Much bitter laughter among Ian Brodie survivors at the ex-Harper hitman’s latest gig, healing the shattered morale and paranoid dysfunction of Alberta’s bureaucracy as co-chair of the Premier’s Advisory Council on the Public Services.
As President Steve’s inaugural chief of staff, Brodie set the underhanded bullyboy tone for all who would come after. He was notorious for abusive tirades that would leave grown cabinet ministers blubbering on the phone or lying on the office floor breathing into a paper bag.
The regular beatings were chiefly aimed at discouraging the young minority government’s ministers from startling voters with any public outbursts of conservativism, an intriguing brief for an academic who produced an impressive body of work on the Supreme Court’s favouritism of the usual so-con bogymen, “official language minorities, feminists and homosexual rights advocates.”
(Indeed, among his first pet policy projects in PMO was the choppity-chop to the funding of the Court Challenges Program that supported all those pesky frenchy/feminazi/homosexualist/unbeliever lawsuits.)
But Brodie’s shitheel oeuvre started leaving smears on the PMO carpet from Day One, when he issued an election-day termination letter to Stornoway chef Henrik Lundsgaard. The cook claimed he’d been led to expect a gig at 24 Sussex, instead of a perfunctory pink slip, and he sued for a quarter million.
When then-Auditor General Sheila Fraser’s report on the gun registry leaked to the press just ahead of its release, Fraser threw a conniption, not only over the “affront to parliament,” but also the fact that the leak contained “important inaccuracies.”
The author of the offending piece was Allan Woods of the National Post, one of the few press gallery jackals Brodie was grooming as a PMO pet. Fingers pointed to Brodie himself as the mastermind behind the curiously botched leak, a charge Jason Kenney was trotted out to denounce as “absolutely scurrilous,” and, er, presumably untrue to boot.
Brodie struck out again when he tried to go over the head of Sun Media hack Alan Findlay, who was following up on a Frank report on PMO ubersluggo Bruce Carson’s previous disbarment and criminal record for stealing from his legal clients.
But his fumble-fisted attempts at lobbying the Tory-heavy Sun management only confirmed the value of the story, and it ran, though mercifully without any mention of Brodie’s campaign to squelch it.
Even as the fuckups mounted, Brodie, an avid nutswinger of the PM since the waning days of Stockwellmania, was thought to be bulletproof.
As readers will recall, Brodie, with time to kill during the 2008 budget lockup, blabbed to CTV’s David Akin some back-channel tattle from Clinton and Obama operatives admitting their candidates’ rhetoric about potentially trashing NAFTA was pure folderol.
Brodie’s remarks were forwarded to CTV’s Washington knob Tom Clarke, whose resulting story, mentioning only the duplicity of the Obama campaign, exploded into the NAFTAgate fandango, which bodaciously boned Barack in the Ohio and Texas primaries.
A merde-spattered President Steve was forced to publicly call an investigation into the source of the damaging and amateurish diplomatic leak, while Brodie discreetly slithered out of Ottawa.
And now it’s Edmonton’s turn.