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Brooklyn GOP Website Undergoes Very Public Surgical Procedures, But Fundamental Flaws Remain

January 2, 2010

Well, you have to give them credit for trying.

The Brooklyn GOP website, once a place where time stood still and changes were never made, was recently redone and has finally been altered. While our readers were convinced that the party was better off with the old website, I must say I’m glad that the party heeded the call of our readers to make changes to the site. There have been new additions to the site, and (shock of shocks!) to be honest, there have been some slight improvements!

But in spite of these new additions, two major problems remain with the Brooklyn GOP website. First, to their detriment, the website’s webmaster is clearly a novice at using WordPress and has been making very ugly public changes to the website that have available for all the world to see. Second, the website still lacks any aesthetic look (they still have that horrific egotistical picture of Chairman Craig “The Duke” Eaton on there) and many of the basics necessary for a county party website.

I first wrote about the old Brooklyn GOP website on September 18th.

On November 21st, John Galt first noticed the changes made to the new site. Unfortunately, the process was very public, and every hour brought new experimentation with the website settings. But nevertheless, the party had finally made a change to their website for maybe the first time since the Spring!

I also don’t think it was coincidence that the new website debuted the day after Francisco D’Anconia declared Chairman Eaton irrelevant.

At the beginning of last month, I wrote this:

This new website, I must confess, is not much of an improvement, and the designers do not appear to be moving toward any kind of fundamental restructuring any time soon.

With this lack of effort on the part of the Brooklyn GOP leadership, you almost have to wonder if they still care about the website. For the sake of the party, we hope they do, or, at the very least, issue an SOS to someone who can fix the website.

Then again, maybe they already know too many have been alienated who might have offered helped. If they had acted sooner (such as in September, when I first criticized the site) maybe they wouldn’t be in this position.

I would rephrase my criticism now.

I think improvements have been made. The maps for the various assembly districts and district leaders are helpful. There are new links and their contact page is finally up. Most importantly, there are new posts! There were even posts for Christmas and New Years. The posts are hardly substantive, but they do represent a step in the right direction.

One other thing: after over a month, there is finally an option to donate to the party online, which is perhaps the most important aspect of any website.

Now, these changes have been a long time coming, and I have to believe that all of us–and most especially your voice through our previous poll about the website–played a part in influencing them.

***

But I’m sorry to say that these changes represent only a beginning to the much needed changes the website requires.

One of the biggest glaring problems with the Brooklyn GOP’s website is that it’s an eyesore. It has no message and does not evoke any emotion when you see it. The colors are off and the images on the site don’t match the background. Craig Eaton’s enormous head at the front of the site doesn’t help either. I would not show this site to any would-be Republican voter if I wanted to demonstrate to them what the Republican Party means in Brooklyn. All it screams is ego and underperformance (which about captures the honest state of the leadership).

Next, the website says nothing about what the Brooklyn GOP stands for.

What is its platform?

Who are its candidates?

You’d never know.

It seems like all the party does is pat itself on the back, which, although true, is not the message you want to send.

I also have to say that the party sends the message on the website that political activity online is a bad thing, which makes it seem like the only reason they have a website is because its accepted practice. Given some of the comments I’ve read since the new site was put up, I can’t believe this little quote from Craig Eaton on the website is not directed to us here at Atlas and all of you:

Unfortunately, there are some who think typing away at their computer is a replacement for getting out there and meeting real people, face-to-face.

These digital armchair activists have it wrong: the internet is a great tool when used along with traditional methods of political campaigns.

That line is very off-putting message to the many people who use the internet as a tool to mobilize people.

Here’s another gem from the website that remain in place:

There will be two dozen offices voted on in Brooklyn in the 2010 General Election, and the Republican Party is about to begin a major recruitment drive to find new candidates.

No prior political or government experience is necessary — as Republicans, we believe strongly that citizens should serve in public office for a time, then step aside to allow others to serve.

We thought this was such an amazing line that we wrote about it a while ago. The fact that they haven’t changed this language is very intriguing.

***

The history of the Brooklyn GOP website and its glacial pace of change and updates speaks loudly about the party and how it manages itself. Yes, every website is going to be a work in progress, but the way the Brooklyn GOP went about changing this site was amateurish and unfortunate. They never asked for help, from what it seems, and the site continues to suffer from major flaws. It’s not pretty, still incomplete, and has no message, from what I can tell.

While it’s great that changes have been made, these changes will be fruitless without the bigger alterations and additions necessary to be effective.

It’s already 2010, and this is going to be an important year for Brooklyn, whether the leadership recognizes that or not.

With the website, let’s hope the party gets its act together–and fast.

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9 Comments
  1. Big Head permalink
    January 2, 2010 11:31 pm

    Don’t hold your breath Dagny. Craig’s fat head will always take center stage. What an ego!

  2. A Different Young Republican permalink
    January 2, 2010 11:57 pm

    I cannot believe that you people are still addicted to covering the GOP website. You obviously have issues and you should learn from Jonathan Judge how to deal with your issues.

    The GOP is correct, you cannot help the party by just pounding on the keyboard.

    You are correct as well, the GOP excludes new Republicans.

    The solution is NOT Atlas… The solution is the Brooklyn YR’s.

    To prove my point, there is no link to Atlas from the YR’s website.

    So follow the GOP’s advice and start pounding pavement…for the Young Republicans.

    • Larissa permalink
      January 3, 2010 2:35 am

      FYI:

      https://atlasshrugsinbrooklyn.wordpress.com/2009/11/14/unlike-brooklyn-gop-brooklyn-young-republicans-come-out-strong-after-the-election/

      One Brooklyn GOP organization has at long last taken it upon themselves to restore the reputation of Brooklyn Republicans in the internet arena.

      That organization is the Brooklyn Young Republican Club, and they have come out swinging against those who thought that reform was dead in Brooklyn. Whether they keep their promise is a separate question, but they have certainly sent a powerful message within just days of launching a new image and a new website.

      I first learned of the Brooklyn Young Republicans’ new website and logo on Urban Elephants. When did they release these changes?

      The day after the elections. I love the symbolism–a kind of resurrection after the death of the Brooklyn GOP.

      So why did they do that? Here’s what Club President Jonathan Judge said:

      We did so the day after the elections to send a message that the Brooklyn YRs will be at the heart of the Republican reform movement in Brooklyn, and we are proud to promote our common cause to strengthen the principles of our party in Brooklyn and beyond.

      Just what I’ve been looking for! The word “Reform”!

  3. Merryweather permalink
    January 3, 2010 4:29 am

    I’m glad Atlas is keeping tabs on the Brooklyn GOP website. How the party’s website looks is part of its own measure, and it will be hard for other organizations, such as the Young Republicans, to attract new blood if the party looks like it’s going nowhere fast (which it is).

    I think the more important story coming out of this post is that, even if the leadership won’t admit it, their day-to-day activities are shaped heavily by this blog, and they have paid dearly for not addressing the concerns of the people who come here for their news about Brooklyn Republican politics.

    I hope the blog looks into the money dealings of the party. That’s where any corruption would be and where hard lessons will be learned.

  4. Maya permalink
    January 3, 2010 9:54 am

    Dagny and other “A S in B” friends, what about this particular, pertinent question:

    In order to prevent any more conflicts of interest or even the appearance of such conflicts of interests, should Craig A. Eaton Esq., relocate his law firm, Eaton and Torrenzano LLP, from 1662 Sheepshead Bay Road, Brooklyn, NY 11235, which is the Kings County Republican Committee Headquarters?

    http://eatonandtorrenzano.com/

    http://mojo.brooklyneagle.com/biz/eaton-torrenzano-attorneys-at-law/brooklyn/ny/11235/7250918

    http://www.superpages.com/bp/Brooklyn-NY/Eaton-Torrenzano-L0002587022.htm?SRC=local

    http://brooklyngop.com/?page_id=40

    It is inappropriate to operate a “for profit” LLP out of the same entity as the Brooklyn Republican Party HQ’s. Mr. Craig A. Eaton Esq., and his law firm partner, Jay Torrenzano Esq., may have law firm clients whose business and legal affairs could be a conflict of interest with a politcal party.

    http://www.uscg.mil/legal/cca/Court_of_Criminal_Appeals_Opinions/Year2009/20090326%20United%20States%20v.%20Sullivan%20(unpublished).pdf

    http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php?type=name&lname=Torrenzano&fname=Jay

  5. A Different Young Republican permalink
    January 3, 2010 12:24 pm

    No… the solution is NOT to harass the Evil Eaton. The solution is to recruit new Republicans to join the Brooklyn YR’s.

    There is nothing illegal if Evil Eaton decides to “share” office space to the Republican Party.

    We don’t like it. That’s great! Blogging will not move the office. Recruiting new Republicans to join the County Committee in 2011 to vote Eaton out is the way to change our Party.

    Until then, there is the Brooklyn YR’s.

    A great idea would be to have a form on Atlas where people can choose to join the County Committee.

    • Lawrence permalink
      January 3, 2010 7:34 pm

      I don’t think it’s harassment as much as it’s campaign finance and conflicts of interest they’re worried about. Anything that affects the party publicly like that would be embarrassing to any candidate or organization, even if they don’t have anything to do with the borough party.

      You have to accept that some things the party does will have an impact on others no matter now much you separate from them because people associate the party leaders with its members and other local republican organizations inevitably.

      So, I don’t think Olga and Maya are just going after “Evil Eaton.”

    • Larissa permalink
      January 3, 2010 7:57 pm

      FYI – With a Nod to Atlas, Eaton Charity No Longer Headquartered at Law Firm

      https://atlasshrugsinbrooklyn.wordpress.com/2009/11/29/with-a-nod-to-atlas-eaton-charity-no-longer-headquartered-at-law-firm/

      Now, we see that Brooklyn GOP Chairman Craig “The Duke” Eaton’s charity, the MHE Foundation, has officially changed its address.

      Originally located at the address of The Duke’s law firm, Eaton & Torrenzano, its current listed address is 8019 Harbor View Terrace, Brooklyn, NY.

      Comments first started buzzing about this potential conflict of interest back in late August. It was at that time that Chairman Eaton himself appeared on Atlas and issued a scathing commentary against bloggers questioning the use of Eaton’s firm as the headquarters for both the Brooklyn GOP and a not-for-profit organization.

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