Mobile App Project Background
One day in May 2012 while listening to the radio my attention was caught after learning that Gary was going to be interviewed by the host. Feeling rather discouraged by the prospect of a 2nd Obama term I was interested to hear what Governor Johnson had to say and what he might be planning for his 2012 campaign.
To make a long story short I called the radio show and was the last caller and told Governor Johnson that money would make him competitive and that I had some ideas I wanted to share. He receptively replied with “Call the Utah office and talk to Grant”. And so I did.
Believing that a mobile app going viral would be a great fund raising arrow in his quiver, I talked to Grant and let him know what I had in mind and I had talked to Governor Johnson who instructed me to call and coordinate my efforts with him. Well, within a couple of days I had put together a prototype. I sent Grant a message containing a preview video asking him to review and to provide guidance.
I believe Grant and the campaign would be ecstatic about the app (which got some very nice reviews by the way) and that I’d get a thumbs up back in short order. However this was not the case and was my first clue that the Gary Johnson for President 2012 was being run by an organization that left me scratching my head.
Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and in spite of regular follow ups, received no response from the campaign office. Personally I had to wonder because each passing day without an app was costing the campaign money. The campaign needed money and the app would help, so why wasn’t the campaign more supportive? They were missing the window of opportunity and it didn’t make any sense.
Better To Seek Forgiveness Than Ask Permission
Finally come the end of August decided it was better to ask for forgiveness than permission and just finished and published the app to the Google Play store. I got tired of waiting and had invested enough time and energy to not want the project to dry up so I just did it. Besides the fact – I wasn’t even charging him for it. I was a dedicated individual who wanted to help a candidate get some gravity.
Still not much excitement from them and even though they got unlimited push notifications and the app was getting downloads they either were too thick to recognize the opportunity or they weren’t really running a serious campaign. Personally I think both explanations fit but that’s just my opinion.
The Apple iTunes Bias
Shortly thereafter we submitted the app to iTunes and here the story gets a bit interesting. Upon first review Apple rejected the app stating that it didn’t have enough “entertainment” value. “Excuse me! Entertainment value?”.
We quickly reworked the app and resubmitted because Apple approves apps in a much different way than Google. In contrast Apple will take 7 days before they review it, where Google will accept the app file and in a couple of hours the app is live.
Well Apple rejected the app the 2nd time and now it was the middle of October and a colleague suggested that I not rework it a 3rd time and just upload it again and lo and behold 3 days before the election Apple approved the app.
Why would Apple approve it after the 3rd submission when there was no difference between the 2nd and 3rd submission is a mystery. Was it politics? Don’t know but the story continues.
Meeting Gary Johnson
The night of the election Gary Johnson held a reception at the Albuquerque hotel and I had every intention of introducing myself as the mobile app volunteer and to offer continued support. I was convinced he’d run again in 2016 (because the domain was already registered) and he not only needed a podcast, he would benefit from a Kindle book as well.
After a few hours Governor Johnson showed up and I was able to introduce myself to him as well as his assistant. He expressed appreciation and I felt good after the meeting because there was every indication that the project would expand.
Gary Johnson Organization Disappoints Again
Phone calls not returned, promises not kept and in spite of the fact that we developed the app for free and donated it to the campaign they complained about the minimal monthly charge (to cover my costs) for unlimited push notifications and the robust CMS backend. Finally in February 2013 they stopped supporting the monthly and then went dead silent until later in 2013 when I received an email message from the Utah organization that I would consider to be somewhat disrepectful.
Without expressing any appreciation or even addressing us by name (company or otherwise) send a message referring to us in the 3rd person asking for the app to be removed. Suffice to say we didn’t hold back in our response and the app remains as our proud contribution to the cause of Liberty.
Gary Johnson for President Mobile App Video
PS: The app is retired. So you won’t find it on the app stores any longer. Good luck Gary in 2016