Tory mud­slingers

The Coast - - THIS WEEK -

The late-stage mud­sling­ing in the Nova Sco­tia PC Party lead­er­ship race makes one thing clear: While Julie Chais­son re­spect­fully fo­cuses on her cam­paign, three of her fel­low can­di­dates be­lieve Tim Houston is way out in front. Ce­cil Clarke, John Lohr and El­iz­a­beth Smith-McCrossin left the fi­nal de­bate in Truro seem­ingly in agree­ment that it was a time for “unity,” and then com­menced an on­slaught against the pre­sumed fron­trun­ner, Houston, with email as their mor­tar of pref­er­ence.

The Clarke cam­paign led the way, seem­ingly giv­ing cam­paign man­ager Chad Bowie carte blanche. Bowie de­scribes cam­paigns as “dog­fights” in in­ter­views about his field of ex­per­tise, and is de­scribed as hav­ing an af­fec­tion for Amer­i­can pol­i­tics. His tac­tics sank to a new low last week when the Clarke cam­paign shared screen­shots of so­cial me­dia com­ments by one of Cape Bre­ton’s most no­to­ri­ous Clarke crit­ics, la­belling him a Tim Houston cam­paign team mem­ber. Clarke, of course, knows full well this isn’t true.

The in­di­vid­ual has been a vo­cal critic long be­fore the PC lead­er­ship race kicked off. The critic has protested Clarke’s birthday fundraiser and was also es­corted out of CBRM coun­cil ses­sions dur­ing a stand-in protest.

—Joe Ward, Syd­ney

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