I just sent this email out to my media contacts:
In its "Reality Check" website, the Liberal Party is spreading misinformation about the National Citizens Coalition and a 1993 campaign to defeat then MP Jim Hawkes.
Here's an excerpt from the Liberal site:
"Instead, he (Harper) served as both president and vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition (NCC), an extreme right advocacy organization that employed Mr. Harper between 1997 and 2001, and also assisted with his 1993 election campaign."
That last bit implies the NCC supported Stephen Harper's election campaign in 1993.
We did not.
We did run a $50,000 multi-media ad campaign urging voters in Calgary Southwest to “Defeat Jim Hawkes”, but this campaign had nothing to do with Harper, but was simply part of larger war the NCC was waging against election gag laws.
Unfortunately for Hawkes, he was the government’s point man and chief public defender of an election gag law the Mulroney government had enacted. That made him, in our mind, a marked man.
We were determined to defeat Hawkes, to send a message to politicians everywhere: any politician who endorsed gag laws would pay a steep political price.
That’s why when the writ was dropped in 1993 we hammered Hawkes with everything in our arsenal: newspaper ads, radio spots, TV commercials --- all of them linking Hawkes with the gag law.
Our message was simple: Hawkes wanted to take away the right to free political speech.
For us, it was not about Harper winning, but about Hawkes losing.
And I should know, I am the one who planned the campaign.