Cean Stevens tells all from campaign trail, and it's blistering - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, June 13, 2021
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Cean Stevens tells all from campaign trail, and it’s blistering

LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATE SAYS SHE WAS TERRIFIED OF CAMPAIGN MANAGER

On the eve of the Alaska Libertarian Party convention this weekend, former Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Cean Stevens didn’t just blow the whistle on what happened with her campaign in 2016, when she dropped out so Joe Miller could run.

She sent a bombshell letter to members of the Alaska House and Senate, and posted it on Facebook, detailing events leading up to her quitting her campaign. And it’s ugly.

It’s a story of sexual harassment, psychological manipulation, controlling behavior, and ultimately a sense of being terrified of her own campaign manager. She also detailed how she got forced out of her party’s nomination by Joe Miller, her campaign manager, and how her party officers stabbed her in the back.

“It is also the dirty side of our governmental system that everyone seems to know about but that no one on the inside has been able to cure,” she wrote in her introduction.

Michael Chambers, her former campaign manager, said: “Well, there are always two sides to every story, as you know. Timing — the ALP convention is on Saturday. Cean wants to try to protect the board. She is the secretary and her husband is the vice chair.”

Michael Chambers

Stevens described a series of events that led her to contract with Chambers as her campaign manager. Chambers, known as the instigator of a group called “Mission Critical,” offered his services pro bono “in the name of liberty.”

Within a few weeks, Stevens wrote, Chambers became domineering. “He subtly worked to isolate me from any outside input. This behavior was orchestrated by my campaign manager who is supposed to be a candidate’s subordinate – but who is too often not.”

According to Stevens, Chambers insisted on spending every waking hour with her, and his ego demanded constant feeding. She felt mentally drained by having to compliment him and praise him. If she fell short in her praise, she said he would cut communications with her. She kept having to come up with new and creative compliments to feed his ego, she said.

“The more that I tried to make independent decisions or seek outside feedback, the more he would become indirectly manipulative and controlling which made me feel bound by his demands.”

Chambers tells it differently: “Cean wanted me over to her house all the time. She put a desk in there for me. We were working 50-80 hours a week on her web site. For us to take that campaign that far, there had to be a tremendous amount of coordination. I was controlling? Cean is very strong-willed woman. For me to be controlling her would be ridiculous.”

Chambers said Stevens was on him constantly and the relationship he described between the two was tumultuous, but most campaigns are volatile. He said the texts she published that were between them were taken out of context and were in relationship to verbal conversations the two had been having for some time.

Stevens continues in her expose through hundreds of more words explaining her deteriorating relationship with Chambers. Her post on Facebook has been viewed by now by hundreds.

ENTER JOE MILLER

Then Stevens was contacted by the then-chair of the Alaska Libertarian Party, with the news that Joe Miller was planning to run against her for the party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by Lisa Murkowski. Over the course of the next few days, she was pressured to resign so that Miller could jump in the race.

She said the party chair started sending her sample resignation letters, and she finally relented, only to be immediately filled with regret that she’d been bullied into dropping out.

“While my character was under attack, the messages of indignation, questions of why and disappointment flooded every aspect of my life, whether asleep or awake. I had to begin ridding my home and working space of all things that reminded me of the experience with my campaign manager and a political position that I had worked so hard to win. I cannot express how difficult this was for me. I started to remove the campaign materials, agendas, calendars, and strategy lists from my space.

Joe Miller

“In the process of cleaning up and purging, I was horrified to come across the root of what my gut was trying to tell me all along. The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies, right? My supporters felt betrayed, because they had been, just as I had been by my campaign manager and my party’s Chair.

“What had been left behind on my home computer was evidence of an absolute collusion between the current Chair of the Alaska Libertarian Party — since formally removed — and the former Chair-my campaign manager, scheming to convince me to step aside for the new candidate. The collusion and double-crossing had started weeks before I was ever approached with stepping down. I also found scathing character assassinations filled with lies and deceit that my campaign manager was sending out to individuals who were supporting my campaign- and to the very politician who took my place. While harassing me from his role as my highest level professional assistant, he had actually been apprising people that I was pulling out of the race weeks before I had been approached with the idea. It’s hard to articulate how sick this treachery left me feeling or how physically ill I felt processing these events.

Must Read Alaska asked Cean Stevens if the material she posted at Facebook was authentically hers, and she confirmed that it is. Stevens is still listed as the secretary of the Alaska Libertarian Party.

Chambers denied all the accusations that were made in the letter. “It’s not true at all,” he said.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • I was not Cean’s webmaster nor otherwise involved during her US Senate run. But, us webmasters and political hacks talk to each other. Chamber was incompetent and an absolute nightmare to work with.

  • Why is Ken Erickson, the webmaster for the Alaska State Legislature, House Republican Coalition piling on here?

    Is it payback because Michael Chambers has been incredibly effective and tireless in opposing the senate and house Republican organizations’ cave-in to Governor Walker’s PFD seizure and failure to cut the bloated budget and wasteful spending?

    • Mr. Kreig,

      I have nothing but respect for you. I’ve followed your political career for many years.

      I am a former webmaster, I’m now retired. And happily kitesurfing my brains out on Maui. You are way … way … way overthinking it. My loyalty is to myself. Not the old house majority/new house minority. Frankly, I was always too moderate for them and when I decided not to support Mr. Trump they chose not to renew my contract. Its their right and choice. No worries on either side. I’m in a far better place.

      Why am I taking Cean’s side you ask. I believe her.

      I was Cean’s campaign webmaster in 2012 and 2014. I bumped into Chambers in 2013/14 ish. He really is incompetent when it comes to web stuff. He just doesn’t understand the differences between file types and file sizes and what is needed to build a website. I always had to recreate the photography/imagery/logo art he provided and it added many many hours to my task. It was annoying and unnecessary. His input was basically useless. My assumption was he was clueless and couldn’t be taught because of the huge ego. I avoided him whenever I could.

      I’ve worked in and managed many republican campaigns in the past. I’ve never macked on and obsessed over the candidate. At best it clouded his judgement. At worst it turned into something far darker. That is the very definition of unprofessional and dare I say “incompetent”.

      From my 27 years of working in politics I can say that people are rarely all one thing. But, Chambers messed up here. Lets hope he has other redeeming qualities. I’m not seeing them at the moment, but lets hope they are there.

      Cheers. If you ever find yourself on Maui and you and yours want to learn how to kiteboard look me up.

      For those of you who want to talk to me you can find my contacts at http://www.alaskapolitics.com/contacts/.

      K

      • OK Ken, Thank you for clarifying this. I am relieved that this is not some sort of payback.
        Compared to a professional webmaster like yourself, I also would certainly be “incompetent” at the webwork but I had no choice but to try and learn the software under the pressure of the campaigns because the money available had to be used for the ad buys; none left for any web consultants.
        I do reiterate that Chambers is very competent at the policy and communications tasks…and he is very dedicated to standing up for good public policy.
        Thank you for that invite to Maui. I expect to be there in the next year and will try and look you up! Ray

  • The problem is politics. And power. Political Power.
    Joe Miller is no Libertarian. Period.
    He does not understand nor does he follow the NAP, does not agree with Libertarian Foreign policy.
    With what little I have talked with the Alaska Libertarian party, they don’t understand the NAP either.
    I doubt most of them even know who Murray Rothbard is, who is Mr. Libertarian, or understand Austrian economics.
    Libertarians don’t believe in political power, we want the end of State power over Individual Liberty.
    The State is our Enemy. Period.
    Read Albert Jay Nock’s, “Our enemy the State”. Rothbard’s “Anatomy of the State”. Mises’s “Human Action”. Bastiat’s “The Law”.
    These are Libertarian ideals.
    These people playing and vying for political power in Alaska are not Libertarian.

    They are just riding along hoping to gain political power from it. The problem is, Libertarianism does not promote political power.

    We are the Radicals and the enemies of the State, in the Spirit of Locke, Jefferson, and Sam Adams.

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