Saturday, February 24, 2018

Fair minded Ontario PC members should vote for Patrick Brown...

In legal circles you'll sometimes come across the expression 'fruit from the poison tree'.  

In the Patrick Brown case the poison came from a story that came out January 24th from Bell Media news outlet CTV.  I'm not going to rehash it in detail, the story was such a piece of yellow and slanderous journalism in my opinion that it doesn't warrant further scrutiny.  Besides, everyone already knows the details. Patrick Brown's lawyers have served notice of a lawsuit, so we'll leave the courts to deal with that.

Were it not for that story, the Patrick Brown led PCs would have been preparing for an election in June with the polls showing them poised to unseat the Wynne Liberals handily.  

Patrick had taken the helm of a party which was pretty much decimated after the last election.  Once debt ridden with only twelve thousand odd members the party was now poised to romp at the ballot box in June.  Membership grew under his watch to somewhere in and around 200,000 and the war chest was full, he'd done an amazing job.

Patrick Brown, described by both fans and foes as a tireless workaholic had brought back the Big Blue Machine.   

But then he was hit by a truck, the words CTV on the side.  No Good Samaritans came to his assistance though, quite the opposite in fact.  Instead his fellow party members wished him luck in clearing his name, then started picking his pockets as he lay bruised and bleeding at the side of the road.  

This leadership race should never have happened.

Do I expect the other candidates in the race to drop out all of a sudden?  Sure, (sic) that will happen.  Right after all the businesses that profit from polluting our lakes, streams, air and soil decide to clean things up.  

You know where I'm going with this, the Carbon Tax.  Nobody likes taxes.  

But do we get upset when our neighbour who constantly drives 30+ km over the limit gets hit with speeding ticket after speeding ticket?  No, slow down we tell him.  If someone gorges on donuts and potato chips all day while sitting in front of the TV, do we feel sorry for them when they complain about a sore back?   

Our lead footed neighbour might try to enlist our support, the fat friend might want us to help pay for his or her liposuction...but a simple change of behaviour is all that's needed.  

And its the same thing with businesses in Ontario that profit from polluting, being environmentally responsible is expensive after all.  What incentive is their to clean up anyway?  Bottom line profits are higher doing things the dirty way and to heck with being conservative when it comes to our water, air and land. 

So those that will pay want those of us who would get a 20%+ tax cut to be upset.  That won't work on me, if you don't want to pay the carbon tax, then stop polluting, I'll take the money in my pocket thank  you very much.

Who knows, maybe that's part of the reason why Patrick Brown was hit by that truck.  He's done an unbelievable job fighting back, but only Ontario Party members can bring him all the way back.  I don't know how many Good Samaritans there are in the party, but I'm hoping there's a few.  

If you're still not willing to make him your first choice, at least have him second.  

Friday, February 23, 2018

Is Caroline Mulroney the Hillary Clinton of Ontario politics?

Comparing Hillary Clinton with Caroline Mulroney might seem like a stretch, but it does work on a few levels. 

Hillary Clinton entered the political arena in large measure due to the name recognition that came from her husband being President of the United States for eight years.  Caroline Mulroney's recognition comes from the fact that her father was a Progressive Conservative Prime Minister for about the same length of time.

But the comparison really comes into play with Mulroney's almost daily exhortations for Patrick Brown to withdraw from the race, deeming him unfit to lead the party and become Ontario's next Premier.  Its eerily reminiscent of Hillary Clinton's campaign against Donald Trump with the former First Lady believing that the orange one was unfit to be President and calling his supporters 'deplorables'.

Obviously Patrick Brown is no Donald Trump, but the rhetoric Mulroney is using is still similar to my ears. 

Of course I doubt Trump ever marched in a Gay Pride parade, and I can't see him making the kind of inroads into the multicultural community that Patrick Brown has.  But those inclusive and politically astute qualities not withstanding, Caroline Mulroney's opinion of Patrick Brown seems pretty much in line with the former first lady's opinion of the guy in the White House.   Brown, like Trump according to Clinton... he has to go says Mulroney

Why does Patrick Brown have to leave?  Because of the stain left from accusations leveled by Caroline's brother's CTV Network.  Of course that bit of yellow journalism has been shown to be so riddled with holes that other media outfits like Global have done stories with headlines like this:  

Ms. Mulroney might do well to remember why Clinton lost to Trump in 2016.  While constantly harping on her opponent's perceived short comings, she failed to give Americans a compelling reason to vote for her, and she lost.  People need more than just reasons not to vote for someone, they also need to know what they're voting for. 

There's that old adage of there being no such thing as bad advertising and all the news of late is Patrick Patrick and more Patrick.

I do understand the challenges facing a political neophyte with not much other than her last name to recommend her.  The progressive wing of the PC party is overly represented in this race with Brown, Elliott and Mulroney all looking to court similar minded voters.  
  • Patrick Brown has a diverse organization that brought the party's membership from 12,000 to somewhere around 150,000 and maybe a bit more.
  • Christine Elliott has a long history in the party and is well respected, especially by the old guard.
  • Caroline Mulroney is Harvard educated, totalement bilangue and presents herself well.
So Caroline Mulroney urging Brown to quit does make some sense.  With him on the ballot I think its conceivable that Brian's daughter could be dropped after the first round.  I don't think she did herself any favours with the interview she just gave on Global TV.  

If you missed it the backdrop was the office building where she worked in downtown Toronto before taking a leave of absence to try politics.  The optics aren't the best.  It might impress some Bay Street Tory types, but I have a hard time seeing a large number of card carrying party members identifying with an ivory tower full of weird impressionistic art work.  If you missed it click the following link to see what I'm talking about.

It might not be Hillary Clinton addressing some Wall Street Goldman Sachs types, but I believe the effect is very much the same.  

If you didn't already know I am supporting Brown in this race, unlike certain other types I prefer to put my bias out there.  However I should also mention that I have never met the man, although he did walk past me at PC Party headquarters the night he met with the nomination committee which ultimately declared him fit to run for the leadership.  

I was drawn to the event like a political moth pulled in by an irresistible flame.  And I did want to support this fight against unbelievable odds.  The number of people there ebbed and flowed, and I put the number as being somewhere around 75, not bad considering word didn't get out until the night before. 

I would have liked to shake his hand, but the media horde was hounding him.  Especially CTV and other Bell Media outfits trying to push their bogus narrative, I don't blame him for not sticking around.

In my next blog post I'm going to try and handicap the race.  Its a hard one to predict with five diverse candidates.  I'll try not to let my positive opinion of Patrick get in the way.  Regardless of who wins I think it will take three rounds of voting which means second and third choices will be very important.  

I'll leave you with one more link.  The MSM seems to have it in for Patrick Brown, and that's okay....that's pretty much the only thing he shares in common with Donald Trump the way I see it.  At least America's billionaire President had Fox News in his corner, Patrick Brown has no sympathetic media, except for maybe Steve Paikin of TVO's The Agenda.

Please watch Patrick's interview with Steve and leave a comment with your thoughts.   

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Caroline Mulroney - Burning down the PC house?

Caroline Mulroney is running for the leadership of Onatrio's Progressive Conservative Party, following in her father's political footsteps.  

Conservatives interested in the long term viability of the Ontario PC Party may want to consider her Dad's history, the similarities are striking.  For younger readers Brian Mulroney was the last Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Canada ever had.  

After resigning Brian Mulroney handed the keys over to Kim Campbell and the Federal PCs were destroyed, reduced to just two seats.  Caucus meetings were held in an Austin Mini.  Retired Joe Clark stepped back in and did an incredible job of rebuilding the ruined party, but it wasn't enough and the PCs had little choice but to merge with the Canadian Alliance.  

Brian Mulroney had never held elected office before working the backrooms to wrest the leadership away from incubmant Joe Clark.  Dirty political games are nothing new, the elder Mulroney reportedly had a mole in Clark's camp, a man by the name of Pageau.  

Joe Clark would have been a hard target to smear even if the #MeToo movement existed back then for explotation.  But Clark's leadership was successfully underminded regardless and in a leadership review Mr. Clark received only 66% of party support.  With one third of the party not backing him Clark did the honorable thing, he called for a leadership race and sought to reclaim the top job.  

Sound similar?

Joe probably thought Brian would back his bid to reclaim the leadership, the elder Mulroney had endorsed him after all.  In politics though the axiom of keeping your friends close and enemies closer is wise advice.  Friends can easily turn into adversaries, and that's exactly what happened.  Brian Mulroney courted support from Quebec nationalists like Lucien Bouchard and was able to win the leadership race.  

The parallels don't end there.  The federal Liberals had been in power for 16 years, and were very unpopular.  Brian Mulroney seized power at the perfect time, his daughter Caroline is probably thinking that its almost a carbon copy scenario with Wynne's current Liberal government, in power for 15 years.  All that was needed was to unseat the incumbant leader and the keys to the Premier's office would be there for the taking.

Did Caroline Mulroney have a Pageau type working in Patrick Brown's camp?  Could be.  At least three of his top advisors are now on her team, some announcing their support for the political interloper before she'd even declared her intention to run.  Maybe they knew it was already in the cards.

Caroline Mulroney is now leading the charge in calling for former leader Patrick Brown to exit the race.  To my way of thinking that would be nothing short of a travesty, if Brown dropped out and Mulroney remained.  After the unbelievably shitty job, (sorry for the profanity but I can't think of a better description) done by her brother's media employer CTV in bringing about Patrick Brown's ouster, she should be the first to go.  Going to air with such a poorly researched story reeks of what's commonly referred to as yellow journalism.  

I have little doubt that Ms. Mulroney would vehemently deny any such allegations, much like Patrick Brown has denied the smears he has endured.  If Mulroney were to do what I consdier the honourable thing and back out of the race, then I would join in asking for him to step aside while a thorough investigation was being conducted.  If both would back out they could still run in their respective ridings...Caroline might even win her seat, Patrick is a lead pipe cinch to win his in my opinion.

That's enough for now.  Click here for my next posting:

Am I still standing with Patrick Brown? Read and find out...

I just got off the phone with my brother, a long time member of Ontario's PC party.  He wanted to know if, in light of recent revelations, I still supported Patrick Brown's bid to reclaim the leadership of the party.  

I wrote a blog post on February 16th that's been viewed over 1,000 times, which for this pathetic little blog is about as close as it comes to going viral.

But a lot has happened since then.  Hop into my time machine and let's go back a few weeks, to Jan 24th 2018...the day that Ontario politics was turned on its ear.  If you have a short attention span stop reading right now, this is going to be a long one.

I'm a political junkie and the news on that day was riveting.  Up to that point I had pretty much decided that I would be voting PC in the upcoming election.  I hadn't yet put my antenna all the way up to maximum height, and there was always the possibility that something could happen to change my mind though.  

Does that sound familiar Ontario Conservative poll watchers?

Prior to CTV's reporting of Patrick Brown luridly plying a high school girl with drinks and then having a friend drive her to his house wherein he lured her up to his second floor bedroom, closed the door and demanded oral sex...and another story involving a tale of kissing and climbing on top of a very drunk constituency worker in that same bedroom on a different occasion....

Prior to this news I didn't know that much about the man.

I had been living in Quebec from 2011 until April of 2015, moving back just before Mr. Brown won the leadership in 2015.  I'm Ontario born, spent some time growing up in the United Stares, but from 1978 until 2011 my address always had the province Ontario in it, Toronto, Durham Region, North Bay, Northumberland...I get around.  

And now that I'm back its very unlikely I will ever leave.  

All I really knew about Patrick Brown before CTV's bombshell report was that he had outmanoeuvred Christine Elliott by courting social conservatives in the 2015 leadership race.  Honestly I didn't like that, I myself am not a social conservative.  I consider myself to be socially progressive and fiscally conservative.  But then I heard that Patrick Brown marched in Toronto's Gay Pride Parade, that he endorsed the Wynne Liberal's update to the sex ed curriculum.  

Okay, I get it.  He courted the religious right and outflanked Ms. Elliott.....that's politics.  

At least now he was a viable Premier in my eyes, and with the way Kathleen Wynne's Liberals had handled everything from Orange and E-Health, the Hydro file and the AG's proclamation about the bogus balanced budget, I was pretty much a lock to vote PC in the coming provincial election in June.  

Jumping forward a bit I started looking into the allegations....I quickly learned the identity of the constituency worker and of her relationship to CTV reporter Rachel Aiello who worked on the story.  I never studied journalism, but I don't think you need a BA in media studies to know that this doesn't pass the smell test.  I also read some of the accuser's bio, her thoughts about using feminism as a political tool, or weapon, I forget the exact verbiage.  More smell.

Now I'm hooked and falling deeper and deeper into the vortex of social media gossip and on-line digging.  I discover that the first accuser, the one who said she was in high school when Patrick Brown met her in a bar, word is out that she too is connected to a CTV reporter, a former housemate.  The stench is getting worse and worse.

Social media maven and indy "journalist" Deb Davidson put up a Youtube video claiming that reporters in Barrie were willing to pay anyone willing to come forward with credible allegations against Brown.  Hmmmm, I don't know who this Deb Davidson is or whether her video is credible, but its out there and is part of the narrative.  A very murky and dark narrative.

Political hit job?  

Seems to me that there is more than reasonable grounds for that suspicion.  Especially with word that Caroline Mulroney is looking to replace Brown.  Her brother is a CTV media star after all.

More fast forwarding, Brown has been forced out....made to resign, in so much haste it seems the party released the news of his removal before he'd even read or signed a letter of resignation.  Oh well, sucks to be Patrick Brown I guess.  What's the bigger picture now?  The PCs don't have a leader and there's an election in June.  Will they appoint one?  Will there be a leadership race?  

That's quickly settled and the candidates start declaring. 

  • Christine Elliott is back for another kick at the can. 
  • The aforementioned Caroline Mulroney makes it official.  
  • Dougie is mobilizing #FordNation for his run at the job.
And finally some individual whose name I still can't commit to memory who I simply call the anal sex lady.  And thanks to my posts referring to this individual as such on Twitter, #analsexlady is now a hashtag that's getting a little play.

I still want the PCs to win at this point, but who do I want them putting up as the leader?  

Brother man starts calling and tells me I can join the party and have a say, it only costs $10.  Brian at church says the same thing, even invites me to a meet and greet for the local PC candidate in my riding.  At that gathering I fill out the form and jot down my credit card number, I'm in.  I haven't yet been mailed a card or anything from the party, but I just checked my credit card account and the $10 has been charged, on February 13th.  

I'm with Elliott all the way at this point.  Ford?  I know the man has a strong base of Trump minded followers, but that's not for me.  Caroline Mulroney?  No way, no experience at all and I don't like the fact that it was her brother's employer whose news division engaged in what looks to me like some serious yellow journalism to oust Brown, I'll pass.

Fast forward again, to the next bombshell....Ontario politics is becoming a spectacular fireworks display.  Patrick Brown in back???  WTF!!!  

I'm already sold on the whole thing being a a politically motivated hit job.  The first accuser's story was shot so full of holes that other media organizations are putting out headlines like this: 

Un-freaking real, holy jumping cheese curds.  

CTV didn't bother to check its facts obviously.  The accuser who said she was in high school now says she got her dates wrong.  Okay...that can happen.  It seems she also got the part about Patrick Brown's friend driving her to his house wrong, that individual asserted categorically to other media outlets that it never happened.  

But the rest, that stands CTV claims, and they're sticking to their original story, well....not the parts they got wrong, just the part about demanding oral sex.  Uhm...yeah, okay.

And the second accuser, its now being reported that others present at Mr. Brown's house after the Hockey Night in Barrie event, they assert that the former constituency worker was following Patrick around all night, googly eyed like a puppy dog and that she followed him after he'd gone upstairs to his bedroom.  

What happened once the door was closed?  The only thing we know for sure is that they exchanged a kiss and then she was driven home.  The implication that she was given a raise to silence her has also been called into question with conflicting stories now saying this individual demanded a raise when new constituency workers were hired and were being paid the same as Ms. X. 

On top of that the Barrie politician subjected himself to two polygraph tests and passed both. According to an exclusive news story the expert who conducted the first test, an individual with some 40 odd years experience and recently employed by CBC's the 5th Estate, Patrick Brown not only met the standards for determining truthfulness, he exceeded them on all measurements.

Armed with this information he launched his bid to reclaim the leadership, claiming that he'd cleared his name.  Has his name been cleared?  For me it has.  I do not know what more the man could possibly do, even if he had years and years to do it.  

Now we're back to the present day.  

Not only has Patrick Brown launched his bid to reclaim the leadership, but he has been cleared to do so by the PC committee charged with green lighting candidates.  He will be running as a PC candidate in a newly constituted Barrie riding, and he will be vying to lead the party in its fight to unseat Wynne's Liberal government.

But the story doesn't end there, this story has no end.  There are more allegations coming out, it seems like almost every hour.

The Globe & Mail reported that Patrick Brown discussed a $375,000 deal with a future PC candidate in 2016, one Jass Johal who later went on to be acclaimed in a suburban Toronto riding.  In fact they had a signed affidavit detailing the proposed transaction.  Patrick Brown then provided the G&M a subsequent affidavit that states the contemplated transaction never took place, it was also shared on social media.

Patrick Brown has said that his former staff stole some of his personal files from his office, including financial documents.  The Globe story detailed how the exact $375K was later deposited into Mr. Brown's account, and the implication is obvious, that it was a shady deal.  Not so says Patrick Brown, the $375K was the amount needed, along with mortgage financing, to purchase a home up on lake Simcoe.  

Verdict?  For me this is small beer, very small beer.  Patrick Brown and Mr Johal are Conservatives, not Marxists.  

So they considered entering a financial arrangement, Patrick needed $375K for the down payment on the purchase of a property, and he and Mr. Johal laid out the framework of a proposed transaction involving the exchange of money for aeroplan miles and an ownership stake in a Barrie sports bar.  Then, for whatever reason, either one or both of them decided not to proceed. 

Maybe they figured the optics were bad and decided against going forward.  Maybe Mr. Brown or Mr. Johal figured they weren't getting fair value, that $375K was either too much or too little.  I really don't care.  Maybe Caroline Mulroney is upset that Patrick paid less for his Simcoe Lake property than she paid for hers?  Where did Patrick get the $375K?  The globe reports Patrick as saying it came from family.  

Okay let's move on.  Inflated party membership numbers.  At least everyone agrees that after losing the 2011 election the number of PC party members was down around 12,000.  Recently Mr. Brown boasted about how the party membership was at 200,000.  That's quite the achievement, rah rah zis boom bah.  

But then some angry old guys in the party, including those he'd beaten out for the leadership last time, they started saying that Mr. Brown was inflating the numbers, that it was more like 130,000 or 165,000....whatever it was the number wasn't 200,000 as Brown claimed.  

Will these guys please just shut the #### up.....Party official Thomas Degroot sent out an email that's been shared all over social media confirming that Brown got the number wrong, but he went low instead of high like a good conservative, it wasn't 200,000 but over 234,000......

Then there's Brown's girlfriend, who is I believe 23 years of age.  Apparently she really likes Patrick Brown and speaks highly of his character and demeanour.  Do I care that Brown is 39 and thus much older?  No, I don' more than I cared about former Prime Minister PE Trudeau having been involved with an 18 year old when he was in his 40s and then later marrying.  Did that make PET unfit for office?  Trash Pierre's politics all you like, that's certainly fair game....but who cares who he took to bed so long as we're talking about consenting adults.

But with all this baggage, can Patrick Brown win a June election against Wynne's Liberals?  

In my opinion....yes, easily.  I think the battle to win the leadership is going to be harder actually, harder but doable.  Ontarians are itching to toss the Liberals into the opposition benches, and I think Patrick Brown is the one person most capable of doing it.

Assuming he's the leader in June, are there some voters who will shun the PCs because of all the stories that have been floated in the media?  No doubt, some yes.  

But for every one voter who is turned off I would wager there's at least one other who will mark an X next to a PC candidate.  People who wouldn't have otherwise voted PC because of the way Patrick Brown has fought back against unbelievable odds.

I was very pleased, and frankly very surprised, that Patrick Brown was allowed to stand for the leadership race, it was the right choice.  PC Party members are big girls and big boys, we can make up our own minds.  

And Patrick Brown has to be considered a very real possibility to win again.  Betting against this guy is obviously not a smart thing to do.  As far as I'm aware he's never lost a political fight, from city councillor to MP to MPP and the Ontario PC Party leadership.  And he's demonstrated a remarkable ability to remove knives from his back.

But maybe PC party members will want to risk going into an election without a platform, to be lead by a rookie leader instead of the guy who grew the membership from just 12,000 to its current levels. Maybe they don't want a man who has reached out to communities that make the PC party more reflective of Ontario than it has ever been before.  

Carbon tax?  Get over it.  Its coming whether we like it or not.  If Ontario doesn't put a price on carbon, then Trudeau's Liberals are going to do it to us.....oh but they'll return the money, don't worry....Justin wouldn't go back on his word, just like he's kept his promise on electoral reform, ooops.  

I'd rather see a Carbon Tax offset by deep and broad based cuts to my income tax rate thank you very much.  Besides, I don't like pollution, I kind of like clean lakes, streams, soil and air....I'm weird that way, maybe some prefer smog, scummy lakes and toxic soil.   

So am I still standing with Patrick Brown?  If you've read this far you already know the answer.  Yes.