Thursday, May 26, 2016

INTRODUCING: GA State Representative Tom Taylor - District 79

May has been one busy month.

Tom asked me to recreate his website back in November 2015 when initial plans were being laid for his reelection campaign.

This updated WordPress version launched at the beginning of May 2016.  The responsive design was a traditional American political approach.  The content was formatted to highlight Tom's voting and bill promotion record during his previous time in the House, his record of community support prior to taking the District 79 seat for the first time, plus other commentary as needed.

So why am I talking about this "new" website a month after launch?

Due to the news coverage of Tom's arrest and subsequent legal questions, this was not a typical election season.  Every focus of this website, plus the social media that I also managed, had to be on Tom's record.  Any distraction could diminish the results.  Plus, the opponent in this campaign has a history of aggressive and even violent behaviour and his political supporters weren't much better.  Personal safety procedures, both online and real life, were not afterthoughts.

When anyone of any profession chooses to get into a supportive role in politics or government, it's smart to count the cost beforehand.  I went through this same process when I worked for Nancy Jester's campaign and subsequent Commissioner's websites and former Councilwoman Adrian Bonser's site.  When it comes to building a website and/or managing social media, I work for the official or candidate.  But in the rest of reality and the universe, they work for me as my elected representative.   When everything is going smoothly, that dichotomy is no big deal.  You don't even notice it.  But when there is a legal conflict or problem, it gets complicated.

I resolved it by compartmentalizing my opinions and feelings where the legal issues were concerned from my technical skill and expertise on websites.  That's a skill I picked up while working in oncology research back in the day when I had to turn my feelings off to work with cancer patients in one study or another.    Your reactivate your feelings and process them later when the job is done.

In politics and government, there are going to be legal problems and conflicts.  It's an inevitable nature of the beast.  It's OK if a professional decides they don't want to handle it.  But you make that decision BEFORE you take a job, not after.  I kept my commitment to Tom that I had made 6 months prior to the election getting hot and heavy.  I keep my commitments to all of my clients in the same way.

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