Go RVing suspended its contract with long-time RV bloggers and media spokespeople Brad and Amy Herzog on June 29, after the couple announced the release of a satirical alphabet book about Donald Trump.
For the past 17 summers, the Herzogs have traveled the country, making media appearances to promote the RV lifestyle. About 13 families travel, write and promote the RV lifestyle for Go RVing, according to the group’s website.
The Herzogs’ intent to publish the book, “D is for Dump Trump” drew attention after they began a Kickstarter fundraiser to promote the book. With 27 days remaining, the campaign has raised $13,750, surpassing its original goal of $7,500.
According to the website, the book begins: “A is an anti-alphabet about an awful human being, an atrocious candidate we can’t believe we’re seeing.”
In a written statement, RVIA Director of Communications Bill Baker called the decision to suspend the contract “difficult,” but said the Association maintains a non-partisan political stance.
“Go RVing, and its principals, RVIA and RVDA, are nonpartisan. On both the federal and state level, the RV industry has a long and successful record of building and maintaining positive working relationships on both sides of the aisle on legislative and regulatory issues,” the statement read.
While the exact terms of the Herzogs’ contract are not known, Brad Herzog said the couple had no plans to use this year’s 50-day media tour to promote the book or discuss politics.
“We would never consider using our RVIA television platform to spout some sort of political rhetoric,” he told the Monterey Herald. “That job represented more than half our annual income. We were always careful to be completely professional and on message in that capacity.”
Despite the couple’s intent to compartmentalize the two projects, Go RVing leadership did not view the Herzogs’ political rhetoric as separable from the figures publicly representing its organization, according to the RVIA statement.
“As spokespersons for Go RVing, the Herzogs’ decision to merchandise a book that does not meet the nonpartisan position of our organizations, distracted from our core values of political neutrality,” the statement read.
Brad Herzog has authored about 30 books about sports, some of which include “W is for Wrigley” and “P is for Putt”. The couple’s first cross-country RV trip – a 314-day odyssey – is chronicled in the book “States of Mind”.
“It’s pretty remarkable to me that suddenly because it came out we had other lives that included creative ways of expressing the courage of our convictions, we were deemed toxic,” Brad Herzog told the Monterey Herald. “We’re sad about it because we have a lot of friends in the RV world who are great people and we’ve loved our RV experiences. I still think it’s a magical way to see the country.”
The full statement from the RVIA follows:
Go RVing suspended its 2016 media tour with Brad and Amy Herzog on June 29, 2016. The Herzogs have been long-time supporters of our industry and the RV lifestyle, and this decision was difficult. However, Go RVing, and its principals, RVIA and RVDA, are nonpartisan. On both the federal and state level, the RV industry has a long and successful record of building and maintaining positive working relationships on both sides of the aisle on legislative and regulatory issues. As spokespersons for Go RVing, the Herzogs’ decision to merchandise a book that does not meet the nonpartisan position of our organizations, distracted from our core values of political neutrality. Go RVing, RVIA and RVDA, will have no further comment on the matter.