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Money, money, everywhere, but not a drop for small conservative bloggers

Money, money, everywhere, but not a drop for small conservative bloggers

The amount of money spent by Romney/RNC and Obama/DNC was astounding — over $1 billion each.

As Michael Patrick Leahy at (and others) have been exploring, the Republican money was concentrated on a small number of connected consulting firms:

Which brings me back to the concern I expressed soon after the election about the fate of small conservative bloggers, Whither small conservative blogs?

When I first started blogging in 2008, there was a vibrant group of small independent conservative blogs, many if not most composed of newbies like me. There was cohesiveness of opposition to Obamacare and the Obama-Reid-Pelosi axis. No one made any money, it was a cause….

And why should anyone spread the wealth? Why shouldn’t small conservative blogs have to prove their worth to readership? “Cry me a river that no one links,” probably is a justified respose.

Yet these small conservative blogs play an important role. I’ve highlighted the role of Not One More Red Cent in the rise of Marco Rubio against establishment hack Charlie Crist. There are numerous other examples. I’d like to think that we made a difference every now and then.

Which also got me thinking back to some posts Robert Stacy McCain did back in 2010 and earlier about the establishment support for Crist, Death by Consultantitis:

In general, there has been a misallocation of resources by the people who write the checks and hold the purse-strings in Republican politics. Nothing illustrates the disconnect between money and brains in the GOP than a fact highlighted by Jimmie Bise: Charlie Crist raised $4.3 million in a single three-month period of 2009.

The more I think about that, the angrier I get. Who were these more-money-than-brains people who wrote those checks for Crist? Did they just take the word of John Cornyn and Jim Greer that Crist was the man to beat in the Florida GOP Senate primary?

A fool and his money are soon parted, and there are times when the Republican Party resembles nothing so much as a scam for separating rich fools from their money.

For $4.3 million, you could have paid 86 bloggers $50,000 a year.

To date, during the 2009-10 election cycle, GOP national committees (RNC, NRSC and NRCC) have raised a combined total of $440.5 million.

Do the math, and you see that a mere 1% of that total would go a hell of a long way toward permitting the conservative blogosphere to do more actual political news reporting of the sort that would help balance what the MSM are doing.

I’m not saying that I want to be on the GOP payroll. What I am saying is that giving money to the GOP is not going to fix this problem, because the people who run the GOP don’t even understand the problem.

Clearly, going on the RNC payroll or receiving funding tied to opinion is not the answer.

But there has to be a better way to create and sustain the Army of Davids who are even more crucial now that the consultant model has failed us once again.


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Romney was supposed to be the brilliant, out-of-the-box thinker and inventive turnaround specialist CEO? What a joke.

What will change as we move toward 2016? I submit that nothing will change. These same consultants and their firms are readying the same stale pitches to the same stale party poobahs.

I’m coming to the belief that the GOP doesn’t deserve to exist anymore. Having the GOP as the locus of our political capital and energy at this point in history might be worse than having no organized party at all.

    Rick in reply to raven. | December 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Agreed. While I contributed to Romney and feel badly about that now because of information like that set forth in this article, I made no contributions to the Republican party but lots of contributions to the candidates highlighted on LI. Even though most of those candidates lost, I feel good about those contributions, and I look forward to making similar individual contributions in upcoming election cycles.

    punfundit in reply to raven. | December 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I wonder if there’s any way we can do a leveraged buy-out of the GOP. Lord knows they’re sell-outs.

    gabilange in reply to raven. | December 9, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    In reply to Raven:
    Yes, a brilliant CEO. When the fish stinks, it stinks at the head (to be trite). If he was so brilliant, then he had a poor idea of the real people out there, and a very good idea of stale strategies and…cronyism.

You need a media consultant. And no, I’m not being cheeky.

Conservative bloggers have enough credibility that they can likely create a new enterprise and have serious legs for it.

PJMedia tried this and I subscribed for a time, but the problem is that the videos are too short and require too much babysitting to be a “channel.” I’m busy, but I am also always on my computer.

If there was a way for me to “listen” to conservative blogs as background in my day, I’d listen to it. You’d attract advertising. But the biggest problem with blogs is that they require direct viewing.

Has to be a way to create one of two things:

1) a continuous audible version of a consortium of conservative blogs.

2) a running video channel of conservative content.

Fox is not conservative, and no other channel comes close, and frankly, none of the media covers what you guys cover. We’re starving out here. I’d lend my hand to the cause if it would help, but all I got right now is time, not money. I imagine that a lot of others would help as well.

    punfundit in reply to beatcanvas. | December 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    iTunes podcasts?

      That wouldn’t be up-to-the-minute. Needs to be an app on the phone. Podcasts available, but it needs to be current to compete with the big outlets. And it could, frankly. Most conservative bloggers blog news events in real time.

        punfundit in reply to beatcanvas. | December 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm

        An audible version of Twitter? Like 1-minute “bleats” or something?

          Constant and up-to-the-minute, like your local radio station.

          Consider: the AP is a feed for news sites worldwide. As an organization, it has its people and sources planted worldwide.

          How is that different from a network of conservative bloggers? It’s not. What’s missing is a mechanism of payment for sourcing.

          A conservative channel, constant and up-to-the-minute, could have hosts, and the funding could be a blend of fundraising, subscription, and advertising. If Crist can raise $4.3 million for a failed campaign, could such an operation get started and reward strong news/fact-oriented bloggers with the same amount of money? It sure could.

          It could be available by Internet and phone app for distribution.

        Benson II in reply to beatcanvas. | December 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm

        I haven’t seen the up to date content you’re talking about on news. Cnn runs a tape across the bottom. If you listen daily they’re all just copies over and over of talking points for that day. That’s all I get anyway. Other than that I agree their needs to be a daily overview of all the information we get daily from going to different conservative blogs.

    steveadams21 in reply to beatcanvas. | December 9, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    The Stitcher application will let you customize the talk radio /podcasts you want to pretty much do what you are talking about.

    JEBurke in reply to beatcanvas. | December 9, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Ditto that

“the people who run the GOP don’t even understand the problem.”

More to the point, the people running the GOP ARE the problem.

Dump them all.

One other thing: I have a tech company that can provide a backbone for attracting and harvesting talent to help change culture. I’ll donate it. Let me know if you’re interested.

Speaking of the smarmy, loathsome, unprincipled, perpetually ambitious, vastly NEEDY Charlie Crist:
Looks like he’s looking to run against Rick Scott
in 2-years for Governor(Again)here in Florida.

Meantime, his insipid face is on billboards for a huge Ambu-Chasing Law Firm, Morgan & Morgan..(“Slip and fall? CALL Morgan & Morgan FORRRR The People.”)Perfect fit, Chawlie!! Stay there, Oily Dude!!

    NeoConScum in reply to NeoConScum. | December 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    (Further thought on Crist)..Having had the snot slapped out of him by Marco Rubio for Senator in 2010, he promptly jumped to the Democrats–PERFECTO..! KEEP Him, Donkeys!!

    Christ has been outed in some media as gay. He’s probably so hard for Obama that he just had to change parties…looking for a different kind of “party”. RINO’s are always repulsive because they are so squishy.

One last thing, regarding fundraising… bloggers don’t fundraise. Politicians, especially politicians like Romney and Crist, relentlessly fundraise.

That consortium of conservative bloggers needs to actively fundraise. There’s a way to do that that doesn’t involve you, and takes an Army of Davids approach. The YMCA uses this model, and they do just fine. Again, let me know if you’re interested…

    liesel409 in reply to beatcanvas. | December 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    I hope you email and outline of what you’re offering directly to the Professor to make sure he sees it. Sounds great and as one likely to greatly use and enjoy the service you’re volunteering, Thank You!

      I assume that he gets an email every time someone comments… so I trust that he has been following this. Especially when it can help him monetize his efforts, which I’m sure are costly to him personally and in time expended.

      The first step in any effort would be to raise money. I think $150,000 could be raised relatively quickly to jumpstart the effort.

      My math for that amount starts with the assumption that the professor has 2,000 loyal readers who want to see his efforts grow and expand.

      Money attracts money… it would grow from there.

      He has my email address through my comment account here. If he’d like me to outline a proposal, I’ll do so.

Those with talent will be in the position of Vladimir Vysotsky. Last night I was re-watching one of his movies and listening to some of his music on YouTube. A few minutes ago I came across the following quote about him:

“During his lifetime, the authorities’ oppression of Vysotsky was tremendous. As the actor Bortnik from Taganka remembered, it seemed as though the invisible evil of Soviet empire was trying to suffocate Vysotsky at every level. Marina wrote that his poems were never published in Russia during his life; his songs were removed from soundtracks, his concerts canceled, his book and record deals revoked at the last moment.

“His humor and ability to laugh through the most difficult times as well as the connection with the ordinary people from all corners of Soviet Union helped him to overcome the failures but the level of stress was enormous.”

That is fast becoming the situation of dissident conservatives in the United States, too. (Vysotsky was apolitical, but political American conservatism is also in a sense apolitical. That’s one of the reasons it’s viewed as a threat by the left.)

The quote is from this blog article:

Joan Of Argghh | December 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm

It wouldn’t matter if bloggers got paid. Someone would still be in charge of selecting “voices” and some will rise to the top of the grassroots, hob nob with other top-siders, get ideas, shut out others who offend them in some way– either critically or in their tone of writing– and eventually, their own agenda will drive the dextrosphere.

We will have, in 4-5 years an elite layer of deciders who are paid to decide and they’ll start thinking, “I know the Conservatives won’t like this, but we can’t have any more talk about ______. But it’s for the good of our agenda that we take this action. They’ll just have to trust that we can see what they cannot. No, we can’t publish them.”

Human nature. You think people, good, passionate people who have worked hard to build something, don’t feel a certain sense of arrival and ranking, especially if they are paid? People don’t even need to be paid money for that sort of ego-trip. Even in the smallest volunteer organization there are folks looking to build some sort of kingdom to rule. Ask any churchgoer when there is a split in the congregation. It’s because someone wants to drive a different agenda, even though both are on the same team. One will dominate, one will splinter off and become the “Harmony Seperatist Baptist Church” (not kidding)jut to show their authenticity.

We’re halfway there already. And the top-siders know it and are moving toward what they think will be best.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I have been accused of being a GOP “paid-operative” by angry leftists projecting or assumed the GOP does the same thing as the Dem Party and their money-bags pals like all those George Soros funded non-profits.

So it was with smirkage I watched the Huffington Post’s post-sale falling out between Arianna Huffington and her free labor left-wing contributors who got not one red cent as Arianna Huffington cashed in.

As an aside, Mr @Shoq was vewy angwy and outspoken at the time over the fact that Arianna had so handsomely profited by using him like a borrowed mule.

I feel a ‘Django Unchained’ movie boycott coming on…

Jamie Foxx “I get to kill all the white people in the room. How great is that? How black is that?”

Romney did have an unofficial meeting with a group of conservative bloggers but I guess there was no money involved. Didn’t seem to do much good, I guess.

I know there are so many who have already stopped blogging for one reason or another–mostly pretty much unknown except to their small groups of readers. It seems hard to imagine that there would be enough money to pay most of them (how would you really find them all) or that a lot of them would really write to the level even approaching the quality that anyone might want to fund. I do believe in the grassroots help for bloggers in need such as I have seen with Zilla, Amusing Bunni, and others.

I had an amazing experience before the election. I was in a passionate FB debate with a lib and desperately needed some information to continue. I’d read an article by a well-known businessman who was an advisor to the Romney campaign. His newest articles did not have any contact info, but I did find an older one with an email address.

This man responded (while having just boarded a plane) and promised to get back to me in a day or so with the information I needed. He did that and provided an extensive (and much needed) reply which I used in my response.

I thanked him and was amazed and grateful. (I’ve never contacted him since because I feel that would betray the generous spirit of his help which he provided me.)

But even though this particular “lib” is not stupid (it’s someone I saw put herself through college in her early 20’s and didn’t know again until now that she’s in her early 50’s) and she has a very high IQ, she is a total captive of the Obama progressive cult which has unfortunately been enabled by the chip on her shoulder that somehow developed during all those years I didn’t know her.

With her, and with all the other libs I know (from my entertainment industry days) I can tell you that now amount of conservative blogging, podcasting, or anything will make a difference. The only thing that will wake all these minions up is the hardship of a crash…and even then, they will probably still blame Bush and worship Obama. It’s amazing that melanin is the most valuable currency in the world even unto death.

    “With her, and with all the other libs I know (from my entertainment industry days) I can tell you that now amount of conservative blogging, podcasting, or anything will make a difference.”

    She’s not the audience. Romney lost because the architect of Romneycare couldn’t muster the troops. The audience is the libertarian / conservative devotees.

    With proper rallying and arm-in-arm workmanship, anything is possible.

    As has been said, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

    Freedom has enough pull. The architect of Romneycare didn’t understand nor convey that. But the rest of us can.

Beatcanvass above is on the right track. Conservative blogs with sizable audiences clearly have become an important medium for reaching a lot of Republican voters (and not incidentally, potential campaign donors and volunteers). The most obvious way for them to snare part of the next billion dollars to be spent — appropriately and in a way beneficial to the GOP and candidates — is through advertising.

But it requires more than bloggers participating in Google ads. They must have a process to sell and place advertising and to account to advertisers for impressions, audience reach, and so on. It ought to be possible for 10 or 20 major blogs that are full-time jobs for their sponsors to construct such a system. Perhaps, some existing elements of PJ Media might serve as a foundation to build on. Getting the ball rolling will be tough, of course, but with the next election cycle now a ways off, now is the time to attempt it.

    punfundit in reply to JEBurke. | December 9, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    For God’s sake please let’s not advertise these horrendous “secret technology that power companies don’t want you to know about,” penis enlargers, and other tinfoil hat crowd pleasers. I don’t want to see Carbonite. I don’t want to see some rinky dink fly-by-night bullshit artist’s latest plastic piece of crap that nobody would buy. And i sure as shit don’t want to buy someone else’s gold! Stop it already!

      The solution to the “don’t want to buy” problem is easy: Don’t buy. The solution to the “don’t want to see” problem is harder. One is therapy. That one costs money. Another is “Don’t look.”

        punfundit in reply to Reticulator. | December 9, 2012 at 10:20 pm

        The point here is selling garbage. Why are conservative sites selling this crap? If we must use advertising (and we must), choose a more elevated set of goods/services.

      There’s a market for a “red elephant” directory, if you will, listing conservative / libertarian supporting companies that do good business. It could be tied in with this pretty easily, and be regionalized. I think the right marketing and advertising lies there, not in the spammy products and services. If there is an effort to be had here, it should revolve around legitimacy and support for changing the culture and not for fast bucks.

      I had Google Ads for a couple of years. Got a small amount of change from it. But, you can’t choose your advertisers! (Yes, if you monitor your blog and find certain companies you despise you can log in and designate those URL’s to be blocked, but it takes a lot of time and effort.)

      And, any major effort beyond that for tracking and advertising is way beyond a small blogger’s means and available time.

      I forgot to mention that Google Ads flagged me for an “offensive” photo and I had the choice of taking it down or giving up Google Ads (which I chose to do even though I could use the money).

      I was blocked because of the last picture in this post (which is STILL my top ranking post in the 6 1/2 years I’ve been blogging):

Joan Of Argghh | December 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm

I do not have a personal axe to grind against any wonderful law bloggers, I appreciate every one of them on the Right. So, forgive me for having the temerity to point out that 4 out of the five bloggers that American Glob would like to see on Fox news are lawyers or law professors.

The choosers choose for the rest of us. It’s ever thus, and will be again.

There is a way to do it and it is the same way the left does it. They have a thing called “Tides Foundation”. Tides collects donations from people who want to give to “progressive” causes. You can earmark your contributions to be given to one or more specific organizations or you can toss them in the general pool for Tides to donate as they see fit.

At regular intervals, donations are bundled up and give to the target organizations. This has the benefit of shielding people from the donation target. Say I gave $10,000 and want half to go to Code Pink and half to go to some other organization. At the end of the quarter, they would bundle my donation to Code Pink along with everyone else’s, maybe salt it with some from the general find and make the contribution. Code Pink shows a donation from Tides, not from me. Tides shows a donation from me but is not required to show how I earmarked it. This prevents anyone from being able to trace with any certainly a specific amount donated by an individual to any particular cause.

The political right has nothing like it. The left also has a public relations outfit who guides all of these activist groups’ messages to keep them on the same sheet of music and keep them coordinated. That would be Fenton Communications. So between Tides foundation distributing the cash and Fenton taking care of the PR, they can have a solid activist wall. The political right is simply just a collection of individual groups without any coordination.