Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ah, the Wellington saga continues

Today the Winnipeg Sun recounts the latest claim out of Wellington -- this one from former candidate Angie Ramos that the NDP intimidated her to drop out before the nomination deadline.

In a letter to the Sun, Ramos writes she was "forced" to sign a resignation letter and she was "coerced" to drop out.

"Forced" to resign? Like what, she was tied up?

"Coerced"? That's a pretty major 10-dollar word.

This smells like another caper with Joe Chan's fingerprints all over it.

Joe Chan you may recall is the former associate of Councillor Harvey "weird old man" Smith, who vied for the Wellington nomination, but ran into the small problem of not disclosing his former company's run-in with the law on Internet child porn charges.

Chan is also frequently singled out as the figure behind the dirty tricks that often pepper Smith's campaigns, like hiring kids to destroy opponents' signage and dropping "dirty" flyers about opponents. In Smith's race against former CBC host Maureen Pendergast, Chan is widely recognized as having gone on an intense homophobic whisper campaign among ethnic communities in the area.

But some time before the writ drop, Chan was disqualified from the nomination and ran as an independent.

Incumbent Conrad Santos dropped out of the running when news of his own possible nomination hi jinx came to light. Angie, by all accounts a nice woman, was previously an unknown quantity in the NDP. She ran for the party nomination and won with the support of the membership signed up by Chan.

As you will recall, at the time of the writ, Chan ran as an independent, but all his materials were in NDP green and orange. Santos also ran, but came dead last.

So, shortly before the official Elections Manitoba nomination deadline Ramos quit, citing health problems. The party convinced Flor Marcelino to carry the party banner and made a direct appointment. Flor won.

Word on the street is Chan had his hands all over the Ramos nomination as his back-up plan. Ramos would resign after the nomination deadline, the NDP would have no candidate in Wellington. Chan would run as the seeming-NDP candidate and scoop up the seat in the vacuum.

Ramos, however, couldn't handle the pressure of the deception and was literally sick with worry about it and came clean before the nomination deadline, messing up Chan's grand plan.

Now, it seems the questionable Chan has somehow convinced Ramos to fall back in line and has enlisted the questionably-stable Kevin Lamoureux to make some hay with the invention of a new tale for the media.

At least it isn't dull.


Both Samyn and Chantal Hebert [UPDATE: as did Mia] wax eloquent about Gary Doer's new status as the official dean of the First Ministers' club. It will be very interesting over the next few years to see Manitoba's place on the national scene even more elevated and what that could mean for the Keystone Province.