Ontario PCs release new attack ad against Kathleen Wynne

Tim Hudak’s PC Party has released their first ad attacking the newly minted Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne.

Predictably, her “Dalton, Dalton” cheering during her victory was used by the PCs to link the old with the new as more of the same. McGuinty has been a polarizing figure in Ontario and with an imminent election, the Tories will be looking to make the ballot question one of McGuinty’s legacy in Ontario.

The Tories have chosen to highlight debt as the first criticism of Wynne. They go back to Wynne’s days as a school board trustee and her record as a fiscal manager there and state that Wynne would not aim to balance Ontario’s books for five years.

This won’t be the last we’ll see on the Tory full-court press, however. The gas-plant and ORNGE helicopter scandals are still fresh in the minds of Ontarians.

Tim Hudak interview at the Manning Centre Conference

I asked Hudak about principle vs pragmatism in opposition compared to government, about how he would balance the deficit, the difference between Harper/McGuinty deficits and about the renegotiation of health transfers that is rapidly becoming visible on the horizon. I spoke to the Ontario PC leader after his remarks at the Manning Centre networking conference in Ottawa this weekend.

Second ballot results as they come

Second ballot results
Elliott 2903.621
Hudak 4128.570
Klees 3299.809
107/107

Older results
Elliott 2584
Hudak 3837
Klees 3049
99/107

Older results
Elliott 2402
Hudak 3575
Klees 2926
93/107

Older results
Elliott 2116
Hudak 3088
Klees 2513
81/107

Older results
Elliott 1860
Hudak 2782
Klees 2176

72/107

Older results
Elliott: 1503
Hudak 2306
Klees 1807

60/107 ridings

Results as they come in

In Markham, ON they’re announcing first ballot results. I’ll keep you posted.

First ballot results
Elliott 2729
Hillier 1014
Hudak 3512
Klees 3094
107/107
Total votes 10348

Older results

Elliott 2243
Hillier 944
Hudak 2995
Klees 2736
91/107

Elliott 1971
Hillier 863
Hudak 2561
Klees 2338
79/107

Elliott 1552
Hillier 664
Hudak 2054
Klees 1863
63/107

Elliott 1304
Hillier 541
Hudak 1604
Klees 1507
51/107

Elliott: 933
Hillier: 375
Hudak: 1099
Klees: 950
With 35/107 ridings reporting

Klees campaign responds to Hudak

I just got off the phone with a senior member of Frank Klees’ campaign regarding the letter from Tim Hudak’s co-chair Blair McCreadie. To say the least, Klees’ people are furious.

It was explained to me that two weeks ago, the Klees campaign conducted a voter ID poll and they argue that this was completely legal. All questions asked, they argue, were in the public domain. Questions were asked regarding the “faltering” Hudak campaign and second ballot support. It was argued that because the characterization of the campaign had been reported in mainstream media and on the blogs that this was a public perception poll and that questions were asked legitimately.

The main complaint from the Klees campaign is that the Hudak campaign strategically held their complaint until the day of the TVO debate, a forum where candidates could truly interact and go back and forth. Steve Paikin was the host of the debate. Klees’ campaign complains that the Hudak campaign made their complaint on this day in an attempt to de-legitimize their campaign. They suggest that the post-debate scrum of Klees regarding the “push poll” was evidence to this.

The Klees campaign characterizes the McCreadie letter as “arrogant”, “pious” a “smear” and “not true”. The Klees campaign argued that while McCreadie and the Hudak campaign initiated the complaint, McCreadie himself was 45 minutes late to the three hour meeting to decide the complaint, which he ultimately lost. Further, the Klees campaign accuses the Hudak campaign of salting the earth, “what is this, winning at all costs?” Further, it was explained that all candidates want party unity and that it is “arrogant” for the Hudak campaign to think that only they hold that card.

Ouch.

I imagine that this is not the final barrage; we’ll be here all day, folks. But let’s try to work on this “unity” thing sooner rather than later, k?

Hudak campaign responds regarding push poll

Blair McCreadie, the co-chair of the Tim Hudak campaign wrote me a letter to clarify what’s been going on from their campaign’s perspective with respect to the push poll they allege the Klees campaign conducted. Here is Blair’s letter:

Here is the Klees release:

The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario has completed an internal hearing by the Rules and Appeals committee, with all PC leadership campaigns invited, concerning the complaint raised by the Tim Hudak Campaign against the Frank Klees Campaign.

The Party has concluded the following: “Upon hearing the submissions and evidence of the Tim Hudak Campaign and the Frank Klees Campaign, the Board determined the complaint was without merit.”

“The Hudak Campaign broke their much-touted 11th Commandment by falsely accusing the Klees Campaign of breaking campaign rules,” explained John Capobianco, Klees Campaign Chair. “I am pleased that the PC Party of Ontario, in its deliberations, came to the right decision – that the complaint launch by the Tim Hudak Campaign was without merit.”

To read the decision in full, click here: http://ontariopc.com/~/media/7C856423D85B4397A711FE522826B594.ashx

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

Second interview with Tim Hudak

Tim Hudak is running to become leader of the Ontario PC Party. I had the opportunity to sit down (in Ottawa) and chat with Tim (at Queen’s Park) and talk about policy and politics.

In this interview I ask about the Harris endorsement, the membership snafu, Tim’s position on the HRCs and the LCBO and how he’ll continue building the party should he become the leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.