Sweet Victory

Sound Off With Chris Schnurr

“Ethics?  Why start now?”

So wrote Paul Synnott on a blog site in response to my entry where I declared a conflict in Ward 4.

My column questioning whether or not there was a slate being run was met with charges of tin-foil hats, conspiracy theorists and other commentary including an attack against my mother – something sadly expected from this Potty-Mouthed Posse, or PMP for short.

As the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said, “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

But lowe and behold in Saturday’s Windsor Star, Chris Vander Doelen confirmed for the most part what I had observed – there is a slate of candidates being run.

Sweet, sweet victory.

While I take no exception with a slate of candidates,  voters do have the right to be aware of this.

Synnott, a “professional campaign manager and consultant” is apparently  “involved with seven separate council campaigns in Windsor and Tecumseh” stating, “I know from people we’re sending out to knock on doors that the top issues haven’t changed much” (Chris Vander Doelen, Windsor Star, August 14, 2014).

Who “we” is was not disclosed, nor were the campaigns he is “involved with.”

This is important considering he is also a political pundit on a community radio show criticizing other candidates such as Matt Ford in Ward 1.

If you recall,  the “professional campaign manager and consultant”  launched a petition in 2012 calling for a referendum on the auditor general position which read, “We, the undersigned, call on Windsor city council to place the issue of an auditor general for Windsor on the 2014 municipal ballot, for the people of Windsor to decide” (Anne Jarvis, Windsor Star, September 24, 2012).

A Facebook group – Windsor Auditor General Ballot Question, which no longer appears active – was created where Synnott posted, “Currently my plan is to present the petition to Windsor City Council in January so that they have enough time to produce a report and bring it to Council for consideration before the 2014 election in October” (Paul Synnott, October 16, 2013).

Just before the deadline to submit a ballot question had passed Synnott, donning the tinfoil, said “The timing (of the staff report) is, I don’t know, coincidental?” but added, “it was incumbent on me to know the deadlines … I thought I had till June” (Doug Schmidt, April 17, 2014, Windsor Star).

Nothing was ever submitted and the Auditor General question is not on the ballot.

Considering the effort put forth it seems unbelievable a professional campaign manager and consultant could be so careless as to not know the deadline on such an important issue – particularly if the objective was to give enough time for council to consider the request as he claimed he wanted to do.

Based on this, I’m scratching my head regarding my observation of several candidates all having similar web templates operating from the same web-server  including two from Ward 1, Denise Ghanam and Ryan Mancini,  where Mayor Francis’ brother, (Fr)Eddie Francis is running.

Are Ghanam and Mancini two of the seven campaigns the professional campaign manager and consultant is involved with?

Why would any council candidate serious about representing their friends and neighbours share a campaign manager or consultant?

A good question would be then are these candidates spoilers to take away votes from Matt Ford?

It’s akin to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau sharing resources during a federal election.

Although amusing to imagine,  it’s not going to happen for a plethora of reasons; aside from the fact it would be just stupid on the part of their campaigns to do so.

Which begs the question:  If these are two of the seven campaigns Synnott is “involved” with, either the candidates’ judgement is  lacking or could there be a secret handshake to maintain the status quo with a Fred Francis win?

Until this becomes clear, it is difficult to take anything either Ghanam or Mancini say seriously; although I’m certain the PMP will have much to say about my mother.

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