Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tony Campbell: In His Own Words

In the wake of yesterday's Ken Oliver leaked email controversy, Baltimore County GOP Chairman Tony Campbell sent out this email rant to members of the Baltimore County GOP Central Committee. He asked for it to be widely disseminated, and I oblige him here by printing it verbatim (To save space, I substituted a link to my blog in which I reprinted the Oliver email verbatim for the textual reprint Campbell originally included in the email below).

I have two observations:

1) Campbell sees Judases all around him, ascribing to them motives of disloyalty and personal animus towards him. I think the email leaked because at least one person found the idea of throwing GOP support behind a Democratic councilman with criminal convictions for misusing campaign funds on his record - and Campbell's promise to support him "as a private citizen" if the Central Committee refused to follow - shockingly bad ideas.

2) It looks like a fractious tenure awaits Chairman Campbell in Baltimore County.


Sent: 11/18/2010 5:19:02 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: Personal Axes to grind (Oliver situation)


The games have begun!  As you all know, there are several members of the Committee that do not want me to be Chairman.  In fact, I am sure that if they could have removed me via a by-law change, I would not be Chairman today (who cares about the will of the voters - sounds like Democrats).  These people (including several members that were elected as Officers of BCRCC) have started a campaign to smear me in the press.

Yesterday, I was contacted by former Republican elected official about an idea to increase the influence of the Republican Party on the County Council by supporting Ken Oliver for Council President.  The e-mail I sent to the Executive Committee is shared with you (click here to read it in its entirety).

This e-mail was sent to the other six people on the Executive Committee as a private conversation to ask their opinions.  Ken Anderson, Tom Henry, and Chris DeFeo responded back that they did not think it would be a good idea to pursue this option.  At 4:07 p.m., I responded to those three e-mails by stating:

The main point was to see if we could build a four member coalition on the county council through supporting Oliver for chair.  Our two members, him and another new person on the council could have put together a working coalition to push forward parts of our Republican agenda.

There will be discussions like this of a sensitive nature that will occur from time to time.  As the Executive Committee, it is imperative that we have these discussions frankly so we can come to a consensus through utilizing everyone's opinion and their knowledge.

Someone on the Executive Committee, with a personal ax to grind because I had the audacity to become Chairman, decided to leak my e-mail (not the other six in the attached e-mail stream) to the press, members of the BCRCC who are also against my chairmanship, and even distributed to bloggers who have no business in knowing about private communications of the Executive Committee in order to damage me as Chairman.  This information was supposed to be confidential and that trust was violated.

My initial e-mail was sent to get the opinion of the Executive Committee on this issue.  As Chairman of the Central Committee, it is my responsibility to get the advice and counsel of the Executive Committee before attempting to contact our two County Council members (or anyone outside the committee).  As you read above, and in the attached document, I had considered the issue a closed one over 24 hours ago.  If I did not seek advice, I guarantee you that the rumor would have been that I overstepped my authority as Chair by contacting Huff and Marks without consulting the Executive Committee.

I am glad this betrayal is out in the open.  Over the past few months, there have been a group of members who have dedicated themselves to be obstacles.  Before today, this behavior existed in the shadows and in whispers.  Today, it is in the press for every Republican voter in Baltimore County to see in the light of day.

These members do not care about the will of the Republican voters of Baltimore County who elected me their Chairman.  They do not care that there actions make the Republican Party look undisciplined and unfocused.  They are like children; they want to hurt me because I took their friend away from the game. 

Bob Ehrlich dealt with a hostile crowd in Annapolis that did not care about the people of Maryland but only wanted Bob to fail.  The difference is that Ehrlich had Democrats that attacked him; I have fellow Republicans.

I believe I did what was right by all involved.  I am comforted in knowing that although this road is full of trials - God is protecting me.  This is the truth of the matter.  I leave it to you to make your own decision.

Tony Campbell
Chairman, BCRCC

P.S. I am cc-ing this to Bryan Sears and Steve Schuster - feel free to post this anywhere you want.


  1. A former congresswoman once told me (early in my career in politics) to never, ever put anything in an email (or in writing) that you don't want in the Sun the next morning.

  2. Hi Anon:

    I got similar advice, too. Scary thing is, Campbell wanted this email put out there. I'm happy to oblige him.

  3. So, Campbell is demanding respect from central committee members, but won't even give it to his party's own elected officials. "If I did not seek advice, I guarantee you that the rumor would have been that I overstepped my authority as Chair by contacting Huff and Marks without consulting the Executive Committee." Um, do you mean Councilmen-Elect David Marks and Todd Huff, Tony? So disrespectful.

  4. RC -

    The games have begun, as Chairman Campbell, himself, notes. But, they've only begun because he started with such a bad move.

    Really enjoying your blog!

  5. To all the "players" in this episode (media excepted): Enough. Zip it up -- Loose lips sink ships. Focus on supporting the candidates who won (and almost won). It is counterproductive and premature to attempt to hogtie successful first-time candidates with this nonsense, however well-intended or misguided. Please get your shi* together, bury the hatchet and do something productive like raise money, identify future candidates, perform opposition research or something, anything, other than this. All the "players" just wasted two days.

  6. arranging deck chairs on the Titantic.

  7. Everyone involved needs to forget the deck chairs, get off the open deck and down to the Captain's Quarters right away for these types of discussions. It is stupid to put these ideas and discussions in an email, and even more stupid to respond or defend by email or blog. Pick up the stinking phone, or schedule a special meeting. If I see one more email published online, heads will roll. And unlike the way this group operates, no one will know one thing about it until its a done deal.

  8. All:

    Don't hate the players. Hate the game.

  9. The attacks are because Campbell, a black man, beat Cavey, a white man. And dont even try and defend it.

  10. Good advice RJC. I hate neither the players nor the game, and while all this is to some degree entertaining reading, it is terribly unprofessional to disclose emails with this much information. Knee jerk reactions expose an amateur.

  11. RJC: My post about disclosing emails was not directed at you, but the players. Just wanted to clarify that.

  12. Anon @ 11/21 @ 18:42:

    Thanks, I got that. I was just being cheeky.