I have offered space on my blog for the Count My Vote organization to participate in a an organized unbiased debate about their initiative.
They have declined to participate citing busy schedules. There apparently is nobody in their organization that can be trusted or assigned to participate in debate. I have received other reports that they have declined to participate in joint forums with opponents.
One of the primary arguments which opponents of the Count My Vote initiative use is that candidates will set themselves apart from being responsive to the electorate. The refusal by Count My Vote Executive Director, Taylor Morgan, to participate directly or permit another representative of the initiative suggest the reasoning of the opponents may be exactly correct.
It appears that the Count My Vote (CMV) initiative is doing precisely what the opponents are saying. Rather than participate in a meaningful dialogue, which opponents says the caucuses assure, the sponsors of the initiative appear to be evading efforts by others to engage them in civil dialogue.
Further, I made numerous attempts to communicate with the CMV advocates. I received no response from the group. They ignored a voter’s request for serious information. Until I began sharing their non-responsiveness to me on Facebook that continued to be their MO. After seeing enough of my requests for input the Executive Director finally contacted me via private message on Facebook. I was surprised to find out that he indicated that he had not received my email request.
What made me surprised in two elements. First, my email was sent via their email system on their website. I guess their website is as credible as the Obamacare website. Second, I followed up on my email several days later by calling the CMV office. Here is the note which I made in my log:
“Spoke with someone named Danny at Count My Vote. All email communications go through him. He said he had forwarded my request on to Taylor Morgan, and said he would follow up with him again, whereas he is the only one allowed to respond to media inquiries.”
That was done on November 27, 2013. Again, I only heard back from Morgan on 12/6/2013 (nine days later). Let’s review my timeline:
1. December 4, 2013: CMV post on facebook a comment over the picture of former Governor Walker (support the CMV initiative) and an article in the Spectrum. About a couple dozen comments were posted to the article.
2. December 6, 2013, about 11:00 am: I posted the following: “I continue to ask why the CMV group refuses to even answer a request to engage in an online debate?”
3. December 6, 2013, at about 6:45 pm: CMV posted this response; “we always welcome the discussion. Please contact us about your forum.”
4. December 6, 2013, at about 7:00 pm I posted this response; “Count My Vote: I have sent you emails, talked with your office staff twice, and he was going to remind your ED to contact me. I “friended” you ED on Facebook and asked him there about participating. I have not received any response from you except the one receptionist guy that answered my second call. Candidly, it is begining to appear that you are avoiding public exchange of view on the CMV issue and initiative. Please contact me for details on the forum if you truly wish to share your views publicly?
5. Finally, on December 6, 2013 at 7:50 pm: I engaged in the following brief dialogue via Facebook ;
I’m sorry for the delay. As you can imagine, we’re very busy with gathering signatures statewide.
Lastly at 8:24 pm I received an email declining to participate.What is intriguing about this entire scenario is that there appears to be a very concentrated effort among the advocates of the Count My Vote initiative to control the dissemination of information. (“Danny at Count My Vote…said he had forwarded my request on to Taylor Morgan, and said he would follow up with him again, whereas he (Taylor Morgan) is the only one allowed to respond…”It is this writer’s opinion that any organization exercising this much control and resistance to the free flow of information has an agenda that reaches beyond their publicly stated purpose of “openness” and “access”.I invite them again to demonstrate that I am misreading their signals. The best way they can accomplish that is by participating in an open online forum.Now, for those that desire to read it I add the following. It is an explanation of how the online debate forum would function.
I maintain a political blog at wwwjr.wordpress.com.
From time to time I attempt to engage my readers through providing an online debate.
I am inviting you to participate in such a debate regarding the Count My Vote Initiative.
Very briefly stated the format is:
1. Advocate statement/Opponent statement 2. Opponent rebuttal/Advocate rebuttal. 3. Advocate argument/Opponent argument 4. Opponent/advocate closing statement.
Each segment is posted for about four days, before the next contribution is needed.
After the opening statements are posted I also post all “non-abusive” comments from readers. It is my sole discretion as to what I consider abusive, but I am rather strict.
In the past I have had over 700 unique hits on the blog for initial statements, and it tends to grow during the course of the debate. I unashamedly promote the blog via Facebook and Twitter.
With that in mind, do you have someone that is willing to participate as a contributor to such a debate format. “