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.