Redford versus Rutherford on Twitter.

High-drama took place on Twitter’s #ableg hashtag yesterday morning as Premier Alison Redford‘s online communications team took aim at QR77 talk radio host Dave Rutherford. In response to a tweet from Innisfail-Sylvan Lake Wildrose MLA Kerry Towle congratulating Mr. Rutherford on the 30th anniversary of the show, the Premier’s Communications staff tweeted that the show was “Wildrose Radio.”

The popular radio talk show host has become a vocal critic of the provincial Tories and is seen as a tacit supporter of Wildrose leader Danielle Smith, who is a frequent guest on his show.

While it might not seem smart to attack a radio program with a large audience across the province, it is not as if the Premier was receiving rave reviews on the Rutherford Show anyway. After being pummelled in the media by the opposition parties in last year’s fall sitting of the Assembly, this could be the beginning of a new and more aggressive communications strategy from the Premier’s office.

Any observer of the #ableg hashtag will have become accustomed almost daily Twitter battles between hyper-partisan Wildrose Caucus staffers and increasingly-partisan Ministerial Press Secretaries, who are now free from the non-partisan veneer of the Public Affairs Bureau.

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During a telephone town-hall to Progressive Conservative Party members last night, Premier Redford took a shot at the Wildrose, claiming that “if another political party had been elected, there would be NO building in this province.”

This comment follows comments by Wildrose critic Rob Anderson about the government’s four-year project to renovate the historic Federal Building in downtown Edmonton.

In fairness to the Wildrose Party, with some high-profile exceptions, its platform in the last election would have would have rolled back spending and stretched out infrastructure projects over a longer period (but not cancel it altogether). - h/t Josh Wingrove

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Last week, I had an opportunity to speak with Premier Redford over the phone for a few minutes following her televised address. I will have some notes about the interview posted on the blog over the next few days.

8 thoughts on “Redford versus Rutherford on Twitter.”

  1. Regardless of whether one agrees with Rutherford or not, taking a swipe like this is just straight-up bullying. It’s a plain-faced attempt to intimidate critical media.

    Further, it’s just really clumsy. Genuinely critical media interpret tactics like this as hilarious. I’d put money on the bet that Rutherford has already framed that Tweet and displays it proudly on his wall.

  2. Ummm, really? A blog posting about tweets, the absolutely least consequential of political dialogues? I can’t take that seriously, and I’m suspiscious of anyone who puts any import whatsoever on what amounts to 140 character brain-farts.

  3. It only took 140 characters for the Premiers office to tell us how they really think.

    Redford really is a mean spirited person, its just bizarre. The Premiers office shouldn’t be used for divisive partisan games.

    The PC’s have sent MLA’s and Cabmins on Rutherford countless times over the years to discuss their policy announcements and what not.

    What galls me is that everyone can derive the meaning of Kerry Towle’s brief statement to mean “our” as in Albertan’s as a whole. But alas Redford didn’t come back from South Africa for us.

  4. Rutherfords best before is long past, what does the media do when their ratings are slipping, they start a fight more than usual. He is so in the tank for WRP his interview with Ken Hughes was somewhat condecending on his part today as was the rest of his show constantly referring to the Conservatives and Redford with the derision reserved for CBC’ ers discussing Harper. He used to have a fairly informative show, but as of late it is hard to tell the difference between him and the twit after 3 pm, still listen, but his predictions of last April 23 backfired big time,blowing a huge chunk out of his derrier he’s still bitter about.

  5. Bartinsky J. Koopmans, I would like to know what positive stuff that Rutherford could Air on his show about what the Redford government is doing?

  6. Just running a province Seriously, running a province that has to give away 12 billion a year to the rest of Canada. Seriously, you cannot seriously be daft enough to think our deficit is all management and could not be caused by Quebec and other provincial handouts through Trudoughs extortion racket called equalization, if so please send me half of your income, even half of a welfare cheque will buy all the beer and popcorn I need.

  7. Clearly you don’t understand how equalization payments work: we pay NOTHING directly to Quebec or any other province, we pay taxes to the feds and they redistribute it so that ALL Canadians can have a roughly equivalent same access to services.

    If you really think being an Albertan is more important than being a Canadian, you’re not someone I would consider worthy of being Canadian.

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