The PC Riding Association in Newmarket Aurora should put the MPP nomination process on hold until the police have completed their investigation into the alleged threats made to Stephen Somerville and his family which persuaded him to pull out of the race to succeed Frank Klees.

This is Canada not Albania, and the process for selecting a candidate for political office should never, ever, be polluted by threats and intimidation.

I read that Somerville has been in and around politics for many years and is, we must assume, not afraid of his own shadow. The threats must have been serious and believable for him to take the drastic action of withdrawing from the race.

The PCs choose their candidate on 20 March and nominations close on 6 March.

At the moment, there is, literally, one candidate still standing, Jane Twinney. How many other brave souls, if any, are going to step forward in this climate of fear?

Was the threat specific to Somerville and his family? And what was its precise nature?

Jane Twinney says she has not so far been threatened.

And she tells the Era Banner:

“My heart goes out to him and his family… I wish Stephen and his family all the best. A lot of people are very shocked.”

In striking contrast, Maddie Di Muccio, whose candidacy was blocked by Tim Hudak for reasons as yet unexplained, maintains radio silence on the Somerville threat.

I find this curious as she told the Era Banner

(a)   she did not know who was responsible for the YouTube ad that portrayed her as a scheming opportunist and

(b)   the press release she issued on 11 February in which she referred to “a fellow candidate” being responsible was misinterpreted. She explained the references to he “were in a general sense and not directed at a male”.

Perhaps I am doing her an injustice and she has expressed her concerns to Somerville privately. I certainly hope so.

In any event, it cannot be business as usual.

This is not a trivial matter where we all shrug our shoulders and get on with things. Threats and intimidation degrade and coarsen our politics and undermine our democracy.

The police have an obligation to complete their investigation quickly and, in the meantime, the Newmarket Aurora PCs should put their candidate selection on hold.

It beggars belief they would do otherwise.


Jaw-dropping news that Stephen Somerville has pulled out of the race to succeed Frank Klees as Progressive Conservative MPP for Newmarket Aurora leaving Jane Twinney as the only candidate remaining.

In an astonishing statement released earlier today, Somerville explains he is withdrawing because of threats made to him and his family.

We are told the police are investigating.


Maddie Di Muccio has withdrawn her accusation that PC MPP wannabe, Stephen Somerville, was responsible for the YouTube ad that portrayed her as a scheming opportunist.

A hyperventilating Di Muccio described the ad as “filth”

@MISSISSAUGAMUSE @JonPukila agreed. The ad attacked my children. Its filth and so is anyone who defends it.

9:15pm - 10 Feb 14

In her press release of 11 February, she said she was shocked and saddened that “a fellow candidate” had targeted her with an “ugly, negative attack ad”.

he knows my message is resonating with PC members, he knows I can win this nomination, so in response he’s resorting to attacking my character with a negative ad. It’s sad; it’s shocking; it’s wrong”

At that stage, apart from Di Muccio, there were two other candidates in the race for the nomination. Stephen Somerville (a he) and Jane Twinney (a she).

If we rely on ordinary English usage, it is as plain as the nose on your face that Di Muccio was blaming her arch rival for the nomination, Stephen Somerville.

But now, on impeccable authority, I am told that the dissembling Di Muccio told local journalists:

the references to “he” were in a general sense and not directed at a male

Oh dear! Oh dear!

She was then asked if she knew who was responsible for the You Tube ad. She said she did not know.

Does she seriously expect anyone other than the most feeble-minded to believe this hokus pocus?

And yet she has the audacity to tell her Twitter audience that liars are destroying good people in politics.

@LeitchDoug @TicknerSafety liars are destroying good ppl in politics! Agreed.

9:52am - 26 Jan 14

Di Muccio’s press release attacking Somerville as the person responsible for the You Tube ad has now been air brushed out of her narrative of events – as if it never happened. On the Sun News Network, in two long interviews, here and here, it was not mentioned once. Nor did it get into the front page story in the Newmarket Era Banner.

After she had been dumped, Di Muccio tells her Twitter followers that only she had the popular support to keep Newmarket-Aurora blue.

@flutterbye146 @gaylebg @sunlorrie @Dleebosh @timhudak I truly believe I was the only cand't that could hold riding. Popularity scares some.

9:27pm - 12 Feb 14

Now she is back undermining Somerville, highlighting the irony of a candidate who, apparently, makes money selling windmills while cynically opposing them.

@DougGillespie7 @dmbman0077 @RayHeard @SodbusterRick irony: a candidate who makes $$$ selling wind mills & opposing them at the same time.

6:48pm - 14 Feb 14

But her real contempt is reserved for Tim Hudak. He cannot take honest criticism from someone paid to comment on Ontario politics. (ie Di Muccio)

Di Muccio re-tweets this from a follower that says comments made while wearing her media hat shouldn’t be held against her.

@MaddieDiMuccio @horsesandbeer - sure you did. Things said/done while columnist were done in line of duty. Shouldn't be held against.

1:15pm - 15 Feb 14

Di Muccio says that is why Tim Hudak blocked her nomination.

@BarbaraBierman @horsesandbeer *I agree* But Hudak didn't agree. And that's why he blocked me.

1:16pm - 15 Feb 14

Having observed Di Muccio’s style of politics over the past few years, I think the real reason is more prosaic.

Hudak probably concluded that Maddie Di Muccio is a nasty piece of work who is better off at the Sun News Network rather than soiling Queen’s Park.

Stephen Somerville may well agree.



Maddie Di Muccio is “stunned” and “overwhelmed” by the news that she has been blocked from being nominated as the Progressive Conservative candidate for Newmarket Aurora in the Provincial Parliament.

What on earth did she think was going to happen after accusing fellow Progressive Conservative candidate Stephen Somerville of being behind the YouTube ad which portrays Di Muccio as a self serving opportunist.

In her press release yesterday Di Muccio 

“…expressed sadness and shock that a fellow candidate has targeted her with an ugly, negative personal attack ad.

“Desperate candidates do desperate things,” said Di Muccio. “My opponent knows I have strong support in the party’s grassroots, he knows my message is resonating with PC members, he knows I can win this nomination, so in response he’s resorted to attacking my character with a negative ad. It’s sad; it’s shocking; it’s wrong.”

She produced no evidence whatsoever that Somerville was responsible. It was a classic Di Muccio smear. This is a woman who is perfectly prepared to slither from the gutter of politics into the sewer if it suits her purpose.

Indeed, Darryl Wolk, the PC candidate for Regional Councillor, tweeted a few weeks ago that he would rather abstain in the ballot than vote for Di Muccio if she were the PC candidate.

 @_capps @horsesandbeer I will not vote Maddie even if she wins nomination. Will decline my ballot.

1:41pm - 28 Jan 14

Di Muccio has alienated hundreds of people in the Progressive Conservative Party and beyond.  Why single out Somerville?

Now she tells us she is off to Sun News Network.

Off to @SunNewsNetwork with @DavidAkin to make sense of @timhudak deep sixing my papers. Watch at 5:10pm.

@MaddieDiMuccio 34 minutes ago

I doubt she will be asked what evidence she has on Somerville.

That really is the story.


Newmarket’s janus faced Ward 6 councillor, Maddie Di Muccio, hopes to follow Frank Klees to Queen’s Park as MPP. The Progressive Conservatives choose their candidate on 20 March and Di Muccio has launched her website

On the home page she writes a peon of praise for Frank

Frank Klees has served our community and the province with distinction for almost 20 years and the people of Newmarket-Aurora have benefitted from his principled leadership in the community and at Queen's Park.  Like you, I am saddened to hear of his decision to retire after this current term is over. 

But Frank's legacy of community service will guide us as we embark on choosing who will be our next MPP.

Compare that gushing tribute to what she said about Klees on 19 September 2013 on The Agenda with Steve Paikin. (Taking the pulse of the PCs.)

Di Muccio tells viewers she does a lot of campaigning and knocking on doors and Tim Hudak “comes across as distrustful”.

Then she goes on:

“What he (Tim Hudak) did with Hillier and Sherman (ie fire them), why didn’t he do this with Klees? I mean Klees is the guy, let’s not forget, who wanted to run for Speaker. That would have thrown everything in disarray.”

“And to me – I’m looking at this as an insider – I am thinking is he afraid to do that to Frank Klees? If anyone deserved it, you can make that argument, that, you know, he was not just, he is the maverick that always causes trouble.”

Now John Mykytyshyn responds:

“You make a good point. There was Frank who maybe wasn’t feeling loved and was looking for other options and could have pursued running for Speaker. And he had a conversation with his Leader (Tim Hudak) - and I wasn’t there for it but this is what I’ve heard – who said “You know Frank I appreciate what you are thinking but we need you, not just me, the Party needs you.”

“And Frank Klees did what he has always done whether he was a policy guy or an elected official. He’s done what is in the best interests of the Party.”

Di Muccio fires back:

“I don’t agree with that.”

As an aside… Two months ago Maddie Di Muccio threatened legal action against me yet there is still no sign of any letter from her lawyer, Darryl Singer. I have concluded the letter is never going to arrive and that her threats are totally worthless.