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March, 5th 2009

Krohn exits the RNC-- farewell, Cy!

– Liz Mair

As was reported earlier by the Washington Post's Jose Antonio Vargas (and announced by the man himself in a post over at the e-Voter Institute), today was my former boss, Cy Krohn's last day as the RNC's eCampaign Director. 

Here's what the Post wrote about Cy:

A veteran of Microsoft and Yahoo, Krohn joined the RNC in July 2007 and started to reboot the party's online infrastructure. Immediately, he launched new sites within GOP.com (such as GOPPlatform2008.com, which allowed visitors to help shape the party's platform in advance of the Republican National Convention), created the RNC's Facebook group (which now has roughly 7,000 more members than the Democratic National Committee) and grew the RNC's e-mail list from 1.8 to 12 million.

And here's what Cy had to say about achievements during his tenure:

The RNC made some notable gains during the past election cycle. I soon realized our online network was fragmented, our list of e-mail addresses was minimal and we lacked innovation. Today, we host 31 state parties on our website platform, and our e-mail universe has grown from 1.8 million to 12 million addresses. Based on our voter file matches with major web publishers’ databases, we can advertise online directly to 40 million-plus voters. We outperformed the DNC in several areas, accruing twice as many Facebook friends and producing our 2008 Party Platform using the internet. There is a lot more work to do, but the foundation has been laid for new faces to build upon.

[...]

Former RNC Chairman Mike Duncan and Chief of Staff Anne Hathaway hired me and I’m forever grateful.  Chairman Duncan’s appreciation and understanding of the importance of technology allowed our staff to flourish under difficult circumstances.

Collaborating with Sen. Richard Burr and Rep. Kevin McCarthy to create an interactive 2008 Republican Party Platform using the internet was a first for the nation and my proudest moment.

Karl Rove helped me architect an online strategy that contributed to victories, including those of Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Rep. Dave Reichert. Rep. John Boehner was kind enough to offer me the floor at the 2009 House Republican Leadership Conference where we set the stage for a technology revival with valuable input from Rep. Eric Cantor and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

During my time blogging, I've rarely posted personal notes-- and honestly, I don't intend to do much of that going forward.  But I will, just this once, do so to thank Cy.

All of us who care about the future of the Republican Party really ought to, because Cy did so much as eCampaign Director to really move the GOP forward online.  Like him, I'm not persuaded that we are woefully behind and can't catch up.  But I do think that without his leadership, there's a good chance we would be.  Cy really did move the party forward in all the ways described, and he imparted a huge volume of knowledge, understanding and expertise to those of us who were lucky enough to work with him.  To have him say of his former staff (of which I was fortunate to be a part) that we comprised "one of the most creative and dedicated teams I’ve worked with" is among the highest compliments that has ever been paid to me, and us, I'm sure.  RedState's Erick Erickson-- one of the most influential and important members of the Republican tech crowd-- has dubbed Cy a "technologist" (as opposed to a political type who consults about and hopefully gets technology).  He has done so accurately, I would add, though from my perspective Cy is much more-- he was about the best teacher that one planning to carry onward and upward in the space where technology and politics intersect could possibly have.  If you're wondering, he's also a heck of a lot of fun to work with.  And someone who never, ever micromanages and who gave me a tremendous amount of space (and backup, and confidence) to experiment, think (and act) outside the box, and accomplish things I was not convinced were possible at the outset of my time at the RNC.

So, anyway, this is all to say congratulations to Cy on a groundbreaking term serving at the RNC and thank you for everything-- the experience, the teaching, the support, the trust, and possibly above all, you letting me "redecorate" your office.  Enjoy life back in Seattle-- we need a few more Republicans out there! [intro]

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