Regarding that push poll…

…received by members of the Ontario PC Party, it specifically targeted candidate Tim Hudak and the Hudak campaign accuses the Klees campaign for conducting it. Here is the content of the push poll (courtesy of PerezHudak.com):

  1. What is the main issue that you will vote on in this leadership race?
  2. Who will be your first choice for party leader?
  3. Who will be your second choice?
  4. Tim Hudak said he was the frontrunner, promising an easy win in the shortest leadership race ever, but his campaign has faltered. Why do you think this happened?
  5. Do you agree or disagree that Tim Hudak’s campaign has faltered because he promised to sell the most memberships, but came in third place?
  6. Do you agree or disagree that Tim Hudak’s campaign faltered because of his adoption of a divisive policy on Human Rights Commissions?
  7. Do you agree or disagree that Tim Hudak’s campaign has faltered because it is relying on the support of Mike Harris, who may be liked by party members but who will hurt our party in the general election?
  8. Keeping in mind the Hudak campaign’s poor performance, are you now more or less likely to change your second ballot support?

The Hudak campaign made the following submission to the rules committee of the PC Party:

And the PC Party responded by saying that the complaint is without merit:

I received the call from “Dominion Research” and remember noting the call came from “416-000-0000″. Whoever was behind the call, they may have broken the rules of the leadership race and by doing so they unfairly smeared Tim Hudak. Yet, if this complaint is without merit as the party stated, the Hudak campaign may have broken their own 11th commandment by unloading this scandal entirely on the Klees campaign so close to the leadership vote. Has the Hudak campaign done their homework or is the party right to dismiss their claims?

UPDATE: Hudak campaign responds

Comments

comments

  • Brett

    11th commandment indeed! Seems like the real dirty players and smearers in this campaign are part of team Hudak. I for one have had enough of their hypocrisy.

  • RealHudakFan

    How is this breaking the 11th Commandment? I'm sorry, Stephen, are you implying that McCreadie (a lawyer), their agent (a lawyer) and the rest of the campaign are lying? You yourself got a call and you yourself say they “unfairly smeared Tim Hudak.” These calls were made. This was done. Its called defending yourself.

    Read the complaint – they called the folks who were doing the calling (Logit Group) and THEY said they were working for Frank Klees. The Hudak camp didn't make it up. Unless, as I said, these lawyers are putting their professional careers on the line by lying in print. It was done “so close to the leadership vote” because the calls were done so close to the leadership vote. The calls when out a week ago!

    I think its laughable that these same camps that cry and whine incessantly about “breaking the 11th Commandment” are the same people calling Hudak's policies “toxic”, parroting that he will preside over an “electoral catastrophe”, are posting anonymous attack videos and, yes, are conducting push polls like the one you received. And then Hudak files a complaint to the Party and all of a sudden he's “attacking”. Give me a break.

    Its much more likely this so-called Committee was too scared to do anything this close to the vote and risk Klees raising a stink that he's being set up by the “powers that be”. True to type, to be sure.

    Anyway, it doesn't matter. Tim will be leader in a week.

  • http://blogspot.somersetmatters.com/ Rob Dekker

    Wouldn't the Hudak move been seen as self-defence. Note it was the Klees campaign the Hudak campaign went after, not FK himself.

  • Jeff Chatterton

    “IF this complaint is without merit…” What if the complaint has merit? Can the Hudak campaign be faulted for seeking a remedy?

    Desperate move by a Klees campaign likely to finish in third place. Sad, sad, sad.

  • nichoho

    This is pretty pathetic. Logit admitted what they were doing, and who they were working for — and the party doesn't do anything about it. What a joke.

  • Liz J

    Enough already. I do not like desperate for power candidates at any level. I've decided to go out today and vote for Christine Elliott.

  • MikeW

    This campaign is not very uplifting. When the party under J.Tory left me, I let my membership lapse. I rejoined again when he resigned and had hoped for a renewal. All this campaign has done is provide names I will not vote for. There won't be four selections on my ballot – I'll be lucky if there are 2.

  • Jack Astor

    I wonder why they targeted the Klees campaign? I guess the Hudak team is starting to get nervous and desperate? Sure sounds that way.

    How they could just throw out accusations like that right before the vote – hmmmmmm? Pretty dodgy if you ask me. Now the typical rhetoric from the usual suspects on how poor Timmy is the victim. Give me a break!

    You go around stabbing your leader in the back for 2 years and start whining about it when you think someone is doing it to you? If you don't like your own rules then take your toys and leave the sandbox!

  • Al Rathbone

    Oh common Real Hudak Fan, you are biased and don’t want to admit that the only purpose that this complaint could play this late in the game was to make Klees look less credible. Especially after it had been already used to attack Elliott.

  • Lucifer

    I’m sorry, but why is “push polling” illegal? The whether it is pure research or simply a way to point out the flaws in another campaign is a moot point. Obviously the calling is an attempt to contact party members in an effort to garner support, and to raise legitimate questions about the fitness of another campaign.

    The issue of the OHRT is a divisive wedge issue, one that will not play well among the general population. It is clear that Party members should know that having such a campaign plank will affect the Party fortunes in the general election.

    As for not identifying who paid for the poll, that is pretty well standard industry behaviour. It does not matter if it is being done for a consumer product or a political campaign, rarely is the client identified, as to not skew the results.

    Hudak is making a tempest in a teapot because the campaign is obviously in a panic. If they have indeed sold 14,000 memberships as they claim, they can sit back, laugh and win. It is clear that they feel they have to fight for every vote if they want to win.

  • Joe Calgary

    Call Foriegn affairs and protest!!!

    Western Embassies are offering first aid and assistance to injured Iranian protesters… except the Canadian Embassy.

    Ours is not to take a side, but the offer to aid the protesters with medical help is a responsibility we as Canadians should not ignore.

  • Frank or Christine

    Blair went around accusing Elliott supporters first, then Klees supporters – meanwhile it was Blair who presided as president of this party in its worst years in its history. Its not all Blair fault but “thou shalt not throw stones when they live in a glass house”

    Fair is fair

  • Katie

    Desperation is making a push poll designed to slam another candidate… not legitimately pursuing a formal complaint against a campaign. I am surprised that the Klees campaign would stoop to slandering another candidate, while claiming they focus their campaign around integrity. All candidates should be interested in uniting the Party – shame on the Klees campaign for producing a poll which does nothing but promote the opposite.

    Despite the legitimacy of the complaint, this ruling is clearly an example of the Party not wanting to get their hands dirty.

  • Rachel

    Has Frank Klees denied conducting the push-poll?

    Doesn't it seem like Frank Klees is bragging that he won, not that he is innocent of these charges?

    The questions cited in your posting, Stephen, are clear evidence that the Klees Campaign engaged in a veritable push-poll. This tactic is notorious during a general election, but in a leadership campaign it is downright despicable.

    What was the purpose of this push-poll? To weaken the PC Party of Ontario even more than it already is?

  • Marto

    Nick you are pathetic! See you on SATURDAY!

  • Nathalie

    I find it disappointing that the Party found this complaint to be without merit, it’s pretty clear to me that the poll in question here has two of the qualities of a push-poll: 1) that it was conducted anonymously (through a 3rd party which did not identify its affiliation) and 2) that its questions were in attempt to smear candidate Tim Hudak (at least as reported by Stephen Taylor).

    Though I can understand the Party’s rationale in trying to keep their distance not to appear to be siding with the Tim Hudak campaign, I think that the Party’s decision to formally request that future polls clearly identify which campaign they represent demonstrates that there was something legitimate about this complaint. You don’t prescribe a remedy when nothing is ailing, I’m sure you all agree.

    It appears that the Party did not want to pursue these allegations, probably due to how close we now are to the conclusion of this leadership contest. But had they considered otherwise, I am sure would have shown the Hudak camp was in the right, considering that the Klees campaign admitted to the Party that they were behind those calls.

    As for those who argue that this complaint is evidence that the Hudak campaign broke the “11th commandment” I think this is further political opportunism coming from the Klees campaign. Defending yourself from a push-poll which specifically targets your supporters in an attempt to make you look bad is far from speaking ill of fellow members to make political gains. On the other hand, it is clear that the Klees campaign has no interest in following that philosophy.

  • Lucifer

    Could someone please tell me how asking legitimate questions is a smear campaign? Hudak claims to have sold 14K memberships, but the math does not support that unless he sold each and every membership that was signed up at the central party site, something that is very doubtful.

    Hudak's policy on HRT is a wedge issue, and is divisive and needs to be acknowledged as such. How is that a smear?

    Mike Harris is liked by Party Members and most use a memory filter to look back fondly on his government. But most “regular” voters hate Harris for the bitter politics of confrontation. Again, testing for this is legitimate. How is this a smear campaign?

    Why is no one upset that the Elliot campaign was “smeared” by the earlier Hudak accusation?

  • Paid Polls Are Less Fun

    Because Elliot is in 3rd. Why would anyone care what they think?

    Besides – you'd think Elliot would be happy: this is the first smear on Hudak they DIDN'T conduct.

    Team Elliott: Red Tories, anonymous blogs, fake polls, YouTube smears and neon green.

    What's not to like? Oh wait….

  • Macko

    Who's Nick?

  • Nick Kouvalis

    Dear Marty,

    I look forward to seeing this weekend.

    All the best,

    Nick

  • Jack Astor

    Unless I am MISTAKEN…these so-called questions were written down by a so-called recipient of an apparent call and posted on a website where the true author is in hiding and calls themselves Perez Hudak – give me a break! All of a sudden this makes it written in stone? Has anyone actually seen any proper documentation of anything regarding any such questions? Where is the proof in all of these allegations??? I still haven't seen anything except Blair's say so! I think that could be a little biased to be honest – call me crazy! How on earth can anyway say the Klees campaign has admitted to all of this? Where did anyone actually see or read that? I mean besides Blair's say so?

  • Paid Polls Are Less Fun

    Hey Genius:

    Stephen said he got the SAME call from the SAME number with the SAME question. I, for one, believe him.

    So did a bunch of other people. And then Team Klees “furiously” responded by saying “they did nothing illegal” (didn't say anything about unethical, though). Translation: “we did it”

    You need better spin. You're doing it wrong.

    P.S. Its funny how the faceless Elliott hacks like you sure do love their anonymous bloggers – until they don't parrot their talking points. Then they are all of a sudden not credible. Crybabies, indeed.

  • Jack Astor

    Hey Coward – oh, sorry I mean Paid Polls Are Less Fun,

    Translation “we did it” In what court or anywhere else for that matter would that bunch of garbage hold up? You just want to say they did it because you are a Hudak Sheep who can only stay on message or say bahhhhh – go back to the farm! I hear your school is looking for you!

  • Jack Astor

    Hey Coward – oh, sorry I mean Paid Polls Are Less Fun,

    Translation “we did it” In what court or anywhere else for that matter would that bunch of garbage hold up? You just want to say they did it because you are a Hudak Sheep who can only stay on message or say bahhhhh – go back to the farm! I hear your school is looking for you!