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Leipsic and Katz: one step further to a ruling Sam Katz Party

October 14, 2006

I wrote on the 10th that Sam Katz and Brenda Leipsic, candidate for councillor in River Heights, were intent on working together, though an official endorsement by the Mayor’s campaign team hadn’t yet been forthcoming. Well, as of yesterday, it’s there:

MAYOR Sam Katz made official yesterday what he’s been denying for months — Brenda Leipsic is his choice for city council in River Heights.At a press conference at Leipsic’s Academy Road campaign office, Katz called the fundraising consultant a positive candidate who will bring innovative ideas to city hall.

For months, Katz has said that, unlike previous mayors, he’ll be up front in his support for council candidates. But yesterday’s announcement, which comes 12 days before the civic election, follows months of tacit support for Leipsic’s campaign, including a recent poll in River Heights to determine whether Katz’s endorsement would aid her.

Leipsic is a longtime friend of the mayor’s chief of staff, Ryan Craig. They have both been active in the provincial conservative party. Leipsic helped organize Katz’s Winnipeg City Summit in May and was given the high-profile job of introducing the keynote speaker, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, to a crowd of about 800 people.

The mayor’s campaign has also polled in the River Heights ward — as well as in North Kildonan, where young conservative Jeff Browaty is challenging a left-leaning councillor — to determine whether voters would be swayed by Katz endorsement.

But Katz said “allegations” that he has supported Leipsic since early summer are simply false.”

Winnipeg Free Press, October 14

No surprise there, especially in light of news coming out this past week about incumbent and vocal Katz critic Donald Benham having issues with his city-issued credit card. Strategic move on Katz’s and Leipsic’s part.

So, who’s the next Conservative party member friend of Ryan Craig’s to get the official mayoral endorsement less than two weeks before the election?

The probabilities of a Sam Katz Party-dominated Council are looking more and more real. Winnipeggers should really think how they’re going to vote, taking into account not only the next four years, but the city’s future further on down the line. Do we want this party in office indefinitely?

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