Updated Building the Case Against Kevin DuJan
Note from the site administrators: This piece was originally posted on November 21, 2010. It was accidentally deleted on November 28, 2010. The original post and most of the comments are available here. At the end of the original post, we have added a short summary of the facts that led us to the conclusions asserted in the original post.
First off, I just want to take a moment to say how amazed and impressed I am that so many of us found our way to the same spot. It confirms everything that I believe is great about this country.
If any of you have been following my comments here, at C4P, at Lucianne or at Snarkopolitan the past several days, you’ll see that among the initial posters on this site, I have taken the most aggressive and outspoken stand against Hillbuzz. You might have also seen that in the six months between December 2009 and May 2010, I contributed roughly $600 to the Hillbuzz cause and developed what I thought was a personal friendship with Kevin. A cynic might conclude that the reason I have been so outspoken is that I am upset with Kevin on a personal level. I am not. I hope that Kevin leads a long, happy, healthy life, and I couldn’t care less about the money. Do I feel foolish about having been taken in by someone who I now believe to be a con artist? Absolutely, but it only happened because I showed compassion and generosity toward someone who I believed was in need, which I would do over and over and over again. If this were only about me, then I would have forgotten Hillbuzz months ago. This is about doing all that I can to make sure that not another person is fooled like I was or mistreated like shelby68, Chrissy, Angelaisms, FranklytheNut and perhaps countless others have been.
Notice that as aggressive and as outspoken as I have been, Kevin has not come after me personally at his blog and he has not ventured over here to take issue with anything that we have to say. Now, he might say that it is because life is too short and he has too many other important things to do than to bother with us. After all, his blog is purportedly on the verge of 13 million hits and ours just started a few days ago. But that never stopped him from going after The BiggotBasher or Mrs. Polly at Snarkopolitan. (Despite what you may have heard, they are not evil incarnate—even though they are democrats. And I will always be grateful to Mrs. P. for providing us with a “safe haven” before Motley so graciously opened this place for us.)
The reason Kevin has not come after me or this blog is because he knows we’re telling the truth. He also knows that I will defend my position in any court of law or public forum or private living room to the end of time. The reason he has not threatened me with a slander or libel suit for calling him a two-bit con artist every chance that I get is because he knows that truth is an absolute defense to those types of claims. Conveniently, with all of his recent media attention, he is now, arguably, a public figure, making the standard for proving such claims even higher.
I am working with others here to compare notes and assemble the facts to articulate the objective basis for our recent conclusions about Kevin DuJan. With their permission, I will make the whole narrative available to anyone who wants it when it is ready. Again, this is not about exacting revenge. It is about making sure this never happens to any of us ever again. If you have facts that you wish to share, please send them to Motley at firstname.lastname@example.org attn. AFinch.
While I’m on this mission, others here will make sure that the conversation stays balanced and that this site does not devolve into just another anti-Hillbuzz site. We all came together because we enjoy each other’s cyber company and the free and open exchange of ideas that we found on the best days at Hillbuzz. Hopefully we can recreate that here without the constant refrains that had begun to conjure images of Joan Crawford saying “No wire hangers, ever!”
And if you start to hear those things from us, I hope you will tell us. To paraphrase The Most Interesting Man in the World: “Stay ungovernable my friends.” (h/t to whoever first said it on the internet or on the radio. I did not originate it.)
Most of us here are former readers and supporters of Hillbuzz.org and its proprietor, Kevin DuJan. We started leaving that site slowly and then in droves after Mr. DuJan published a post on Nov. 6, 2010 about volunteering with the USO. Although that post encouraged readers to do something to support the military during the holidays, it also made harsh, sweeping generalizations about conservatives that offended many long-time readers. The true insult for many of us, however, came not in the post, but in the following comments:
Thank you JoAnn!!! Using a large paintbrush to color is most ineffective
What are you doing to help the USO?
Please list.Log in to Reply
November 7, 2010 at 2:11 am USO is not organization which receives my family’s charitable time or charitable donations. My former husband already gave the ultimate sacrifice to the military and to the country. I think our family’s contributions to the government and to the military are marked paid in full.Log in to Reply
November 7, 2010 at 2:37 am What do you do for the USO?
If nothing, please explain why you can’t find one day a week to support our troops.
Am dying to hear why you are too busy or important to volunteer.
Please explainLog in to Reply
November 7, 2010 at 4:19 am Best of luck to you in your future endeavorsLog in to Reply
The entire post and comments have been scrubbed from the Hillbuzz site, but remain available here. [UPDATE As of December 5, 2010, the link to google cache no longer works. Mrs. P at snarkopolitan.blogspot.com has the USO post and most of the comments archived here.]
Mr. DuJan’s treatment of someone who had identified herself as a widow of a man killed in action (in a post addressing service to the USO no less), was jarringly inconsistent with his oft-proclaimed respect for and support of the military. Ironically, in the week after this exchange, both the USMC’s 235th birthday and Veteran’s Day passed with no mention of either from Mr. DuJan.
The USO thread was not the first time Mr. DuJan had used his blog to verbally abuse readers and commentors. During the summer and fall of 2010, Mr. DuJan used separate posts to distort messages from and publicly scold two different readers who had done nothing more than send him innocuous suggestions to improve his posts. It was after the second incident that beloved Hillbuzz contributor, ChrissytheHyphenated, decided to terminate her relationship with the site and with Mr. DuJan. When readers later asked about Chrissy’s delayed absence, Mr. DuJan lied repeatedly, telling readers that Chrissy was on vacation.
Mr. DuJan also used his site to solicit contributions to attend political events (among other things) in 2010, specifically invoking his “all-in” commitment to a Palin 2012 presidential bid to generate enthusiasm and contributions. For example, he sought donations to attend the Restoring Honor rally in Washington D.C. and the Reagan dinner in Iowa, promising full reports from those events in return. Although he attended the Restoring Honor rally, Mr. DuJan never submitted the five-part analysis he promised to his readers about that event. Mr. DuJan failed to attend the Reagan dinner altogether and ignored phone calls and messages from readers who were planning to meet him there. He never explained to readers how their contributions to send him to that event were used. Moreover, after soliciting donations all year to go places to cover political events, Mr. DuJan did not attend the November 2010 Conservatives4Palin meet-up in Chicago, which would have cost him almost nothing. (C4P is one of the best-known pro-Plain websites on the internet and Mr. DuJan is listed as a contributor there.) Again, these examples demonstrate that Mr. DuJan’s conduct is inconsistent with the persona he uses to generate readership, media attention and monetary contributions.
After we started this site, we learned that Mr. DuJan had done these types of things before. Specifically, during September and October 2008, Mr. DuJan (via Hillbuzz) solicited funds for a grassroots push through Pennsylvania, purportedly for PUMAs. Many gave money, but never heard any news or reports from the supposed grassroots group. When readers questioned Hillbuzz they were ignored and, in some cases, their comments were deleted. (Per lmg at C4P on the Nov. 20 open thread at 6:15 p.m.)
Similarly, following the USO debacle, comments from readers began disappearing. Mr. DuJan blamed lost comments on WordPress deficiencies, announcing that everyone would have to register with WordPress to continue commenting. This led some to believe that comments were not appearing simply because they had logged in incorrectly or that dozens of readers left because they did not want to register. In truth, Mr. DuJan was deleting posts and comments from some people and surgically editing individual comments and entire threads of conversation. It has become clear that Mr. DuJan only allows comments to be posted that support his narrative, while leaving his readers in the dark about the extent of his comment manipulation. These are not the actions of an open and honest broker.
These examples and others too numerous to mention here exhibit a pattern of erratic and dishonest conduct, leading to the conclusion that anyone dealing with Hillbuzz.org or Mr. DuJan should do so with caution.