That's the view of the senior party officers of their own members who expressed concern over the "In-and-Out" scheme they had allegedly cooked up to get the taxpayers to fund national political advertising while claiming it was "local".
Mr. MacKenzie's campaign manager, Bruce Richards, said in one email that the plan for the campaign to contribute $10,000 to the media buys "has caused some concern internally."And the name, Michael Donison, jumped right off the monitor at me. Mike Donison is calling other people "turds". Heh!
Mr. Richards is the former chief of police in Ingersoll, Ontario.
The party's regional organizer for South Western Ontario wrote back to assure Mr. Richards the plan was legitimate. "There is absolutely nothing wrong with this," John Bracken said in his email. Mr. Richards replied that the Oxford campaign didn't have enough space under its local spending limit to take on the extra $10,000 expense limit, anyway.
At the same time, Mr. Bracken was emailing with Michael Donison, the Conservative Party's national director, who was quarterbacking the plan to bill local ridings for so-called regional media buys.
"These idiots in Oxford have now told me they don't have room for the $10K," Mr. Bracken wrote. "These people really take the cake."
Mr. Donison wrote back: "What a bunch of turds - this is not going to cost them a cent nor give them a moment of cash flow problem and in fact will allow them $6,000 more in their reimbursement and they still try to wiggle out!"
Here's a wee bit of history.
Several decades ago a local scout troop was camped out on a clearing overlooking a lake on Vancouver Island. The regular shenanigans associated with a scout patrol on a camp were well underway. Practical jokes, booby traps, disassembled backpacks littering the area, etc. Supper was being put together by the "duty cook" and everyone was waiting to see what this edition of macaroni and cheese would taste like.
Suddenly there was a scream and the patrol leader of Blue Heron patrol found himself flat on his face, very close to the cooking fire, having hit a trip wire placed as a defence against sneak attacks by the members of other patrols. The "duty cook" was unimpressed and told the patrol leader to move back. That's when things got a little crazy.
The patrol leader lost his temper and started issuing orders at a rate not unlike a sub-machine gun with the trigger wired back. He berated the members of the patrol for their "un-scoutlike" behaviour and a general level of sloppiness that would cause Baden-Powell to rise from the dead and rip off everyone's Bushcraft, if not Citizenship badges.
There was only one problem for the patrol leader: Blue Heron patrol was the senior patrol in that scout troop. Every member was either a First Class Scout or a Second Class Scout needing only one or two requirements to advance. In scout years, these were old hands, more than capable of looking after themselves. The patrol leader was an appointment made from outside the patrol and most members didn't view the current patrol leader as being capable of dealing with his authority.
So, for the most part, they ignored him, including his younger brother who possessed a razor sharp wit and a remarkable talent for baiting his elder sibling. This occasion requiring less wit and a more direct statement, words were exchanged.
In the parlance of the day, brother the younger said to brother the elder, "Quit being such a turd."
If I remember correctly, the patrol leader, suffering from some kind of apoplexy, screamed, "I'm not a turd! I'm in charge!" Causing the others to break out in fits of laughter and the patrol leader to stomp off into the bush to commune with an Oregon Grape or something.
The younger brother was this guy who, as a trustee of the National Arts Centre, a musical director of national renown and the current director of Music by the Sea, may be having some difficulty with the drive-by cuts to arts funding executed by the Conservatives.
I'm sure you can figure out who the patrol leader, forever labeled a turd, was. And yes, I was there. I made a wicked macaroni and cheese dinner.
This part of the Ottawa Citizen article I found curious.
Mr. Donison left the party's national office to become a senior policy advisor to Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan, and is not playing a role in the current election campaign.That's odd. According to the parliamentary website, revised on 2 Sept 2008, Mike Donison is still the executive director of the Conservative Party.
Hat tip Kady, who is hopefully able to knock down the Dreaded Lurgi with cheap pharmaceuticals and a good night of rest.