In Part I: The Atwater School of Politics, we detailed the first half of Michael L. Connell’s GOP career arc, from college-aged Bush 41 computer prodigy to seasoned smashmouth campaign planner.
In the latter half of the 90s, Connell’s return to hi-tech was a no-brainer, as the Internet explosion unearthed new pathways and paradigms for soliciting votes. With the creation of his company New Media Communications, Connell began to blaze a nascent “super-highway” and to begin the task of re-branding the Bush family legacy from “wimp” to “winner.” And by the end of the decade, New Media’s GeorgeWBush.com and GOP.com gilded Connell’s status as “a trusted partisan.”
So why was this Internet guru for the Republican Party — once fired for “unethical” campaign tactics – selected as the first private vendor to set up behind the firewall at the U.S. House of Representatives? And how did GovTech Solutions, the company he co-founded with scandal-ridden lobbyist Thomas J. Synhorst, get security clearance to re-design and install the Intelligence committee’s web site on the House intranet?
This article, “Part II: Behind the firewall,” picks up the Connell thread in 1996, when after a year of preparations, his company New Media Communications and the GOP start laying the foundation for the 2000 presidential election.
…and then something went wrong with his airplane… ~Deb