Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nancy Branscombe, new PC candidate in London North Centre, has some interesting ideas about political integrity

Nancy Branscombe was nominated as Tim Hudak's candidate in London North Centre last night, and while Tim Hudak says that she will "fight for the priorities of families", given Nancy's personal record of political games, she has her own priorities.

Here's an article on how Nancy Branscombe does politics:

Calgary Herald Thu Jul 9 1998

She identified herself as Betty from London. But her real name was Nancy, from Peterborough.

A senior Reform Party official has landed in hot water for fibbing about her identity during a telephone call-in program on CBC Newsworld.

Nancy Branscombe, manager of Reform's United Alternative campaign, admits she gave a false name in order to criticize former Tory cabinet minister John Crosbie on the airwaves.
"I thought it was a harmless bit of fun, but obviously, in hindsight, it wasn't," Branscombe said Wednesday.

"I did say I was 'Betty from London.' I wouldn't do it again. I'm sorry it happened, but I don't know what else I can say."

The Betty blooper happened June 27 during CBC Newsworld's On The Line, an hour-long current affairs program which had Crosbie on as a guest.

Branscombe, who lives in Peterborough, Ont., felt she had to publicly challenge Crosbie for his on-air criticism of Reform.

She explained that she didn't feel the news network would let her on the air to talk to Crosbie if producers knew her real name.

Her ruse was exposed when an anonymous caller phoned the local media to tip them off about the real identity of "Betty."

The lie has drawn a rebuke, but no formal discipline from Reform Leader Preston Manning.

"Nancy's actions were clearly unacceptable," said Manning's press secretary Jim Armour.

"She understands that, and we're confident that it will not happen again. No further action will be taken on this matter."

Branscombe's job is among the most senior staff positions within the Reform Party.

She and Calgary Southeast MP Jason Kenney head the party's attempt to create a new political coalition, primarily with Conservatives, to fight the federal Liberals.

Branscombe ran unsuccessfully as a Reform candidate in Peterborough in last year's federal election.

She is a member of the provincial Tory party in Ontario.

An executive with the federal Conservatives in Peterborough said the incident shows Reform is desperate.

"She got caught in an out-and-out lie," Mary Rogers told the Peterborough Examiner.

Ruth-Ellen Soles, a spokeswoman for CBC in Toronto, told the paper Newsworld tries to screen out calls suspected to be "political plants" and said the network "takes these things very seriously."

It's common practice for political strategists to instruct supporters to flood radio or television talk shows with calls in an attempt to demonstrate support for, or against, particular issues.

But Branscombe said she has never lied about her identity in the past.

"No, believe me," she said

I think it's telling that Tim Hudak would want a backroom, Reform Party era backroom politico (and remember some of the values that Branscombe represented when she ran in 1997 - an end to multiculturalism, ending bilingualism, denial of climate change, and Reform MP's during this period made statements that gays and "ethnics" should be able to be fired at will by employers, although given Tim Hudak's promise to end human rights protections, maybe that explains a few things) with a questionable personal view about what is acceptable in politics to represent him and his party in a riding as important as London North Centre.

No comments: