Monday, 29 August 2011

Hudork: 'Keep My Family Out of It Except for This Humongous Image of Her and Our Adorable Daughter'

Back in November, Tim Hudak warned others to lay off his wife, Deb Hutton.

So, are families fair game in politics?
Just last month [October 2010], the Liberals issued a release under the headline “Tories at the Trough,” which singled out four Conservatives, including Hutton, for “living the good life” at taxpayers’ expense.

“After landing at Hydro One to collect a $200,000 per year salary, the former Harris aide forced taxpayers to cover over $5,000 in restaurant bills,” said the Liberal release.

Professor Henry Jacek of McMaster University in Hamilton said Wednesday that Hutton may indeed be considered fair game by the Liberals because of her political background.

“I think this is a special case,” Jacek said.

“It’s not that they’re trying to be mean to a spouse because she’s a spouse. They’re going to try to use her as evidence that her husband has close ties to Mike Harris.”

Now, however, there's this.

I'd say that Hudork himself has just involved his family in the campaign.

So how about those ties to Mike Harris? There are many, but Torontoist puts it best: 'Hudak loved the Common Sense Revolution so much he married it'.

Deb Hutton was Harris's aide and one of the architects of his political platform, the notorious Common Sense Revolution, which in many ways Ontario is still reeling from.

But you won't find that out from her Wikipedia page. It has been deleted.


Deb Hutton, Deb Hutton, why does that name ring a bell?

Oh, yeah. Ipperwash.

From Nov. 21, 2005:
Deb Hutton, who had been an aide to Premier Mike Harris, testifies at the Ipperwash Inquiry. Hutton was a member of Harris's inner circle who had represented the premier at several meetings during the standoff. She says allegations that Harris favoured armed force to resolve the occupation at Ipperwash are false.

On the other hand:
Other testimony has further put the Harris government in a bad light. In particular, former Harris aide, Deb Hutton repeatedly testified in November, 2005, that she couldn't remember any specific conversations, leading one cross-examiner to pointedly remark that she had used phrases such as "I don't recall" or "I don't specifically recall" on 134 separate occasions. Also former Ontario Provincial Attorney General Charles Harnick testified that Harris used profanity while shouting, "I want the fucking Indians out of the park.". Later witnesses denied Harnick's evidence.

Well, heck, she's just a wife, albeit with an interesting political past.

Or is she?
What’s not as clear is how much say Hudak’s wife, former Harris chief of staff Deb Hutton, a stay-at-home mom these days, will have on the political affairs of the Tory party now that her husband’s king. If Hutton’s rep for being hands-on holds (not-so-lovingly referred to by her critics as the most hated person at Queen’s Park when she was there), then things can get ugly real fast under Hudak.

And there is that little matter of the deleted Wiki page.

I think we need to know a little more about Ms Hutton's involvement in Hudork's plans for Ontario, don't you? Especially as so many of us believe it's going to be the Common Sense ReRevolution.

h/t gritchik who speculates:
With a double digit lead having evaporated over the summer because a lot of people, particularly women, don’t care for Hudak all that much, it appears the Tory brain trust wants to reassure voters that Tim really is a nice guy. Really.


Niles said...

So, "just a wife" is magic shielding against being treated as a human being with a stake in the outcome of society's decisions?

Good to know a woman's political agency disappears if she decides to 'stay at home' as a caregiver to children under the wing of a male partner. So, all those stay at home Real WomenTM who PM Harper say needed to be heard with more seriousness than the idea of national day care are only being heeded because, why?

Or is it that having a young child is key to the "just a wife" protection spell? Olivia Chow certainly hasn't been given any protection from "just a wife". Nor, so I recall, did Mme Kreiber, Stephane Dion's partner, (who as far as I know has never been an official political personage aside from being a 'wife') Of course, both of those women are *presently* participating in livelihood capacities outside the 'home'. Is that the magic factor here?

I wonder if the Conservatives are even aware of the way this "just a wife" framing comes across.

Anonymous said...

Taking political position A, applying straightforward logic to it, and coming up with unspoken position B is obviously a Liberal/communist partisan attack that should be discarded.

The Conservative media team is great at not saying things. They'll tell you what today's position is (though more and more often they don't even bother doing that) and tell you what you should think about it. (some variation of Conservatives great for country/only Conservatives can save you from this evil) What they never say is what their position was yesterday, especially when it's a complete about-face. And anyone who tries to call them on it or catch them with an intelligent question is obviously a Liberal hack: don't listen to them.

There are many many examples, but my favourite is the gun registry. Once upon a time one of the main arguments against the registry was that the Liberal gov wasn't telling parliament what it would cost, that they were abusing 'cabinet confidence' to hide from Access to Information and that Something Had To Be Done! Respectable and honourable principles. Now, of course, the gun registry is evil just because it's the gun registry, and guess who recently abused cabinet confidence to hide costing information on megaprojects from parliament.

As long as the Conservative media avoids pointing out their hypocrisies and continues to make voting recommendations, I'm sure they're pretty happy.

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