Alberta Politics

craig chandler launches anti-wildrose facebook group.

Fresh from his campaign to get right-winger Bill Harvey elected as leader of the Liberal Party, ultra-conservative activist Craig Chandler and his acolytes have now set their sights on Danielle Smith‘s Wildrose Party.

Mr. Chandler has pushed his internet campaign machine into high-gear by adding hundreds of his Facebook friends to a new group of supposed former Wildrose Party members. The attacks are centred around the disqualification of federal Libertarian Party leader Dennis Young as a candidate for the Wildrose nomination in Calgary-Hays. The following media release was posted on the wall of the Facebook group:

Dennis Young To File Injunction & Suing For Damages
Removed Calgary Hays Soldier Starts Group
Many Frustrated Members & X-Members Involved

(Calgary) After submitting his signatures, memberships, nomination fee, signing up hundreds of memberships, demon dialing the constituency, dropping two separate pieces of literature to every residence, door knocking 25% of the entire area and with a six month delay, retired soldier and successful business owner, Dennis Young has been terminated as a candidate by the Wildrose Party.

“I am devestated by this and I feel really taken advantage of. On October 3rd, I discovered via a letter by the Executive Director of the party, Shane Saskiw, I was disqualified from the nomination race in Calgary-Hays. In that letter there was no reason for the disqualification mentioned. Also, I was not advised that my candidacy for the nomination was in question, nor was I given an opportunity to defend myself personally against whatever accusations may have been brought against me. Further, I had my interview with the Local Candidate Nominating Committee roughly six months ago, submitted my paperwork and my nomination fee. If I was going to be disqualified, I would have expected to be informed of it at that time.” stated Dennis Young. Read the rest of this extraordinary long media release.

If you are not familiar with Mr. Chandler, please refer to the comments he made in this media interview, which contributed to him being disqualified as the Progressive Conservative candidate in Calgary-Egmont in 2007. Mr. Chandler later managed Mark Dyrholm‘s unsuccessful leadership campaign against Ms. Smith in 2009. Near the end of that campaign, Mr. Chandler accused the media of holding a bias in favour of Ms. Smith.

18 replies on “craig chandler launches anti-wildrose facebook group.”

Turmoil Chris?

Craig Chandler joining the PCs and fighting against the Wildrose is fantastic news for the WR. Craig’s past comments are highly divisive and not appealing to the general electorate.

Do many people actually take Chandler seriously? Sometimes I have to remind myself not to let him get under my skin, but still don’t most of us realize he’s … dramatic and unproductive and thankfully unwanted by all of Alberta’s political parties?

You know, Chandler pisses me off as much as anyone, but he and Young have a point. I am always amused by the WRP painting the Tories as undemocratic, when they disqualify candidates with what appears to be little or no due process. When the PCAA Executive Committee disqualified Chandler, they did it only after meeting with him for approximately three hours, letting him present a case and participating in a discussion with him. you have to think that thos volunteers took their duty of care to the party and the party’s candidates seriously and that they may even have felt some discomfort with disqualifying the guy, who did, after all, win a nomination. certainly Chandler went out after the meeting and spun the story his way, but the Party Executive never responded and it certainly never hurt in the general election three months later.

The PCAA process is messy, but all solutions that are proposed by PCAA members smack of the sort of star chamber antics that the WRP appears to be practising. Their Exec should meet with Young and allow him to present his case, or they should explain why no appeal was allowed. And, if they meet with him and still disqualify him, at least they have done their due diligence. But, I don’t expect they will do it the smart way.

Dave (in the comments, not Dave Cournoyer), you’re dreaming in technicolour. Craig’s your problem, now and forever.

As an aside, I really wish Craig would hire a writer. or learn to use grammar and spell check.

How many problem nominations are the Wildrose going to have? There have been so many now I’ve lost count. (Granted, this is a Chandler problem, so who knows who is in the wrong here…)

Certainly we’re only hearing one side of the story, but if true it’s certainly quite poor management. That’s just not how you treat people and conduct a nomination process.

Wildrose seems committed to grassroots democracy more as an idea than practicing it as a reality. And I think I know why–you only have to look at some of the members of the Wildrose grassroots to see why the party executive might want to countermand their wishes. I’m not excusing it, but one can understand…

I’d also like more information about the Chestermere-Rockyview nomination. Did Heather Davies “willingly” step aside, or was she removed by the party to make way for the “star” candidate?

Daveberta, you’re one of the last new media outlets still giving Chandler and his PGIB group any media. The guy is old news, as other posters have mentioned he’s been relegated to permanent crazy/crank status by virtually every party. The best thing to do is ignore him. Surely there are more important issues occurring on the provincial political front that we could be discussing/reading about? 🙂

Brandon: Heather Davies was at the announcement introducing Bruce McAllister. She is stepping down for personal reasons.

Hi Dave. I see that Chandler has made you a member of the X-WRP group. Didn’t know you had been involved! 😉
But you are in good company. Genia Leskiw MLA and Rick Fraser PC candidate are also members.


I made it clear to you in Twitter that PGIB has nothing to do with this in any way shape or form. It was brought before the Council and I was the only one for getting PGIB involved.

I am helping Dennis Young out as an indvidual and attacking me is fair game, but, PGIB is NOT involved in this and if you had any ethics at all you would correct your falsehoods.

Vitor you also need to realize that when I add someone, they, more then not have requested to be added. Dave asked to be added and I approved it, thus, it showed that I added him.

It is fine for people to have opinions, but, manufacturing things is wrong.

The Wildrose is the biggest astroturf organization in Alberta. Take Richard Jones, for example. His nominationw wasn’t even advertised – and there were 3 others who wanted to run in that riding. All this process does is breed mediocre candidates for the Wildrose.

Thanks for all the comments.

Craig – thanks, I removed the PGIB reference.

Vitor – I did request to join the group, mainly to see if there were any hidden discussion areas restricted to group members. There doesn’t appear to be any.

Wildrose has become a hopelessly bureaucratic and staggeringly undemocratic outfit.

Their recent attacks on Stephen Carter — for being a businessman who took risks and experienced loss and for being a former friend of Smith’s — and on Dennis Young — for being Libertarian (like Danielle Smith once pretended to be) and having had a typically adventurous military career, including in combat — reveal the party to be petty, vindictive, hypocritical and generally shabby.

Wildrose will pretend to be pro business, libertarian, supportive of veterans, and hyper-democratic, when it is theoretically convenient to do so.

Theory is one thing. Practice is another, as we saw over the summer when a rash of defections revealed the allegedly “fiscally conservative” Wildrose to be just another reckless and wasteful political enterprise.

Given that the above is just a fraction of Wildrose woes, is it really any surprise the party is wilting at warp speed?

So I went to the WRP dinner yesterday evening, just to see what it was all about. Yes, there did appear to be 1200 people in the audience, which apparently got Don Braid so excited he completely missed the fact that her speech was awful. She lost the crowd early and never got them back, except maybe for about a minute when she was attacking consultants and bureaucrats. The really fun thing was her attacks on the Tories for over-spending, followed almost immediately by big spending ideas. Her attacks on “minor provinces” and her view that we should “let them stand on their own two feet.” Her rambling discussion of the “Cowboy Code of Ethics” and the need for us to “cowboy up.” The dinner itself? Well, apparently the e-mail soliciting ticket purchases and the letter soliciting ticket purchases had different start times…one had cocktails at 5, the other had cocktails at 6, etc. Still having a hard time running a Party, though now that they follow the “Cowboy Code of Ethics” they can probably run a damn good cattle drive. And speaking of cattle drives, Cookie just wasn’t on last night – lot of speculation at my table that we were consuming Chester the Horse (very long and bizarre story in her speech).


Good insights.

Smith is a big fan of big spending and big government, now.

Total 180 from where she once claimed to be. Fastest philosophical sell-out in AB political history.

What I laugh at is guys like Vitor Marciano trying to be senators. There is no place in Alberta politics for people like him and his negative politics! No thanks!

I find it amusing when an anti-Wildrose person makes multiple Internet identities and then writes a bunch of posts agreeing with himself. 🙂

So Chris/John/JC/Bob/Craig/whatever your name is, are we really supposed to believe that PC MLA Genia Leskiw and PC candidate Rick Fraser are “ex-Wildrosers” who requested to join the group?

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