Trouble attending events, leaving groups in the lurch
So the Baltimore Young Republican Club (meets at the Ropewalk, last Thursday of every month, I'm Secretary, please stop in. Not writing as Secretary, see disclosure page) had, since before it's founding, scheduled for this month's meeting Chrys Kefalas, currently running for US Senate in Maryland. This had been fixed since July, when Melanie Harris decided to start up the BYRs and arranged a number of speakers so we had reliable headliners when we got going. (Really, she did a fantastic job setting everything up). I was looking forward to meeting him.
Kefalas's staff contacted Melanie (Our chair) this morning, letting her know that he'd actually be in Chicago, speaking to big-money fundraisers, super-important deal. So he canceled the event he was headlining with less than 12 hours notice. His team even asked Melanie to make a statement to the effect that he was sorry but he had an important meeting to attend. In essence, he asked the people he canceled on to let everyone know he had something better to do.
Now, Melanie scrambled and got State Senator Johnny Ray Salling to speak instead. Credit to Melanie for being so quick and gratitude to Sen. Salling for agreeing to step in on such short notice, such kindness does not go unnoticed. (His Facebook page is here, he's not up for re-election until next cycle, but his campaign site is here.)
Kefalas's people then called back and said that he could do a Skype call to the club from Chicago, so that's what we got. Instead of a chance to meet and speak with the candidate, we got a cell-phone Skype video for about 5 minutes.
And, I hear, that the Reagan Republican club was also supposed to have Kefalas speak at a recent event for them as well, and was cancelled on too.
Half of politics is showing up, and a lot of the other half is treating people respectfully. Cancelling with roughly ten hours notice and then coming back and asking for a remote feed is disrespectful and selfish. Dropping everything to go chase big-dollar donors doesn't speak well of a candidate's priorities either. Every aspect of this move was a mistake, from prioritizing fundraising over prior commitments, to cancelling with no notice and even the nature of the explanation.
Kefalas's choice deeply damaged his standing within the MDYRs, perhaps irreparably.