By Ryan McGreal
Published July 27, 2010
Someone needs to explain to Larry Di Ianni what "grassroots" means.
The former mayor formally launched his new campaign yesterday in a lunchtime press conference, but the Spectator announced his campaign two days earlier, and Monday morning's paper already had a front-page article and an editorial on the announcement.
One of Di Ianni's major political weaknesses has been the widely-held perception that he's more interested in representing the corporate interests of his backers than the public interest of Hamilton's residents - hence his new folksy campaign, complete with a vegetable garden and a Vespa scooter.
Yet the special backstage pass he provided for the daily paper - a paper that strongly endorsed him when he was still mayor - suggests the old Larry is alive and well.
In his defence, Di Ianni has announced that he will not be accepting corporate or union donations. This is a break from his previous mayoralty run in 2006, during which he said he agreed with the concept in principle, but "you don't change the rules midstream."
However, as Di Ianni pointed out in a 2009 interview with Cal Di Falco, eliminating corporate and union funding "doesn't necessarily improve the system.
Tell me what is the difference between accepting a donation from Mrs. X president of ABC company from her personal account or Mrs. X, President of ABC from her business account?
RTH has contacted all the registered candidates for mayor to ask them whether they will accept corporate and union donations and to explain why or why not. So far, Michael Baldasaro, Mahesh P. Butani, Di Ianni and Andrew Haines have responded, and all have committed to rejecting corporate and union donations.
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