Facts, Schmacts

By Ryan McGreal
Published March 04, 2006

In a recent article for the Brabant paper The Ancaster News, uber-columnist Kevin Werner was in fine form, mangling facts and throwing out unsupported assertions with wild abandon.

The reporter who wrote last year that CATCH stands for "Citizens Against City Hall" (and didn't publish a correction after I notified him of the error) is at it again in an article against - I mean, about - Hamilton Community Action Network (of which RTH contributor Ben Bull is a member).

He mis-identifies Hamiltonians for Progressive Development as "Hamiltonians for Progressive Change" and calling Ben Bull the "creator of the popular 'Raise The Hammer' website" (hey, at least he recognized that we're popular ;) when he's actually a founding member. Well, close enough.

Werner called CAN's position "a hodge-podge of conflicting themes" and then lists several, but doesn't explain how opposing the Red Hill expressway and big box stores while supporting public transit and Mayor Di Ianni's campaign contribution compliance audit are "conflicting".

If you think it's worth trying to educate Warner on the facts, you can email him at

Just don't expect a warm response. For a writer who apparently made up his mind before he woke up this morning, why let the facts get in the way of the story?

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.


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By adrian (registered) | Posted March 07, 2006 at 07:54:19

As it turns out, the "political melange" that supports a "compliance audit" on Di Ianni's campaign donations has led to a historic decision by city council to charge Di Ianni with violating the Municipal Elections Act, as reported in the Globe and Mail today.

Good start for the melange.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted March 08, 2006 at 08:08:08

I first read about overcontributions to Di Ianni's campaign in Hamilton IndyMedia several months before the Spec mentioned it. It was obvious the overcontributions were deliberate, for example, several contributions, each $750 (the maximum allowed), from numbered companies with the same address.

Di Ianni's tireless apologists, Andrew Dreschel chief among them, continue to spout the fiction that "the charges ... leave his integrity intact" as his March 8 column ("It's a political world, Larry. Get over it.") states.

The facts of the overcontributions suggest otherwise: that they were made knowingly by people with close interlocks with the Mayor.

I was reading on the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce website that the CoC sponsored a fundraiser for Di Ianni at LIUNA Station to help pay off his debts. The Old Boys' Club is alive and well, thank you.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted March 08, 2006 at 08:15:27

Oh, and LIUNA was also one of the overcontributors. According to CATCH: "In addition to the $1250 donated by Liuna Gardens, Di Ianni has also received $250 from Liuna Station, $250 from LIUNA Local 837, $750 from the Labourer's International Union of North America, and $750 from [Joe] Mancinelli personally." Mancinelli is the LIUNA president.

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