A week ago, I was able to break national news regarding the involvement of the Young Americans for Liberty in Brian Calley’s part-time legislature campaign. The article caused an immediate stir, and elicited a caustic response from the YAL national leadership.
Although I was hoping for YAL to take responsibility for what they had done and at the very least ensure that they would be more careful when signing on to future campaigns, I realize that Washington D.C. organizations do not typically operate in that manner. Transparency is a four-letter word inside the Beltway, and although “liberty” may be in the organization’s title, YAL is clearly not immune to the sinister machinations of the swamp.
For the record, I have spoken to various YAL groups throughout the state of Michigan, and maintain a solid rapport with certain chapter leaders. Additionally, I help administer the Oakland County chapter of Campaign for Liberty, and I serve on the board of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Michigan. So it is not in my personal interest to see liberty organizations be disgraced. Far from it, in fact. Nevertheless, every organization needs to be held accountable and exposed if it is engaging in shady or possibly illegal behavior. In my opinion, an organization should be held to a higher standard if it carries the banner of liberty. My article demonstrated with facts how YAL activists and resources were funneled into a campaign to rehabilitate the deservedly poor reputation of one of the worst big government Republicans in the state, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.
The response from YAL leadership to my article was predictably underwhelming. YAL President Cliff Maloney Jr. released a 10,000 word manifesto proclaiming his complete and wholehearted innocence in an obvious attempt to garner sympathy from his flock. Maloney’s verbose screed may not have indicated guilt in and of itself (although as Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”) but his campaign of secrecy certainly raises questions. Maloney would not allow anyone to comment anything that was critical to his narrative on his Facebook page. He immediately deleted and blocked anyone who didn’t give a laudatory comment toward him. Defamatory and libelous statements about myself and the publisher of the article were kept in tact, of course. Unable to face basic criticism or even answer a simple question about his involvement in the campaign, Maloney was forced to retreat to his echo chamber.
It is understandable to delete rude and harassing comments from a social media profile, but Maloney went far beyond that. He even deleted comments from radio host “Trucker” Randy Bishop, who was tagged in the comments section of Maloney’s post. Bishop just wants to interview Maloney and ask him questions about the campaign that are on the minds of grassroots conservatives and libertarians throughout Michigan. You would think that Maloney would be happy to clear the air to Michigan patriots if he had nothing to hide, wouldn’t you? Calley’s PTL campaign needs to win over the grassroots if they actually want to have a successful campaign, after all. Maloney’s silence cannot be seen as anything but a contemptuous gesture toward the Michigan grassroots.
Soon after Maloney released his screed, the spin machine began circling. YAL brass and their apologists actually had the nerve to claim that this was not a YAL campaign. Although Calley’s part-time legislature campaign was pushed by YAL leadership with YAL activists advertised with YAL’s style of graphics and YAL’s exact talking points, they are telling their activists that YAL had nothing to do with it. Imagine the contempt that you would need to have for your activists to sell them that line of baloney with a straight face. Additionally, promotional emails from an “@randpaul.com” email address was exploited to promote the cause to unassuming young liberty activists. The obvious implication here is that this is a campaign on behalf of Young Americans for Liberty.
Promotional emails for Brian Calley’s PTL campaign go out to YAL activists through an “@randpaul.com” email address.
YAL’s bizarre and insulting spin attempt begs the questions: Could this distinction have been made by YAL to skirt compliance with federal election law? Did Sen. Rand Paul or his staffers collude on behalf of this campaign as well? Long-time Rand advisor Doug Stafford was one of the primary individuals doing damage control on social media for Calley’s PTL campaign. We are examining these details and more for follow-up articles over at the Liberty Conservative Magazine right now. If not illegal, this is certainly an immoral and deceitful way to avoid having to take responsibility of your actions.
Maloney isn’t the only member of YAL leadership who apparently has something to hide. YAL’s Director of Mobilization Justin Greiss did not want YAL activists in his Facebook network to see the following video. Why would Young Americans for Liberty not want their activists to see what the top grassroots liberty activists of Michigan think about their part-time legislature campaign?
This clip features David Dudenhoefer, who has served as the Deputy Leader of Michigan Campaign for Liberty for many years, and more recently, the leader of the 13th District Congressional Republicans. He was on the radio show “Your Defending Fathers” talking about this story last week. As per usual, the Dude kept it real. Dudenhoefer stated that Michigan Campaign for Liberty, which has led the grassroots liberty movement in Michigan for more than eight years, was not consulted by YAL or anyone before the part-time legislature campaign was created. He described the campaign as a “fishing expedition to get emails, contacts lists and what have you” for Brian Calley’s upcoming gubernatorial campaign. Furthermore, he said Calley’s model for the part-time legislature is “really shabbily put together” and akin to “your favorite dinner presented to you on a garbage can lid.”
While Dudenhoefer respects the YAL organization and its student activists, he says YAL leadership dropped the ball with its participation in the “Clean Michigan Government” campaign. He will recommend for grassroots liberty activists throughout Michigan to work on authentic movements such as Constitutional Carry and repealing Common Core rather than YAL’s endeavor which is “clearly designed to benefit one individual seeking more time in public office.” Dudenhoefer believes Maloney to be a good man who made a mistake. It remains to be seen if Maloney ever owns up to that mistake, or just continues to retreat to his bubble.
Before embarking on any future campaigns, YAL leadership must take into concern more than just their own bottom line. They must work directly with the liberty activists on the ground rather than slimy political consultants if they wish to avoid further embarrassment.