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.”
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.
“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.