Vinnie & Twy

Archive for the ‘Stupid Losers’ Category

No Virginia -part deux

In bitching, Bullshit Winnipeg, Canadian politics, Stupid Losers on November 21, 2010 at 3:17 pm

One of the more public disasters that occurred was an all candidates forum hosted by an NDP affiliated group called the Point Douglas Residents Committee.

First, let’s give you, the reader, a bit of background on this group. They have received some media attention over the past couple of years for their valiant attempts to wrest their neighbourhood from the grip of local criminal gangs. Including a very nice visit from the Governor General.

Point Douglas is known as one of the more neglected areas of Winnipeg. As such, lots of poverty and heartache up and down every street. I remember when I drove a school bus for Winnipeg 1, we had to bus all the kids to school regardless of the short walk due to all the available dangers.

In an effort to capitalize on the neverending drama of such a high crime neighbourhood, the NDP parachuted in agent provocateur, Sel Burrows. He started the Point Douglas Residents Committee and used it to set up a volunteer run anti-crime thingy called “Powerline”. The idea is that if you see a crime, or have a suspicious neighbour, you call one of the volunteers from the Powerline. Then that person calls the next person and so on and so forth until someone finally calls Sel Burrows. Then he makes a few calls of his own and eventually, the suspicious neighbour is evicted from their home and Point Douglas is saved.

We figured it would probably make sense for Jenny to at least meet this Sel Burrows. So she hopped in her shiny new Cadillac and went to pick Sel up at his house in Point Douglas. Sel, sporting a black eye (no doubt a result of some heroic Powerline activities) recommended a local restaurant and that’s where they went. As soon as they walked in, the owners smiled and said, “Jenny!”. During this coffee date, Sel told Jenny that he grew up in the affluent River Heights area and became heavily involved with the NDP during his University days and has been some kind of NDP operative ever since. Jenny told him that while it was very noble of him to be slumming in the Point, he should keep in mind that she had spent a good chunk of her childhood there and that she was not slumming because it was her hood. Anyway, at the end, Sel said “you’ll get no trouble from me”. And we didn’t.

By the time the civic election rolled around, the PDRC had an internal mutiny and Sel stepped down for whatever reason. As a result, the PDRC was under the control of several locals who all refer to themselves as chairs, co-chairs or directors of this organization. Messy.

In the summertime on one of the multitude of doorknocking adventures, Jenny happened to meet a woman Roanna Hepburn, who also claimed to be the chair of the PDRC. That day, Roanna was very friendly and said that she was so impressed with Jenny that she would do whatever it took to get her elected. Wow! Thanks! That’s so sweet!

After Jenny made her debut on live radio with Marty Gold, we ran into Roanna again at the Park Dedication ceremony at Norquay Community Centre. Roanna asked her about the comment Jenny had made on Marty’s show about Sam Katz winning her vote by default. Jenny and Roanna talked about this and shortly after, we received a written quote from Rowena to use along with a picture of the two of them together for our pink brochure. This doesn’t matter yet, but it will become important later on. (trust me)

The day that we sent the brochure to press, we received a panic phone call from Roanna. She apologized up and down, but said she was too scared to publicly endorse Jenny due the the NDP affiliation of her group, the PDRC. We assured her that we understood perfectly and stopped the presses. No hard feelings.

Back to our story.

Over the course of the summer of 2010, there were many rumours swirling around that the PDRC was planning a public debate of some kind. At one point a message was left at our office from someone named Chris at the PDRC. We mistakenly thought that it was a man named Chris DeSouza, who had been in to our office before and had told us that he had at one time been part of the PDRC. At any rate, I returned the call, but got a machine and left a message. I called back several times, but never did connect with anyone at that office, so around mid-September, we emailed them a request for an invitation to their event. When no one got back to us, we dropped it and made no further plans to attend.

Until…

On September 27th, there was an ad in the Winnipeg Free Press and we had gotten word that the event was to be some kind of staged attack on Jenny’s background and credibility. So quite naturally, we fired off an email to them expressing how insulted we were at not being invited to their so-called “All Candidate’s Forum”. (which I cc’d to all the press) Someone named Chris Mc Carville, director of the PDRC, then hit “reply all” and sent us back a nasty, all caps response assuring us and the media that they would inform the voters of Mynarski “exactly” why Jenny was “too scared” to be there.

We went and so did all the press.

A kind of hush fell over the room when we entered. Awkward.

Having not received an invitation to participate, Jenny sat in the audience with the team. Roanna came over and insisted that Jenny take a place at the head table next to Ross Eadie.

Since there were not enough microphones, everyone had to share. So when it was Ross’s turn, Jenny tried to assist him with showing him where the mic was. He is blind after all and Jenny is very nice. Ross pushed it away, and said he didn’t need it. Then he stood up and rather yelled instead. Much classier.

Ross carried on in this manner throughout the event, waving his arms about and spitting as he yelled passionately about voting for “JUDY WASYLYCIA_LEIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
and what have you. Even while he was quietly waiting to speak, Ross’s legs were going a mile a minute. Very fidgetey. He reminded me of “Crazy Legs” from SCTV.

Poor Jenny kept moving her chair further and further away from him so as not to get hit by Ross. All in all, this was a pretty hostile environment if you had to be Jenny. Luckily, the PDRC turned out to be a bunch of sissies and chickened out of discrediting or attacking for the most part.

Ms. Martin came over and introduced herself to me and my sister during this break. She said that she had just been assigned by her boss, Bartley Kives, to cover Mynarski Ward that very day and was not familiar with all the details and wondered if we would be free to meet with her in the next few days. Of course we agreed.

It got pretty boring, so most of the reporters went home at the intermission, leaving Melissa Martin of the Winnipeg Free Press as the lone reporter covering the second half of the forum. For awhile, it was so boring, that Jenny focused her efforts on trying to catch a tiny fly that kept buzzing around.

Eventually, it got exciting again. Ross Eadie, felt that it would be smart to stand up and interrupt another candidate very loudly. At that point, the moderator made several attempts to get Mr. Eadie to stop ‘talking’ and sit down. Mr.Eadie carried on at the top of his lungs about how difficult it was to find donors to mount his campaign and that he was receiving financial support from the NDP. At that point the moderator, mild mannered Rob Galston stormed out of the room. It was all too much.

I can tell you that I was not the only audience member who was both shocked and stunned. According to the election rules for the City of Winnipeg, receiving financial support from a political party is totally illegal. A public statement like that would surely spark an investigation with a lot of bad press and spell the demise of the Ross Eadie for Council campaign.

We raced home to tell the husbands all about our adventures and have a couple victory drinks. Cheers.

No Virginia; There Is No Santa Claus – part 1

In bitching, Bullshit Winnipeg, Canadian politics, Stupid Losers, Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 9:12 pm

As most of you already know, I was recently involved in running my sister Jenny’s campaign for public office. More specifically, for City Councillor of Mynarski Ward here in Winnipeg. For the most part it was a lot of fun. We were generously supported by so many people. We met local voters with interesting stories and we tried to be helpful whenever we could. We built a small but powerful team of volunteers and we can never do enough to thank them.

However, one or two things that happened may have changed my view of the Canadian political arena for good. For starters, I had been warned by Conservatives about something called “THE NDP MACHINE”. Oooh. Scary! They told us scandalous stories of their cheatey tactics and unscrupulous behaviour, but I took no heed. Everyone knows Conservatives are all liars anyway. I would never listen to what they had to say. So there.

My opinion of the NDP (up until now) had been based in part, on the epic story of Mr. Tommy Douglas and the good T.V news reputation of one Ed Broadbent. Besides, I have met some NDPers personally, and they were very nice to me. Polite and everything. Who in their right mind could accuse the sweet boyscout like NDP of anything other than being the good guys? Yeah sure, they are sometimes badly dressed and rarely seem to get decent haircuts, but some kind of evil “MACHINE”? Well, I guess there was that Svend Robinson incident. You know, the shoplifting. But, come on! That’s hardly a “MACHINE”. It’s only one guy!

This “NDP MACHINE” they speak of, perhaps it is not the actual “people”, but a mind control device operated by some nefarious super-villian who has infiltrated their ranks? Maybe. Seems likely. The Anti-Douglas?

Throughout the campaign we heard from voters who had felt they had been affected by the “NDP MACHINE” and voters who were being pressured by their unions to vote for the NDP. We met countless new immigrants who told us (some with tears in their eyes) that they had been forced to allow an NDP sign in their yard or there would be “trouble” from the government. (What? What kind of trouble?) Surely, this is pure speculation.

I know, that as a former union member myself, I received a few calls from unions and the Labour Council instructing me who to vote for, but who listens to what their union has to say in these modern times? Anyone?

One lady, who happens to be disabled, called us crying after a brick came flying through her living room window. Well, that is pretty mean. That could definitely be the work of a super-villian with a “MACHINE”. Sure. Like a potato gun, but for bricks.

When we got to her house, she was a puddley mess and she told us that the man who she saw throw the brick, had condemned her for having a “Jenny” sign in her front yard and yelled to her that he was a “personal friend” of Ross Eadie’s. Huh? Legbreaker tactics? No…that’s still only one guy. (well, we’re up to 2 at this point, possibly a few more, but still, doesn’t amount to a hill o’beans) Anyway, she wound up calling all the different candidates to ask for signs so that she couldn’t be accused of favouring any one over any other. Solved.

Let’s pretend that all of those people overreacted. Yes, let’s.

Also, unbelievable but true, was the situation we ran into with Canada Post. Since we had a limited number of bodies on our election team, we made the fateful decision to have our brochures delivered by Canada Post. Even though it was very expensive, we decided that it would be money well spent. We felt that this was the most efficient way to ensure that every household in the ward had an introduction to our candidate. Again, we were warned by certain members of the Conservative Party, that Canada Post was not to be trusted with political mail. They are part of the “MACHINE”!
Woooooo! The “NDP MACHINE”!

“Hogwash!” we said.

We mailed our leaflets and carried on with the business of electioneering, knocking on door after door in neighbourhood after neighbourhood.

We soon found that very few households had received our mailer. It seemed like entire areas had not had it delivered. Too many to ignore.

Odd. Geez. We mailed it…

On one such street, Redwood Avenue, we happened upon a mailman who we stopped. We showed him the bright pink mailer and asked him if he had seen it or remembered delivering it. He told us that he had seen it at the depot, but it had never made it to his mailbox and he had not delivered it. When we pressed him for more details, he told us that it was most likely delivered, but by another mailman “on a day when he was away sick”. Hmmm. Could it be that he was….(heee)….lying?

A while later, in another neighbourhood, Jenny asked another mailman if he had been the one to deliver the mail during the week that our mailer was scheduled to be delivered. He said that he had and in fact, had delivered the mail every single day that week. So, she showed him the pink brochure. The mailman abruptly changed his mind about having worked that week and decided that he had “been on holidays”.

Then a former Canada Post employee informed us that for the 25 years that she had been a sorter, it was always common practice to delay delivery of all non-NDP political mail. No! That can’t be true! Oh how naive we had been! Such blind faith!

She went on to describe to us how it was done. (I’ll save those details in case I am called to testify in court) She also told us that often, they would “accidentally” deliver political flyers to the wrong ridings. Or deliver them long after the election. Then she gently mocked us for thinking that our brochure would be delivered by Canada Post when we were running such an obviously non-NDP affiliated campaign. After all, Canada Post employees are all part of a very NDP friendly and powerful union.

“But it’s the Queen’s mail!

At that point we began to think that the evil Stephen Harper may have had good reason (for once) when he threatened to dismantle and privatize Canada Post. They do appear to be controlled by the “NDP MACHINE”. Perhaps Svend Robinson really is behind this so-called “MACHINE”, well, then you know, there’s no telling how far he’d go or what he’s really capable of. After all, he is a known shoplifter.

So, we thought about it for a bit, had a heated debate amongst the team and then we called the PMO to tell on them.

Surprisingly, we did get some action from that phone call. That action trickled right on down to the Canada Post outlet in Winnipeg on Mountain Avenue pretty quickly. Wow. Not bad.

When the post office did call us back, all they offered was a discount of $100.00 on our next mail out. Pfft. Lame.

Screw them, we sent Daddy. As expected, Daddy explained things to them very carefully and very loudly. He talked about the legalities and how much he wanted to call the RCMP and the probable loss of their jobs and possible jail time and everything else they could look forward to. Our next mailer was delivered to every single house in the whole ward and all on the same day. Nice.

Moral of the story, never send a Conservative Prime Minister to do the job of an angry father.

To be continued…