Monday, October 21, 2013

Calgary's Mayor Nenshi loves social media. He just isn't too good at it.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi doesn't like it when people re-tweet something that is critical of him.

Nenshi takes a cheap shot at Alan Hallman:

He gets called out on it by "Conservative Hippy":

Sheila Gunn Reid (SGR) re-tweets it in it's entirety and without edit. Mayor Nenshi attacks SGR and not the actual author of the tweet. (BTW: Sheila was not the only one to re-tweet that tweet, but she was the only one Nenshi went after)


Nenshi acknowledges that it was not SGR who wrote the tweet and doubles down with another uncalled for shot on SGR.

Calgary's mayor looks petty and hilarity ensues:

As does the truth:

You mean that this isn't the way that all big city mayors act on the eve of an election?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Who says local politics is boring? Porn and plagiarism, Edmonton votes 2013.

 Updated (see bottom of page)

Yesterday a small bombshell was dropped into the Edmonton municipal election race when news broke that ward 11 candidate Harvey Panesar was involved in the adult entertainment business. This after running with a family friendly platform and using his daughters in a campaign video. Panesar has confirmed to local reporters that his signature was on the contract and that he was involved but it seems that his attempt to spin this issue has a few big holes in it and the story has changed from one day to the next.

Yesterday Panesar said that he backed out of the deal as he had second thoughts about profiting from porn.

Today it appears* that Panesar is claiming that he didn't find out what the movie was about until later and when he did, he backed out.

The first explanation given yesterday does seem reasonable. He could have had second thoughts on the deal and did walk away from the contract but new information has come to light that Panesar was allegedly involved in producing at least 2 XXX adult films in another deal which had nothing to do with the contract that sparked this controversy.

His second explanation is much more concerning for a couple of reasons. First is that the contract in question makes it very clear that XXX adult material was involved. From the actual contract: (some names redacted and highlighting mine)

...will jointly own the MMA television
network “Aggression TV” and the MMA/XXX television network “Juiced TV"

'All parties will be afforded Executive Producer credits on all Aggression TV and Juiced TV
original series with the exception of existing projects (ie; Boy Nexxt Door, Make Me a Porn Star,
Tight, etc.). Creator credits will be given to the party most responsible for the concept of any
given project. Of current Aggression TV projects, all mash-ups including “Extreme Aggression:
Down But Not Out”, “Extreme Aggression: Killer Knock-Outs” and “Extreme Aggression: Super
Submissions” will be credited as created by (redacted), (redacted) and Harvey Panesar.
“Make Me a Fighter” will be credited as created by (redacted) and Harvey Panesar.
“Aggression”, “The Cage” and “Fighting Words” will be credited as created by (redacted).
Of current Juiced TV projects, “Ultimate Porn Fighter” and “My Canadian Cousin” will be
credited as created by (redacted) (or applicable screen name).'

It seems clear to me what would be involved but in the off chance that Panesar did sign the contract without actually reading it; I would say that admitting to doing so may be worse than being involved in the making of porn. I mean is it really a good idea to elect someone to city council who signs things without reading them?

To be clear: The adult entertainment industry is legitimate business and whether you agree or not that it should be, it doesn't change the fact that it is. That being said if one is involved in the industry they should own it 100% and not try to hide it or claim afterwards that they were unaware of what they were getting into. Let the people know the truth and the public can make their own decisions whether or not to give you their vote. Keeping it hidden or trying to spin the story with flimsy excuses after the fact does not exactly build the trust of the electorate.Nor should it.

Another story from Edmonton votes 2013 that has to be mentioned deals with plagiarism. Local Ward 6 candidate Melinda Hollis was caught cutting and pasting an article to her blog which was written by the Fraser institute without proper attribution of the source. (she has since changed the original posting (pdf) at least 2 times with the first laughably adding a line at the end which read "some material taken from" and the second where she more properly attributes the source and provides a link.)

 What makes this more than just a story of a self proclaimed academic plagiarizing the work of others (and this was as clear cut as one can get) was her response when she was exposed.  Her tweet which read: “You have about as much value to me as a piece of S__T under my shoe. I owe you nothing.”  in response to Kikki Planet (friend of the blog =) and the person who uncovered the plagiarism) shows why basic media training is essential for anyone planning to run for office.

You can read a good run down of the Hollis affair, including her trying to claim the "S__T" line from her tweet did not mean what we all know it means, here at

What a self inflicted disaster this is and like with Panesar, it is always better to come clean and admit error when caught than to obfuscate and try to cover it up. A good lesson for anyone running for elected office.

Who said local politics was boring?

*Update: Brenton Driedger whose tweet I linked to above did not speak with Panesar himself and was paraphrasing a colleague who had spoken with him so it unclear if Panesar did say that 'he didn't find out what the movie was about until later and when he did, he backed out' or not.