Eugene Craig

A Significant Step forward for Libertarians

The Maryland Republican Party has a new 1st-Vice Chairman. Collins Bailey, the incumbent darling of the “Liberty Movement”, went down to defeat to the newly elected Mary Burke Russell. Based on feedback I received on Friday night, this was in no small part to my piece from Thursday night detailing Bailey’s shortcomings.

Contrary to what you might think though, libertarianism had a really good day on Saturday.

Mary Burke Russell, the lady who defeated Bailey, has pretty good libertarian street cred herself. She was endorsed by Charles Lollar in her bid. But just because Bailey has been replaced doesn’t meant that libertarianism won’t be well represented in the #2 position within our party organization.

However, the biggest win for libertarianism came in the race for 3rd Vice-Chairman. The race between Eugene Craig, Tommy Rodriguez, and Rob Willoughby was an interesting race with an interesting dynamic. All three men were qualified for the job and the party would have been well served with any of them. In the end, Craig won on the 2nd ballot after Rodriguez dropped out and endorsed him.

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Craig’s victory is no small deal for libertarians. Craig is a well-respected Republican who has run for office, has a great media presence, and has done the work of helping to build the Republican Party. There’s plenty of reason to believe that he will be a hard-working 3rd Vice-Chairman who will be working to build the interests of the entire Republican Party.

So why is Craig’s victory a significant step forward for libertarians even as Collins Bailey lost? It’s a simple answer really, and it involves how libertarianism is presented.

Eugene Craig has worked hard to benefit the entire Republican Party. While Craig can be best described politically as a libertarian, it has not stopped him from building relationships and working across the entire Republican Party. That is his most distinguishing characteristic.

That characteristic is very much in contrast with Collins Bailey and the so called “Liberty Movement.” The Liberty Movement often times seems more concerned with the accumulation of power and the promotion of an agenda than they are with the Republican Party. And it shows in the way they conduct their political operations and the way they try to seize control of the party. They’ve even been inconsistent on the issues, trying to argue both sides of an issue. We already talked about how Bailey spent his summer, trying to oust Diana Waterman instead of trying to elect Republican candidates. I got passed along this note regarding some of the activities that occurred at the convention on Friday night:

Charles County’s Joe Crawford who didn’t get reelected to their central committee after over 20 years of being on it was the playground bully apparently for Collins Bailey Friday night at the convention. He got into a shouting match with Charles County CC member Mike Phillips . When PG County Chair Heather Olsen walked passed with a Mary Burke Russell sticker Crawford verbally accosted her, stating Collins had been supportive of PG County and recruited many candidates. When she asked for names, Crawford gave them and Olsen stated “I recruited those candidates” at which Crawford became belligerently angry and began to yell at Miss Olsen.

It makes a lot of sense to me. Crawford tried to drag me into an argument by loudly yelling at somebody “Collins Bailey is working to bring the party together, unlike some other people” as I walked by him.

Many folks have suggested that libertarianism needs a voice at the table. It has had that voice on the Executive Committee for the last 18 months with Collins Bailey. But now it has an adult voice in Eugene Craig, and that is a significant victory for them.

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