The American Conservative Union sent a message to Beau Correll, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Martinsville, VA, and former National Coalitions Director for Rep. Tom Tancredo’s presidential campaign, who created a facebook group right after CPAC 2008 to gin up excitement for CPAC 2009. The letter informed Beau that ACU would take legal action to get the facebook group removed. Beau sent the letter out to the whole group. All of the letters are below.
ACU is wrong and doesn’t get it.
First of all, these are supporters who have publicly declared their intention to go to CPAC, mostly a year early. Why on earth would you antognize them? These are mostly people who have attended in the past. Beau and the other organizers tried to bottle the excitement from the last CPAC and drive it forward for the next. I do not recall a CPAC in recent years that I did not get an invite to join a similar group immediately after CPAC. This is standard practice, and if ACU didn’t do it, they were clearly behind the curve.
Second, this shows how so much of the old conservative movement doesn’t understand how organizing has changed. The barrier to entry for supporters to organize is so low, especially on social networks. You no longer controll your brand, just as candidates can no longer control their message. They can shape it, but there is such a cacophony of organizers and activists who share your goals that all you can do is share information with them. Again, I know Beau, and I cannot imagine that he would not have helped.
It seems like we run into this routine every couple of months. Candidates try to take over groups, turning organizers into adversaries because they insist on total control and won’t play nice. Why won’t candidates or organizations learn?
See all the correspondence after the jump. And join the group.
You won’t believe this facebook message I got from a "Lisa De Pasquele"! You can read it and my response below.
Thanks for being a part of the group.
The chairman of the American Conservative Union Foundation has decided to pursue legal action with Facebook to get your CPAC 2009 group removed. Just wanted to let you know because I don’t know if they automatically disable groups during when legal complaints are brought.
Subj: Threat to sue over our Facebook group name
An Open Letter to "Lisa De Pasquale"
I just received your message on Facebook. Needless to say, I am a tad shocked you or (so you say) the chairman of the ACU, David Keene, are threatening legal action over the fact that I started an unofficial Facebook named, "CPAC 2009."
The group was created by a dedicated small government conservative (myself) and frequent attendee of past CPACs. My only intention was in providing an unofficial source for information and news for the ’09 gathering.
It is with a genuine sense of concern that I ask whether you threatened the same against unofficial CPAC 2008, 2007, and 2006 groups? Perhaps the reason you are threatening me is because this group has had more members than yours for several months now.
I don’t know.
But what I do know is that I find it doubtful that ACU members and donors would be pleased that you and Mr. Keene are so quick to spend their well-meaning contributions on what would be an expensive DC lawyer for such a sue-happy endeavor.
Speaking of frivolity, your demands do illustrate a much larger point.
What are you doing when you are not threatening legal actions against fellow conservatives?
Certainly not spending that time in trying to get a real conservative as the Republican nominee for President of the United States. Perhaps if you had done more of that then there would be less of a chance we would be stuck with a nominee who led the Amnesty for Illegal Aliens effort on the floor of the United States Senate.
Lastly, you told me months ago (yes, you didn’t have anything more important to do back then either) that the ACU (American Conservative Union) does not even own the name "CPAC 2009." Nor had they in previous years. So, I don’t think you are legally entitled to be the only user of the name either.
But alas, I do not have the time to continue to endure the yapping about the name of the group from an incessant whiner such as yourself. So, I will close it down.
You are Welcome,
CC: 619 members