Thursday, May 28, 2015

My Q&A With The Former Maryland Young Republicans Chair, Nicolee Ambrose

My questions to the former YR Chair, and current National Committeewoman, Nicolee Ambrose, and her answers, followed up with some thoughts on the MD Young Republicans.

1) How large was the YR organization when you started?
2) How large was the YR org. when you left?

  • Our team tripled the size of the Maryland YRs when I was chair. (At the beginning of my term, I clearly remember the BAYRs, MoCo YRs, PGYRs, and AAYRs, but believe I am forgetting one.) By the end of my term, we had 16 counties chartered and hosting official YR clubs. 
3) How long were you head of the YRs? (What timeframe?)

  • Maryland YR Chair from 2003-2005  

4) Were you running recruitment programs for the YRs? 

  • We had a VP of Club Development, and I worked closely with that person. In addition to asking every YR Exec Board member to attend other counties' events, I asked each leader, no matter what their job, to help nurture new YR clubs. We also worked hard to market the organization at MDGOP State Conventions and to Central Committees, to ask for their assistance in recommending new young folks, who could help get YR clubs started in new areas. Lastly, we had an exciting and varied event schedule, which really helped get new people involved, and kept existing members engaged. 

5) What do you think of current chair?

  • No comment.

So this was the Facebook exchange I had with Ms. Ambrose - I messaged her the list of questions, and she messaged me the answers. (So you know the method)

My thoughts on this are as follows: Nicolee had a successful run as YR chair, overseeing the group's substantial growth and active membership, with a full Executive Board and even a VP for Club Development.

Compare that to the current chair, Brian Griffiths. Until the new slate seeking to replace him started rebuilding lost clubs, the total number of clubs was zero. The last chapter, the Western YRs, was shuttered in the last few years and folded into the state organization. And the state organization itself has been a disaster - they barely have enough people remaining to keep the group officially open. The state club's website hasn't been updated since 2013 and consists mostly of promoting Griffiths himself.

Let me be plain - Griffiths trashed the MDYRs and used the remaining platform entirely for self-promotion. He burned down the club so that he could call himself chair of a state political organization, lavishly praise himself in third person, and generally strut around like he mattered.

I've spoken with a substantial number of people since getting involved in MD politics. All of them have the same thought: if you want something done, you cannot include the YRs. You can't even tell them about it, because Griffiths will try to get involved, and the initiative will die.

Griffiths bashes everything. I've spoken with him several times, before I knew who he was, and I couldn't believe he was YR Chair, as he attacked both the national YRs and the Western YRs when I spoke with him. He threw his own people under the bus simply out of reflex. Compare that to Ambrose's answer to Question Five

It's a symptom of how far the MDGOP had fallen that someone like Griffiths could maintain a chairmanship for as long as he had. Hopefully, the new slate will be able to recover and rebuild what was lost under Griffiths' leadership.

If you like this work, please share it on Facebook and Twitter, and consider donating a few dollars.

No comments:

Post a Comment