The following was received by “unambiguously ethnic” (as PH puts) PC Party of Ontario members in a Toronto area riding. It reeks of voter suppression. (h/t Perez)
Frank Klees’ campaign has focused upon signing up new Canadians and bringing increased diversity to the PC Party of Ontario. His campaign believes that his campaign was the target of this “dirty trick” type of politicking.
I’ve received the following letter from a source close to the Klees campaign. The letter is from party president Ken Zeise. It informs the Klees campaign that the police are now investigating the matter.
…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):
What is the main issue that you will vote on in this leadership race?
Who will be your first choice for party leader?
Who will be your second choice?
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?
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?
Do you agree or disagree that Tim Hudak’s campaign faltered because of his adoption of a divisive policy on Human Rights Commissions?
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?
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?
I’m hearing that the Tim Hudak campaign has failed to meet a deadline for submitting some of their paperwork, and as a result many of their memberships may be in jeopardy:
As you probably know the deadline to submit actual membership forms with signatures was today for the leadership campaigns – an electronic list was submitted last thursday to the party by campaigns.
Apparently Team Hudak submitted their forms 1.5 hrs late today and could result in all their sales being disqualified.
Rumour is that the Christine Elliott campaign is pushing to have these members struck from the list of eligible voters for the leadership election. The Leadership Election Committee is meeting tonight to consider the matter.
I’ve learned that about 5,000 memberships may be in questions. This was confirmed to me by sources close to both the Elliott and Klees campaigns.
Yet, where the story differs, and where it may have instead developed, is in the Elliott campaign reaction. I received this from the Elliott campaign addressed to the Party.
It has come to our attention that there has been a breach of Section 5 (b) of Guideline No. 2 issued pursuant to the 2009 Leadership Election Rules (the “Rules”) by other leadership campaigns. This is an unfortunate violation of a very clear set of rules.
The Leadership Elections Committee has a tough decision ahead of them regarding any reprimands it may levy, but the position of the Christine Elliott Campaign is that all members, who signed up in good faith to vote in this Leadership, should be given that right to vote, regardless of any error made by these campaigns.
This leadership race is an excellent chance to showcase the very best of the Ontario PC Party and it is in that spirit that we strongly urge you to permit these members to vote, even if they were invalidated by campaign error.
In the interest of fairness, let them vote.
Andrew G. Boddington
Christine Elliott Campaign
This is either a sportsmanlike gesture from the Elliott campaign or an attempt to bring more attention to the issue and flesh it out within the news cycle.
UPDATE: I’ve heard that Elliott’s campaign lobbied the Leadership Election Committee all day to toss the Hudak memberships, but when they received a “definitive no”, that’s when the strategy changed to put out a statement supporting the memberships in question.
UPDATE: I’ve received formal communication from the Hudak campaign explaining what went wrong,
Regarding your story posted tonight, the issue in question requires an important clarification.
All memberships were submitted as per the established Party Rules before the required cutoff. Any member who signed up before 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 14 is entitled to vote next month.
This is simply an administrative issue. Because of the large number of memberships submitted to our campaign, we asked that an extension to file supporting documentation be granted to all campaigns more than 48 hours in advance of the deadline. We had no indication from anyone at the party that this request for an extension would be refused. The party failed to respond to our request until after the deadline, upon which we immediately filed all supporting documentation.
All memberships submitted by our campaign are valid.
Tim Hudak Campaign