By Michael Dresser
6:23 PM EDT, October 29, 2013
Charles Lollar, one of the three announced Republican candidates for governor next year, said his campaign web site has been off line for four or five days but denied its absence is a sign of disarray in his campaign.
Other Republican sources disagreed, with one respected blog on GOP affairs labeling the campaign a "train wreck."
In an interview Tuesday night, Lollar said the web site had been taken down to make revisions.
"We made it a decision to do it that way purposely because we changed the whole look," said Lollar, a Charles County business executive and Marine Reserve officer. "In 48 hours if not sooner, we'll see a beautiful site."
But Jeff Quinton, author of the Quinton Report blog, questioned why the campaign didn't follow the more typical practice of leaving the old site up and making a transition to the new site during a time of little traffic.
For now, however, clicking on the Lollar for governor site -- lollar4governor.com -- gets the message "Check Back Soon for the Grand Opening of Our New Website."
In recent weeks, Quinton has posted a series of reports of disarray, dissension and defections in the Lollar camp. Lollar said Tuesday night, after Quinton posted earlier in the day about continuing problems with the web site and the campaign, that Quinton's reports were an "absolute lie."
Brian Griffiths, president and programming director, of the Red Maryland online radio network, said Quinton has a good reputation for reporting on party affairs and that his reports are being taken seriously in the GOP.
Among the Lollar gaffes Quinton reported was the candidate's late arrival for a joint appearance with his rivals -- Harford County Executive David R. Craig and Del. Ron George of Anne Arundel County -- on Del. Pat McDonough's radio show on WCBM last week.
Lollar said his lateness, which he put at 10 minutes but Griffiths estimated at 20, was the result of getting lost.
Griffiths and Quinton said Lollar has also missed a number of large recent GOP events where statewide candidates usually flock to meet and greet potential supporters -- including the party's Oktoberfest celebration in Timonium and Lincoln Day dinners in Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties.
"It's a campaign in disarray. We've seen this for a while now," he said. He said the absence of a web presence was a serious problem because that is where potential supporters go for literature and the candidate's position o issues. Both Craig and George have functioning sites. Questioned about the status of his campaign, Lollar tried to change the subject to taxes and other issues. He declined to say whether campaign manager Karen Winterling remained on the job.
"We actually have a robust organization," Lollar said.
Lollar was the 2010 GOP nominee for the Fifth District congressional seat held -- then and now -- by Democratic U.S. Rep Steny Hoyer. Despite an energetic campaign, Lollar lost badly, but Griffiths said he retains a loyal following from that race.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun