Monday, January 24, 2011

Minding the Minions

What a tempest over the hard-fought Conservative nomination here in Simcoe Grey!

Wasaga Mayor Cal Patterson seemed really very angry today distancing himself from the letter sent out this week by the Kellie Leitch camp, ostensibly by him, endorsing her for the federal Tory nomination. While Cal has been a supporter of Leitch's for a while, he told me today not only did he not write the letter, he wouldn't have. As a result of what happened, he says he's taking himself out of the endorsement business entirely.

So if Patterson didn't write it, is this another case of Simcoe Grey's Conservative minions getting ahead of their leader? Can we expect other endorsers' letters to arrive soon?

Having worked in PR (albeit briefly) I know a few little things about how quotes work in these situations. That knowledge is one of the reasons I don't quote news releases if I can help it at all.

So here's how I figure this situation came about: (and please remember I'm just guessing here, but it's an educated guess) Patterson endorses Leitch, (which he did; openly and without exception, out loud on my talk show two weeks ago) whereupon an eager worker in Leitch's office puts together the letter, which, in their eyes, isn't really that much different than him speaking the words on the radio. Well, except for the encouraging people to join the party part. Oh, and the signature. But I can just imagine the keen young letter-writer thinking to themselves, "WhatEver...let's get this thing in the mail!" While it might be a stretch, it's not a big one.

And really, how different would that be from Helena Guergis' people writing letters to the editors of local newspapers under an assumed (or their spouse's) name?

It's a lesson for all you budding politicians: the minions need minding.

2 comments:

  1. Interesting, but I have another take on this whole issue. Leitch asks Patterson if she could include his endorsement on a mailing she's planning to send out. He agress provided that it's only to Conservative supporters. The letter which was sent out on January 11th arrives in people's mailboxes. An eager reporter based in Collingwood who will remain nameless gets wind of this letter and thinks it's fishy for the Mayor of Wasaga Beach, and the Warden of Simcoe endorsing a candidate. Hell Jim Wilson knows when to stay out of the endorsement business. He makes it public, then people start to question Cal's judgement. He then calls Dr. Leitch and says I goofed and I need you to take the fall for me. She agrees as deep down inside she knows that she'll still get Cal's vote at the nomination meeting along with all his Conservative minions.

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  2. I whole heartedly agree with you, in many ways. The press needs to take responsibility for publishing "half stories" - the half that serves their personal agendas. And people in power need to be big enough and strong enough to know how to draw the lines clearly of their decisions and supports, without taking exception to an administrative faux-pas that ultimately does not, in any way, change the direction they were travelling in, in the first place. And had declared publicly in advance.
    Evidently, the support offered on the radio prior to the mailing was "flimsy" at best ...
    What does that say about our Warden and WB's Mayor??

    That is what should be scrutinized, not the campaign of a person who is working extremely hard to become the representative of our entire riding in Ottawa.
    Go ahead - look at the competition. Compare what they have to offer and what they bring to the national table. Tell me who has nothing whatsoever to lose by campaigning to lead our Riding. Then tell me who "needs" this nomination for employment. And finally, tell me who is "visiting and dabling" in politics.

    There is your answer, clear and true.

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