Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Friday, May 26, 2006

Ooops! Merdon apparently has some fence-mending to do with some Republicans

GOP voters bristle at Merdon's behavior
Spat is over testy dialogue at event and later e-mails
By Larry Carson
Sun reporter
Originally published May 26, 2006

(You'll have to read the article for yourself. Whether this spat will have a long-lasting life remains to be seen.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many faux pas, so little time...

At least at some points in this exchange, both parties did extend apologies.

Mr. Merdon's chair reservation did concur with the rules posted on -
"Prom Do place your napkin on the back of your chair if you are leaving to use the ladies room" (or in this case just planning to return to the seat).

So, Round 1 might go to Mr. Merdon were it not for it seeming a stretch for someone to expect a table worth of seating be held idle at an event with 300 attendees and 165 seats and for the event's host later stating that the event didn't have reserved seating.

(I'm not sure who decided napkins should be used as a signalling tool by placing them on chairs. It seems rather unsanitary to me.)

Mr. Merdon's e-mail reply could be construed as a lost opportunity to turn a bad situation into a better one. Instead, it became a bad situation turned into a worse one.

Also seeming lost was the opportunity to recognize that, even though Mrs. Lanuza's e-mail to the campaign didn't contain good news, she was providing both a response to an invitation (as manners would dictate) and feedback to the campaign regarding the candidate. Feedback in just about any context should be considered a gift. (Don't feel compelled to send me a thank you note.) So, Round 2 may go to the other party involved.

One good example of recognizing the value of feedback was a recent candidate for high federal office who, when having a campaign event interrupted by banner-carrying vocal protestors, had their campaign manager follow the protestors being escorted out of the event. The campaign manager ensured the protestors weren't arrested, obtained their contact information, arranged a meeting with the candidate, and actually had the candidate's policies in office changed as a result.

On the topic of e-mail's ability to backfire, a few politicians of note recently have said they don't use e-mail because "I don't want you reading my e-mail" and "nothing ever disappears". It seems a shame that these officials conducting public policy would be reluctant to have how they conduct public business able to be scrutinized later, but perhaps they know their own shortcomings and are just using common sense. Parties, however, who are compelled to avoid using e-mail because they may be held accountable for their words might be better suited to private business than public service. As far as that goes, at least Mr. Merdon gets credit for actually using e-mail.

More importantly, both parties in this disagreement should really be mindful of the purpose of the event they attended and keep future misunderstandings at such events cordial and inter se.

Then again, maybe next year's event could garner even more revenue if any transgressors of decorum are relegated to the reserved seating of a dunking booth.

11:48 PM  
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