks to alert reader granny insanity:

The Republican National Committee (RNC) paid tens of thousands of dollars to a technology and communications strategy firm headed by Mike McCurry, a former spokesman for the Clinton administration, while McCurry served as a senior adviser to the Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign.

Records show that since the end of April, Grassroots Enterprise has received $93,000 in payments from the RNC for Internet hosting, but Heather Layman, an RNC spokeswoman, said the Republican Party hired McCurry’s firm to help deliver content to potential voters, not for Web-hosting services.

What kind of content, one wonders?

McCurry joined the Kerry campaign full time in mid-September and before that served the campaign as a member of a task force on religious outreach. McCurry took a leave of absence as chairman of the board of Grassroots when he joined the campaign. He expects to be reinstated as chairman soon.

Bill McIntyre, a Grassroots spokesman and a former spokesman for the National Rifle Association, said accepting RNC money while McCurry advised Kerry was not a conflict.

“Mike took a leave of absence,” explained McIntyre, “We have two offerings here. We have our technology platform and strategic services that go with it, and clients can choose. …

“The RNC uses our technology platform, and they do all of their own strategic work and don’t rely on anyone here, especially Mike McCurry because that would be odd. … It’s the equivalent of the RNC or DNC using a Dell computer or a copier; it’s technology.”

Uh, right. So, what kind of content did the wingers deliver with the platform, and who was it targetted at? Say, voters in Ohio? Just asking.

“It’s giving them stuff we could use. It’s helping them beat us,” [Democratic fundraiser Erickson] said. “It would be a lame excuse.”

McCurry said he had little knowledge of his firm’s contract with the RNC. “We provide the technology equipment they use to run some of their contact programs,” he said, “I have a Chinese-wall relationship on that account. I don’t supervise that account or do anything with it.”

McCurry said he tried to sell the technology to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) but was turned down. “We would love to sell to the DNC too,” he said.

Now that I can believe....

Layman said the RNC hired Grassroots two years ago and its contract expires at year-end. The committee chose McCurry’s firm because “they provide a content-delivery system that met our requirements for the past two years,” she said.

Again, what kind of content?

Grassroots helped win the contract by customizing its product to meet the Republicans’ needs.

McCurry said that for critics to charge impropriety is “like saying Microsoft should not supply Microsoft Word to the party.”

Nope. It was content delivery, not software. McCurry obfuscates.

Donna Brazile, who served as Al Gore’s campaign manager in 2000, said that many political consultants work for both sides and that she didn’t object.

“There are a number of firms that double dip and take resources from both political parties, and I don’t see a problem with it,” she said. “I know people who cross the street a lot, but they don’t get caught. I do know people, but they remain nameless.

“Your piece will cause eyes to roll but not a lot of head-scratching. It happens all the time in Washington,” she said.
(via The Hill)

Just business....

If anyone wonders why the Dems aren't about winning but just about continuing to play a losing game, look no further. If you can play both sides, it doesn't matter who wins. (We lose, of course, but ... What was the point I was trying to make?

I remember very well what happened when the Democrats used Republican servers in the House. The Republicans stole all the Democrats' files (back) How is it that the Republicans can trust a Democratic"Democratic" enterprise not to do exactly the same thing?

There's a word, I just know it, for people who take money to, um, do anything for anyone who asks... Not that there's anything wrong with that; after all, it's just the free market in action, eh? I know the word will come to me.

A song for Mike McCurry:

I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall.
I really don't know life, at all.

Faugh. Oh, and I love the name "Grassroots." Orwellian, eh?

NOTE I do wonder, though, if this piece isn't a ploy by Blue State Digital, which provides the technology platform for the Dean organization—especially since the trial balloons have been floated for Dean as DNC chair. However, Blue States is just a business, too. One looks in vain in their services section for any indication of which party organization Blue States serves.

Say, why doesn't someone, anyone, in the Democratic Party get smart and build some in-house expertise instead of using hired guns? In business, the rule is this: Never outsource your core competence. Well, if the message isn't the Dems core competence, and delivering the message isn't the Dems core competence, then what is their core competence? I mean, besides losing?

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