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News Article

June 14, 2011
Butler dealt a bad hand

Dear Editor,

It appears as if Opposition Leader Perry G. Christie is unmoved by the sudden resignation of Craig Butler from the Progressive Liberal Party.  Christie stated that people are always leaving the PLP. He also stated, however, that people are always joining his party. Mr. Christie also added that he wishes Mr. Butler all the best in his future endeavors.
Christie said this much about Craig Butler during a PLP rally that was held at their headquarters Gambier House on June 1st.  Mr. Butler is the grandson of Sir Milo Butler, the first Bahamian governor general.  He was also the treasurer of the PLP.  It appears that Mr. Butler's family connection was not enough to help him get the nomination for the PLP.
Mr. Butler has on numerous occasions expressed an interest in running as a candidate for the PLP.  In fact, just last year after the resignation of Elizabeth MP Malcolm Adderley from the House of Assembly, Mr. Butler, along with Ryan Pinder, both vied to get the PLP nomination for that constituency.  The nomination was given to Mr. Pinder.
He was favored by Mr. Christie to run in the 2010 bye-election in Elizabeth.  However, Mr. Christie, before he had made his final decision on who would run in Elizabeth, sounded as if Mr. Butler had a fighting chance to gain the nomination.

Nevertheless, despite what could only be described as a major disappointment in being rejected by the PLP in Elizabeth, Mr. Butler remained a loyal PLP supporter.  Mr. Butler then turned his attention to the Kennedy constituency.
That constituency is represented by FNM MP Kenyatta Gibson.  Gibson had defected from the PLP in 2008. I understand that Mr. Butler had been canvassing the Kennedy area, with the hope of galvanizing support from PLP supporters.
Many of the PLP supporters in Kennedy were interested in Mr. Butler and his message.  It appears as if Mr. Butler really believed that he would be given the PLP nomination for Kennedy.  According to some political observers, it appears as if Butler was given this impression by the leaders of that party.  This would explain why he was so disillusioned with the PLP and resigned after he was once again rejected by the party.
According to the press, one Dion Smith has been given the nomination to run for the PLP in Kennedy.  It is obvious to myself that Mr. Butler was really disappointed at being overlooked again by the PLP.  According to the press, Butler was denied a nomination because of his past drug addiction.
Butler has admitted that he once struggled with drug addition.  Yet he is quick to add, however, that he has truly reformed.  Christie, however, appears not to be impressed with Mr. Butler.  Perhaps the opposition leader feels that Butler's past indiscretions would turn off too many voters from the PLP.
Mr. Christie obviously wants to present to the Bahamian electorate a slate of candidates that are squeaky clean.  Therefore, it is understandable why Mr Christie is unwilling to accept Butler's nomination. But with that being said, why has Mr. Christie refused to heed the warning of Raynard Rigby, Philip Galanis and George Smith?
These three prominent PLPs had warned Christie not to accept the nominations of Obie Wilchcombe (West End and Bimini), V. Alfred Gray (MICAL), Shane Gibson (Golden Gates), Leslie Miller, Picewell Forbes (South Andros), Anthony Moss (Exuma) and Vincent Peet (North Andros), for the upcoming general election.  Most of these gentlemen listed above have also had their share of issues.  In fact, several of them, including Keod Smith, Kenyatta Gibson and Sidney Stubbs, had caused the PLP to lose the 2007 general election.
Mr. Christie obviously intends to run these men in the general election.  He had written a letter to a prominent tabloid newspaper stating the reason why he had rejected the suggestions of Rigby and co.
Question: If the leader of the opposition is hell-bent on running these candidates, who have also made their share of mistakes, why is Mr. Christie unwilling to do the same for Craig Butler?
If Mr. Christie is willing to overlook the alleged indiscretions of these men, why not do the same for Butler?  After all, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.  If he is determined to reject Mr. Butler's nomination because of his past, then he should do the same thing to his MPs, who were mentioned in that famous letter that was leaked to the press!
Further, the incident with Craig Butler is similar to an incident that had occurred almost ten years ago in Marco City.  The Rev. Frederick MacAlpine was a PLP supporter who himself was given the impression that he would be given the PLP nomination for Marco City to run in the 2002 general election.  I live in Marco City.  I remember the Rev. MacAlpine sending us letters and holding functions in Marco City.  I thought that he would be running in Marco City for the PLP.  However, Miss Pleasant Bridgewater was given the nomination instead.
The Rev. MacAlpine felt slighted by Mr. Christie and the PLP. Therefore, he, like Butler, eventually left the party.  It appears as if Mr. Christie and his party have a penchant for leading people on.
These men had obviously spent a lot of money and time in these constituencies, only to be told at the eleventh hour that they won't be receiving any nomination from the PLP.  If this is what was done to Mr. Butler, then Christie and the other leaders of the PLP should at least apologize to him for wasting his time.
Why tell a man that he has a good chance of securing a nomination, when you have already made up in your mind to run someone else?  This is one reason why I find it difficult to support Mr. Christie.
Mr. Christie needs to understand that you just can't treat people like impersonal objects. People are to be treated with dignity and respect. I believe that Christie dealt Craig Butler a very bad hand in this case!

Yours, etc.,
KEVIN EVANS

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