The Republicans had big dreams of catching up to their Democratic counterparts when it came to the utilizing technology to advance their causes. Last summer, the Washington Post profiled the man that the Republican National Committee was counting on to take them to the next level, Microsoft and Yahoo veteran Cyrus Krohn.
The Post's "44" blog reports today that Krohn has resigned from his position as the RNC's online director, calling it a "heavy blow - not just to the RNC but to the conservative blogosphere." It was just two weeks ago, at a technology summit, that RNC Chairman Michael Steele said that leveraging the Internet to attract voters to the party was a top priority. And now, the RNC is without an online director.
But it wasn't the news of his resignation that caught my attention in this particular blog post. What struck me was the quote from Krohn about the GOP's need for "platforms and applications to allow more people to self-organize and become activists." The follow-up quote that caught my eye (bold-faced by me for emphasis) was:
Change comes quickly online and the tide will turn again in favor of the GOP, once we hone our message and harness emerging technologies. To do that, we must match Democrats, programmer-for-programmer. Regrettably, we're in terribly short supply of professionals focused solely on building platforms and applications. This is where we got dot bombed in 2006 and 2008. Maybe we should start providing computer science scholarships in exchange for a commitment to serve our party?
Really? Given the sheer number of layoffs in the tech industry in this country and the RNC is is "terribly short supply" of professionals. Maybe there are one or two laid off tech workers in Silicon Valley who might be a fit for these jobs. After all, in January alone, I counted more than 25,000 laid off workers in the tech sector.
In case no one at the RNC has heard, the unemployment rate in Santa Clara County, California - the capital of Silicon Valley - is above the national average these days.
I find it discomforting that such a statement could be muttered in these sort of economic times. If you're a laid-off tech worker who knows how to build platforms and apps, I hear the Republicans are in need of some techies.
Get that resume ready.