The Charles Lollar trainwreck continues. As I noted last week, their website was totally down Monday and then the above placeholder image popped up on the site that evening. Note there is not an authority line on the graphic (i.e. the whole placeholder site), as required by state law.
The site, lollar4governor.com, has remained effectively down with the placeholder graphic ever since. That’s over a week now with no access to a Charles Lollar campaign site for any potential voter who might be looking for information on him or who might have gotten the address via campaign literature.
Of course, the draftcharleslollar.com version of the site remained up at first. Apparently, in reaction to my story pointing out it still had the old version of the website, the domain name was redirected so that it points to the lollar4governor site now (as does charleslollarforgovernor.co.)
Additionally, the lollar4governor.com domain is no longer registered to Moshe Starkman, who I pointed out last week is no longer involved with the campaign. Starkman’s information does still show up in the domain registry from the draftcharleslollar and the .co sites. The lollar4governor domain registry information now has the campaign as the registrant with 2420 West Street in Annapolis as the address and 877-908-1910 as the phone number. The other two domains that now refer to lollar4governor are still registered in Starkman’s name.
Yesterday, the Lollar campaign’s social media accounts posted a link to lollar.nationbuilder.com which was later deleted. This NationBuilder site is obviously still under construction and it appears they may be trying to do the site in-house. There are blank issue pages that have yet to be built out. There are errors in the copy and the layout and formatting of the text is visually unimpressive. This is the third iteration of the campaign logo counting the Achieve the Dream alternate logo. To me, there is also too much white space in this site as it is under development and the font in the logo (and other places) is unattractive.
I am even more dumbfounded by the fact that they are building their new site on NationBuilder after taking the main site down. The technical aspect of flipping the switch on the main site so it looks like the NationBuilder one they are developing now wouldn’t be significant that different had they left their old site up for the past week.
Instead, they’ve lost Google PageRank due to their lack of any text on the placeholder site. They’ve lost anybody who tried to visit their site via a Google search or who saw the URL on campaign literature. All of this goes along with the fact that nobody could sign up for their email list or give donations through the website for the past week. This is just unacceptable for anyone wanting to be taken seriously as a candidate.
Additionally, the implosion of the Lollar campaign continues. Joe Crawford, who was doing social media, and Chris Cherest, who worked with former communications director John Arnold, are both no longer involved in the campaign.
Here’s a running tally of some of the major issues with the campaign in additions to all the web problems discussed above:
- there was the campaign kickoff bus with out-of-state tags
- that bus tour included two employees of campaign manager Karen Winterling’s business who were there at the expense of the business
- one of those two employees was Jason Boisvert, who spent five months in jail last year after being arrested on primary election day at a polling place
- the campaign admitted to a reporter they didn’t know what the MSEA is
- the campaign sent a horribly-executed email out that left money on the table
- Recent departures from the campaign include Jeremiah Hughes, Karen Hinkson, Mike Phillips, Moshe Starkman, Joe Crawford, Chris Cherest, John Arnold, and Trevor Smith
- there was a controversy about Lollar’s previous congressional campaign paying him a salary
- Lollar was late to a radio debate moderated by Del. Pat McDonough on WCBM last week
- Supporters are noticing all the campaign mismanagement.
- Lollar has missed several GOP events his opponents attended including the MD GOP Oktoberfest and the Prince George’s County Lincoln Day Dinner.
One person pointed out recently to me that, if the GOP primary was getting the same amount of attention as the Democratic primary at this point, that Lollar would be the GOP equivalent to Doug Gansler, based solely on self-inflicted gaffes. I disagree. Lollar was doing it way before Gansler, so that makes Gansler the Democrat equivalent to Lollar, based on gaffes.
This all is a result in mismanagement of the campaign by Karen Winterling and Lollar’s apparent misplaced loyalty to someone who isn’t doing him much good. I’m not sure why there has been a reluctance to make a change in a situation that is so obviously bad, since he went through 3 or 4 campaign managers in his congressional campaign.
Online polls are themselves not scientific and dont mean that much, except for general trend tracking. However, Lollar’s campaign heavily pushed the October Red Maryland poll. They not only pushed people to vote for Lollar, but to vote that they thought it was okay for a candidate to pay himself a salary.
Lollar finished below undecided in the poll, even though people in his campaign were pushing it. 11% of the campaign voters self-identified as a member of a county GOP’s central committee. This doesn’t bode well for Lollar generally. Additionally, most people who voted in the poll thought it was inappropriate for a congressional candidate to receive a salary from campaign funds. When you look at just the people who voted for Lollar in the poll, only a very thin majority thought it was okay.
I suspect we have not heard the last of Lollar campaign mismanagement, miscues, or gaffes as the campaign moves forward.
Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.
Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.