03.30.2011 12:34 PM

…and another Conservative campaign day goes to shit (updated)

“Conservative Leader Stephen Harper is distancing himself from another tainted political organizer who found a home in a local candidate’s campaign.

Giulio Maturi, who was a top official in the campaign of disgraced former Montreal mayoral candidate Benoit Labonté in 2009, was listed as late as Wednesday afternoon as the campaign manager for a Montreal Conservative candidate.

But during a lunchtime news conference, Mr. Harper said Mr. Maturi is no longer part of the campaign.”

What do I think?  I think that the media have endured being treated like doormats by PMO for a long, long time.  The lists, the disrespect, the disdain, the continual bashing of the MSM by Conservative bloggers and partisans.

And, now, the payback is taking place at the worst possible time for the Cons.  This is getting interesting.

UPDATE: Not the action of a guy who is way ahead, this. It’s the action of a guy who might be getting nervous.


  1. Jimmy says:

    As usual the only ones who can defeat the conservatives are the conservatives.
    So far they are doing just that, with a little help from some eagled eyed reporters. Stories like this write themselves after all.
    There is a discernible lack of momentum around the Conservative campaign. If the Libs can start to gain a little “mo” this thing could get interesting.

  2. Michael S says:

    Meanwhile Iggy is raising eyebrows with the media. Literally. And they like it.

  3. Jerome Bastien says:

    Thanks for putting it so plainly Warren. Conservatives have known for a long time of the pro-Liberal bias of the MSM. It is nice to have it confirmed by an insider such as yourself though.

    • Warren says:

      Were you paid for this comment?™

      • Jerome Bastien says:

        No, but thanks for asking. I understand this is going to be your comeback for every conservative-ish comment posted on your blog. Hopefully it will sustain you in the coming weeks.

      • Roger says:


        this one is a non starter…no wonder the public is so disengeaged when it comes to elections…..This election seems to be about which party can successfully trick the electorate the most…nothing about REAL ideas….so sick of all this bullshit on all sides…and you sir, are one of the problems, not one of the solutions.

      • H Holmes says:

        Never gets old.

      • Tceh says:

        Yes! Jerome was paid by the CPC to keep an on your Warren 😉 **

        **Tceh was not paid by any political party for the above comment.

        I can be bribed though, Pro-CONservative comment rates $500 per comment, Any other party, free! contact me a tceh@bitemeharper.con

    • Chris says:

      “Reality has a well known liberal bias.”
      — Stephen Colbert

      • Jerome Bastien says:

        that’s a poor imitation of the original, which comes from Maggie Thatcher: “Facts of life are conservative”

        • Namesake says:

          well, except that the latter quote was actually Chris Patten’s (the former chairman of Britain’s Conservative Party), not Thatcher’s, but, hey, what’s a little misattribution between drones, er, Jeromes.

    • Ted H. says:

      The MSM has given Harper and the Cons a pass for years now. They were brutal to Dion, eager to list any Ignatieff missteps over the past 5 years and quick to report any organizational problems in the Liberal Party. So don’t try to pawn off that woe is me Conservative B*S* about a pro-liberal bias. It’s not true and you know it.

      • Jerome Bastien says:

        I defer to WK on this one. He is much more knowledgeable then me on the media and things like that. If he says that the MSM is going to “payback” the Conservatives for the comments of conservative bloggers, I believe him.

        • Jerome Bastien says:

          should be ‘than me’

          • dave says:

            Should be “than I,” as in “…more knowledgeable than I am knowledgeable on the media…”
            Of course, we would use ellipsis and leave out the words “…am knowledgeable…” and everyone would still understand the main content of the sentence.
            Otherwise, your three sentences are concise and deliver your message nicely.
            I realize that this is nothing to quibble about, so I will not quibble about it.

            (I am paid by the word for this comment.)

    • Mike says:

      Jerome, when a politician denies access and bad-mouths you – you probably wind up with a poor view of that person. That doesn’t make the media Pro-Liberal, but sure might make some members therof a little bit anti-Stephen.

      Complaining that dog you kick nips back at you is pretty silly. Kicking the dog that you might want help from someday is pretty dumb too.

      • Jerome Bastien says:

        Silly me, I thought the members of the press were supposed to be objective. Had I known it was all about writing fluff pieces for those who treat you well and writing hatchet jobs for those who treat you badly, I might have become a journalist.

        • Namesake says:

          you — “thought”; heh, heh… good one. Conbots say the darndest things.

          Meanwhile, invoking your Glorious Leader’s rule, that’s it for you, today; you’ve had more than your allotted four intrusions into the talking point for the day.

          • Jerome Bastien says:

            Wow, you guys are wound tight these days – its not healthy. Go smoke a doobie with your NDP friends, you’ll feel much better.

            Dont be so bitter, the Liberals will get their chance again one day.

            If you’re under 40, odds are it’ll be in your lifetime even.

        • Mike says:

          Really, objective like Mike Duffy’s softball “conversation” fluff piece on Harper that, no doubt, helped land him his Senate job for life?

  4. Lance says:

    Political organizers, who is who……………….inside baseball stuff. People yawn and then wonder about their tax return.

  5. Michael Rapaport says:

    Seems as though a Majority is never going to happen… Even though prefer Harper, I’d rather have a Liberal Majority over another Minority. TIRED of the constant campaigning, short term decision making, and political instability!

  6. Michael S says:

    And I quote Guy Giorno: “The media must stop asking unapproved questions!!!”

  7. ottawacon says:

    I think the other thing you are seeing is the staggering amount of talent and experience lost by the Conservatives in the past 3 years. You cannot replace a Doug Finley with a Jenni Byrne without some consequences somewhere. If you look at Harper’s inner circle from the march to leadership, then merger, then the 2004 general election through to the 2006 election, they are basically all gone. In fact, many of their immediate replacements have now left since 2008.

    We now resume our regularly scheduled Cheryl Gallant countdown…

  8. Emily Dee says:

    Good one. Don’t hold back. LOL … Emily

  9. CdnPolitico says:

    Amen Warren. That’s what happens when you treat reporters, the public service and the bulk of Canada as garbage for the better part of 5 years… when the stink starts to rise from your camp, ain’t nobody around to help wave it away. This campaign is getting VERY interesting! GO LPC GO!

  10. Greg says:

    It could be too, that after 5 years, the Conservatives have finally turned the corner and are seen as the government rather than the “opposition in government”. The MSM is always hard on the government. They didn’t know what to do with the “opposition in government”.

  11. Harith says:

    One of the best bits from the article is this: “Conservative officials later announced the national Harper tour would no longer take questions on local campaigns.”

    Translation: Tories will no longer allow embarrassing topics to come up during events meant to advertise the Harper Government.

    • Ted says:

      So if the media ask it, and he doesn’t answer, does that count as one of their precious 4 questions that Harper deigns to permit?

  12. Sean says:

    also, challenging Ignatieff to a one on one is a colossally stupid move by Harper. Harper needs a five way race and the last thing he should want to do is eliminate Layton from the debate. Wow.

  13. Greg says:

    When will he distance himself from Mr.Baird?

  14. Michael S says:

    Plus, all that spend discrediting Michael Ignatieff has gone to hell with a challenge to a 1 on 1 debate. He just made Michael Ignatieff his equal.

  15. Darren says:

    I dunno. I thought it was demonstrated a while ago that just because the national media figures something is important doesn’t mean that the general public does. There may be similar stories all through the campaign but that doesn’t mean they will gain any traction. Personally, I could never volunteer for any campaign simply because I’ve said things to friends and others which could be used against me, nothing illegal but, perhaps, controversial.

    As for the Harper-Ignatieff debate, it’s a classic Cola War tactic. Well done.

  16. Cow says:

    Agreed with everything you’ve said here.

    That said, this sure is fascinating. Sour grapes over losing the nomination battle? Or are things going worse for us in the 905 than we hoped?

  17. Riley Hennessey says:

    I would love to see a one-on-one debate. I think both leaders are skilled. Harper because he’s run several elections now, and Ignatieff because he was an extremely well renowned professor who likely engaged in plenty of debates during his tenure as TV host and academic.

    I think this election is about clear policy differences. On the one hand you have the Conservatives arguing that lowering corporate taxes will stimulate investment and the economy (an argument made by Chretien, Martin and now McGuinty) and then on the other side you have Layton and Ignatieff arguing that raising taxes on corporations will increase revenue which you can use to fund special programs and projects which will stimulate the economy. Both are valid policies, so if parties frame these issues right it could be an engaging period in the last week or so of the campaign.

  18. Ted says:

    The one-on-one debate is dumb for Harper. Harper benefitted enormously last time from having himself on one side and 4 others on the other side. I thought it was genious of him to allow May in for that reason: more cacaphony of screeching attacks on the other side, more calm disposition on his side.

    Now, he’ll not be able to avoid answers, detailed answers that delve into the depths of issues. He elevates Ignatieff and makes him his equal. His strategy before now was to squeeze the Liberals by promoting the NDP and he just helped the Liberals pick up all of the soft left. Plus this is Ignatieff’s element: a debate about policy and ideas on TV. He’s been doing this for 30 years.

    So watch for Harper’s next move on this to claim he only has time for one English debate and one French debate, so it’s either just the two of them or all of them.

    He’ll figure some way to back out.

    • MississaugaLibPeter says:

      I disagree!

      Harper wants 1-on-1 with Ignatieff because he can outdebate him. He is right. He has much, much more experience than Ignatieff.

      I hope the Liberal War Room, with a string of good days, does not get cocky and start thinking that Ignatieff is more than he is. He is the one that I want for PM. However, this is his FIRST national campaign. Be careful. If Ignatieff just draws with Harper at the debates, I and many Liberals will be very happy.

      Harper does not want a 4-way because both Layton and Duceppe are just as experienced debaters as he is.

      1-on-1. Harper gets to spew his BS for 50% of the time.
      4-way. Harper gets to spew his BS for 25% of the time.

  19. Michael S says:

    If so, Warren’s next mascot needs to be a chicken.

  20. Michael S says:

    BTW: Is Jenni Byrne about to be sacked ?

  21. Ottlib says:

    I am not certain why the Liberal War Room has talked this up but Doug Findlay seemed to indicated that he is helping out the national Conservative campaign.

    If operatives under investigation cannot participate in local campaigns, why would a Senator, who has been charged with an offence under the Elections Canada Act, be acceptable in helping out the national campaign?

    I would have thought they would have been all over that.

    • nic coivert says:

      Because of optics.

      Findlay can’t hurt any specific riding by being involved (and nobody really has even heard of the guy), whereas the Edmonton-Strathocona campaign created a lightening rod of dissent due to T’s involvement. And he may still be helping anyway, in a less visible capacity.

      Where has Ryan Sparrow landed these days?

  22. dave says:

    Are people figuring that Ignatieff is an effective debater because of his tv show and his experience as a university professor?
    His tv interview shows were lively enough discussions. I don’t remember them as being debates.
    A professor might have debates with students. But I think it more likely that a professor would engage in question and answer leading to discussion session of colloquy with students. Of course, a professor might use debate as a teaching tool, – maybe somebody knows whether or not Ignatieff did so.
    He may well be an effective debater, but I am not sure that the evidence that I have mentioned would say so.
    I would not take it for granted that he would be good at this.
    (Methinks Layton would have had as much debate in one city council meeting as a professor at Harvard would have in a semester.)

  23. Patrick Hamilton says:

    Cant wait for the Reformers(I refuse to call them Conservatives any longer) to panic, circle their wagons, and fire inwards……ala Stockwell Days campaign a few years back…..seems to me they replaced their campaign manager(Logan Day) sometime into the campaign as well…..so long Jenni, we hardly knew ye…..LOL

  24. progressive not dogmatic says:

    I’m no political strategist. But I think the opposition Parties are missing a huge opportunity by believing the propaganda & hype Carper & his Carping Cronies are spreading re: coalition being a boogeyman. I think they (the opposition Parties) should take the opportunity to point out that co-operation in a workplace is a GOOD, DESIRABLE thing, and that they are the ‘co-operative Parties that are willing to co-operate in their workplace: the Parliament, but that the Carper Crons are refusing to work co-operatively and are making workplace conditions impossible and intolerable: refusing to give them the information they need to properly do their job; not explaining their decisions vis-a-vis why long-time, respectable & reputable organizations doing important work in the 3rd World suddenly have their funding cut off, without warning or proper explanation; that the formerly world-respected organization that enables all sorts of Canadian municipalities & organizations to do proper planning for their work & proper planning in the community i.e. Statistics Canada, has been made impotent and cut off at its knees while spending MORE money on a LESS EFFECTIVE voluntary survey rather than an actual census; and that any expert opinion or government watchdog has either been vilified and fired (Linda Keen, Richard Colvin etc.) or not had their term renewed and not been replaced. Of course, refusing to give Canadian MPs who have been elected to Parliament the paperwork to do their job of holding government accountable — from Afghan detainee documents to budget documents — cripples the functioning of this workplace. This lack of co-operation by the Carper Crons makes Parliament a toxic and dysfunctional workplace.

    Don’t be scared and misled by the propaganda of the Carper Crons who are trying to scare you with the term ‘coalition government’! Instead, be very frightened by the idea of a so-called governing Party which creates a toxic workplace, a dictatorial and hierarchal top-down organization that refuses to co-operate with anyone else, and intentionally disrupts the work of Parliamentary Committees — this has been documented in their Conservative strategy workbook. Who would you rather have working for Canadian citizens? Several Canadian Parties representing Canadians from coast to coast who are willing and able to work together in a co-operative manner on many issues and legislation for the better good of the Canadian public that elected them? Or one autocratic, smug, arrogant Party that refuses to work together with any of the other Parties and dismisses their requests for the information they need to properly do their jobs, a Party that barely acknowledges the legitimacy of the other Parties, a Party that ignores and diminishes the rulings of the Speaker of the House vis a vis that they are in contempt of Parliament (while at the same time admitting that Peter Milliken was the best Speaker of the House, ever), and a Party that seems to think it can do whatever it wants in a minority government without even the need to explain its positions.

    Who would you rather have running this country? An autocratic Party with very dangerous dictatorial tendencies that believes it can make the rules without even attempting general agreement? Without even trying for consensus or co-operation; or trying to get along with the other Parties? One that thinks it can dictate its decisions to all the other Parties and to the expert bureaucrats (consider the former Head of Stats Canada, forced to resign on principle; or the nuclear watchdog who was fired for warning that the Chalk River nuclear stations desperately needed to be fixed; or CIDA who recommended funding Kairos and were never given an explanation of why their expert advice was ignored)?

    Or alternatively, would you want our country governed by several Parties of different stripes, who believe in co-operating and working together and making decisions collectively, and who want to be diligent in their jobs by having access to the information they need, and who believe that expert bureaucrats should be respected and heard, and that their expert advice should be taken into consideration unless there are very, very strong mitigating factors or reasons why not to do so? And believe that their workplace, and the workplace of all Parliamentary MPs, should be a well-functioning, respectful place of work.

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