Award-winning left-wing humorist and former National Lampoon editor, Steve Brykman, has infiltrated the Republican Party, working as a UX Designer & Strategist at Mitt Romney's Boston headquarters. For the hilarious inside story on one of the most insane, error-prone presidential campaigns in recent history, keep reading I'm with Mitt: Adventures in Amercia! Coming soon to a bookstore or eBook reader near you, assuming someone out there possesses the gumption to publish it.
Disclaimer: this blog will not be dictated by fact-checkers.
X. And an elevator for every car!
Monday - June 4
Nerd alert: mittromney.com is built entirely in Drupal, which is an open-source, free framework known for being full of bugs, also for making developers say things like, "If you change one thing, something else breaks!" As one of our developers is doing right now.
"We don't have a production team. We just do everything ourselves."
In spite of this, the digital team has outgrown its space at 585 Commercial and is being moved to a building about a block away. The new space has the smell of a dentist's office, the antiseptic cloud of halogenated anesthetics. Ironically, we share the building with the Massachusetts alcoholic beverages control commission. Coincidence??
I overheard this conversation between some dude and a maintenance guy whilst I was doing some beverage control of my own--on the crapper:
Unidentified Dude: "Secret service does all the background checks now. We can't give you all-access. You can't get into that room."
Maintenance Guy: "Why not?"
Dude: "You could do anything. Go into filing cabinets (we have no filing cabinets). Photocopy documents (they'd have to figure out how to print them first)."
Maintenance Guy: "We ain't that smart."
Which immediately made me think they are that smart, they're probably not even maintenance guys, and are right now hard at work wiretapping our building. Otherwise, why else would they be asking for all-access? Hmmm?
So, good and bad about the new office: nobody walks around in a dark suit, we're all nerds: developers, designers, writers, and interns. Jeans and button-downs. The bulk of us are sequestered in one large room, seated across from each other at long tables, though it seems like Romney bought the whole floor, perhaps even several. It's pretty awkward and strange and uncomfortable and has already significantly hampered my web surfing. Presumably we'll be hiring a lot more people to fill-up the place.
On the plus side, I am not far from a window and I can smell the briny sea air swirling around Old Ironsides across the Charles River Basin.
Tuesday - June 5
It was just announced that Romney outraised Obama for the month of May: 77 Million to 60 Million. I wonder how much of that had to do with my redesign of the online donation forms. Companies frequently have been known to increase revenue by millions in additional sales after moving or redesigning or simply relabelling one or two misplaced buttons. If such is the case here, I am being vastly underpaid.
I keep wondering how it's possible that all these nice young kids could possibly be Republicans. They're in their twenties, they don't have any money of their own, and they don't appear to outwardly possess any major prejudices. They do tend to talk about Church a lot, which is fine, whatever, and they are on the whole a pretty fit group. The only explanation I can think of is that their parents are loaded. I was guessing oil and gas. But then I overheard one of the dudes say his parents ran a boarding house, which I'm assuming is not an overly profitable venture. Likely though they at some point decided they wanted to stop giving away things to people who need them and switched over to banking, or something with the word finance in it, quickly made their fortune, and never looked back.
Thursday - June 7
Free lunch on the Gov! Wait, it's just pizza? Oh well. Wait. It's Domino's Pizza? Who orders Domino's pizza in the North End of Boston, you ask? To which I answer the Gov does, because (punchline #1) he thought they still had that 30 minutes or it's free deal. Or the Gov does, because (punchline #2) no one in the North End was willing to make 200 pizzas for the Republican party.
￼But the real answer is much simpler than that. The reason Mitt Romney ordered Dominos Pizza in the North End of Boston is because he owns the place.
Some days I really have to hold my tongue, and not just because of the bad pizza. Today, for example, we were all crammed into the elevator, our stomachs stuffed full of partially hydrogenated oils, and suddenly the thing starts bouncing like a cable's about to snap. We all looked at each other nervously and an unutterable thought popped into my head, "It's too bad we're not one of Romney's cars, because then he'd have gotten us a much better elevator."
While we're on the subject of bad infrastructure. Here's a Washington Times story from May 3rd. You may not have seen it as it didn't get a lot of air time:
The headline reads: "Romney super PAC donors put at credit card risk -- Online security called lacking." Here's the gist: "The political fund that has raised more than $50 million to support Mitt Romney's bid for the presidency has been collecting money online with a system so insecure that it exposes donors' credit card information to even casual snoopers...Restore Our Future, the super PAC helmed by former top Romney campaign officials...has for months been accepting credit card information without any type of security, leaving the card numbers easily accessible...anyone on the same wireless network could effortlessly record a donor's credit card number as it is submitted."
Restore Our Future is "a destination for exceedingly large donations; 149 contributors have given $100,000 or more." In spite of this, they don't even have a phone. Melanie Sloan, executive director for watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics asks, "'How can any business that size not have a phone? Most businesses generating $50 million in revenue want a website so people can learn about the organization...but this has been intended to be as hidden from public view as possible...If anything says, "We only care about our richest donors," this does.'"
Stay tuned for the next warm and fuzzy installment of Steve Brykman's 'I'm with Mitt: Adventures in Amercia!' featuring more lack of concern for your presumably hard-earned money. Coming soon!