The “Kamikaze Candidate” Plot Thickens

Photo from the UCP campaign trail

Rumour has it Jeff Callaway was not the first person requested to be the Kamikaze Candidate whose sole purpose was to bring the heat on Brian Jean.  Derek Fildebrandt sent out a lonesome comment on twitter after listening to Ryan Jespersen’s show on 630 CHED where they discussed the unearthed audio surrounding Jeff Callaway’s UCP leadership “candidacy”.

That was interesting listening. It reminded me of a summer 2017 dinner meeting I had with Mr. Kenney where we discussed a potential “kazakami” campaign at some length. #ableg ~Derek Fildebrandt, Twitter

Of course they did.  

Politics is a game; a game with exceptional consequences but a game nonetheless.  

Adams says “It can’t be Wildrose vs. PC” and she was right.  They were trying to “unite” the parties, not pit them against one another but leadership races force people to take sides.  Callaway, she says, “can say things about Brian Jean that Kenney can’t; and he’s willing.”  Callaway was the “insider”, the man with the anecdotal experience to push Jean firmly under the bus. 

And while the UCP doesn’t like to admit it, they know Jason Kenney’s divisive and disgusting career fighting against human rights for the LGBTQ community is not generally acceptable, or forgivable, in most circles.  They do however, seem to have the commitment of those circles that not only accept it but continue the fight

“There are two distinct cultures in the Wildrose,” Adams claims to have told Kenney, “I don’t think your team from Ottawa understands that well enough.”  

On this, I would agree.  There was the “Lake of Fire” Wildrose and the “PC’s are entitled pricks” Wildrose.  Kenney had the “Lake of Fire” brigade from the beginning but he also needed the ones who broke with the PCs over back room politics, cronyism and spendthrift ways but honestly don’t give a damn about your love life.

Enter: Jeff Callaway.  Callaway is a man who was able to point fingers at the former Wildrose leader.  Callaway’s role, according to Adams, would be to build support with the anti-PC members, sow distrust of Jean, “and when we pull the plug around September 15 or 20, our people will go” over to  Kenney’s team. 

Granted, Callaway waited until October 3 to “pull the plug” but he did follow through on his endorsement of Kenney.  

Callaway responded with a lengthy email to Ryan Jespersen claiming he did run a “real race” and people should ignore things that don’t show the UCP in a good light and instead support them because of what it stands for.  Looks to me like it stands for lies, make-believe and political opportunism. 

It also might stand for bilking money out of people who thought Callaway was a real candidate.  Happy Mann, who lost the nomination in Calgary-Falconridge, donated to Callaway’s campaign.  He has asked for an inquiry into the allegations that Callaway’s campaign was bogus.  Money, like disillusioned volunteers, candidates and supporters, talks.  

This post contains both fact and opinion. 

Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean

[email protected]

@Mitchell_AB @thisweekinAB