Jane Twinney, the sole remaining candidate in the race to follow Frank Klees as the Progressive Conservative MPP for Newmarket Aurora, is inviting the Party to consider suspending the nomination process until the Police have completed their investigation into alleged threats and intimidation against Stephen Somerville and his family.

She tells me that, while she doesn’t have any authority over the nomination process, she will put the request to suspend the nomination process before the Newmarket Aurora Riding Association President and before the Chair of the Nomination Committee at Party Headquarters. As it stands, nominations close on 6 March.

Jane Twinney deserves a huge round of applause for doing this.

Somerville pulled out on 19 February fearing for the safety of his family.

When the Police identify the person or persons responsible for issuing threats against Somerville and this leads to a successful prosecution, I would like to see a fairly lengthy prison sentence.

Update 14.25 Sunday 23 February: Jane Twinney wants to make it clear that she is not personally in favour of putting the selection process on hold on the grounds that the police investigation could take months and that the PCs could be left without a candidate in the event of an election. She confirms she has passed on concerns about the selection process to the Riding Association President and to the Nomination Committee at Party HQ.


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.