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on clean slates, and thinking like mr. clean

September 29, 2010

An imagined yet probably highly accurate letter by yours truly and pugfully.

Dear Ottawa,

This time around I promise to be a fiscally responsible mayor. Sure, I tried to give myself a $32,000 raise immediately after being elected last time around, but after some bad publicity I decided against that. And, that was years ago! Think of all the things I have done since then.

Maybe don’t think of the bribery charges.

Like, for example, I promised not to raise taxes!

Okay so I raised taxes. But budgeting is hard. How could I have known? Plus, promises don’t really count as promises if they are made by politicians. It’s part of the game. By the by, I promise to freeze taxes. Again. This time I will do it for sures.

Let’s freeze salaries while we are at it. I understand that freezing wages during a period of inflation effectively cuts wages, leaving less money with the Ottawaians to re-invest in the economy, but maybe you don’t.

I promise to continue to govern Ottawa in such a way that brings council together. I might even give all council members a gold coin of recognition. Instead of just some of them.

Probably not though.

Re-elect me. I promise you more of the same. And that is one promise I can keep.

Warm regards,


– Cleo’s scribe


Cleo4Mayor vs. O’Brien

September 24, 2010

Recently, my good friend David Rimmer, was highlighted in a great article in Capital Xtra by Noreen Fagan. Puggy high fives to both David and Noreen for some great work. My humans worked really hard to make my Glee meets Andy Warhol vision a reality. Today’s blog will be spent expanding on some of the reasons why Mr. O’Brien is a go to target for my campaign.

I convinced my humans to let me run for mayor because they believe that I can do a better job at leading this city than our current mayor. To this end, I don’t think that we have framed the Cleo4mayor campaign as an anti-Larry campaign, but a campaign to highlight how easy and important it is to participate in municipal government.

If you haven’t already seen Mr. O’Brien’s video announcing his bid to run for re-election, then I suggest you check it out. Every time I watch it, I can’t help of think of another politician…

Is Ottawa prepared to endure another term with this level and style of leadership?  This Pug certainly hopes not! I spent a lot of time snuggled up with my nerdier human following Obama’s election and I was amazed at the opportunities presented to the average citizen to have a voice, and participate in government. Massive examples of small actions, huge levels of engagement and participation and a simple, back to basic Yes We Can mentality is what this city needs and deserves!

I have blogged at length about the relative failure of most candidate’s to effectively leverage social media. Nobody, but nobody has failed more spectacularly than our current mayor. Consistently reporting inaccuracies, pseudo-spamming, and not engaging with citizens are the tip of the iceberg!

Elections are a democratic exercise that this pug holds near and dear to my puggy heart. I acknowledge that our current mayor may be re-elected.  Should this be the case, then we have a responsible to hold Mr. O’Brien accountable for his actions and his inactions.  The same holds true of any of the candidates. Mr. O’Brien has simply proven, time and time again that he requires a very short leash and copious amounts of remedial training!

Puggy high five to all of you!

Effective use of social media

September 22, 2010

While reflecting on my campaign yesterday during crate time, I happened to catch Ottawa morning on CBC Radio 1. Luckily for me, they were discussing the role of social media in this year’s election. Talk about a subject near and dear to this pug’s heart. Given the amount of crate time that I have, my ability to get out and shake paws and lick babies is somewhat limited. I try to make up for this by using social media tools. This morning’s blog will expand on some of the points made yesterday and offer some kibble for thought on using social media.

First up on today’s agenda, the decision to use social media tools or not.  This decision is a poker based decision. You are either all in or you should fold and walk away from the table. Don’t believe me? What is the first word in social media? SOCIAL! Creating an account and not using it is in poor form and sends a signal that this might be where all the cool cats hang out, but you aren’t interested in the conversation, and what other users have to say. Think of social media like a cocktail party – you can show up or not, but if you do show up, then you better be ready to schmooze with the other guests right?

Second point of failure – one way communication.  Big kudos to Ian Capstick for highlighting this yesterday! If you generate content through blogging, your website, a YouTube video, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, etc. and do not interact, follow-up and/or acknowledge the feedback, then you need to fold your hand and walk away from the table. The opportunity cost of one way communication using social media is twofold. On the one hand, the individual who is trying to communicate with you may now think that you are playing the douche card by not taking the time to answer him/her, when they took the time to approach you. On the other hand, not answering that person has a larger impact because that conversation is not isolated from other users. Anyone following the candidates and/or the hashtags for the municipal election can detect that you aren’t chatting it up. Would you knock on someone’s door and speak in sound bytes from your platform while ignoring any specific questions, concerns, or feedback?

The final bone of contention this pug has with mayoral candidates and their use of social media is the missed opportunities. Want to make up for your one sided, douchey bahaviour on Twitter? Have a Twitter FAQ session where any individual can ask a question. Given the recent reaction to local political debates, I would wager that the first candidate to genuinely commit to this would see a respectable return on the time invested.  Not ready for that level of commitment? Then start small. Search for the #iwantamayorwho hashtag on Twitter and save it. Now, read it and jump in on the conversation already. Direct replies to those who are participating in this discussion is a no brainer. Responding to the larger audience should have been done 5 minutes after the hashtag started.

Finally, a word of caution moreso than anything else, bring your A game to social media. Misleading math, inconsistent commentary and flip flopping will be picked off, cross referenced and communicated back to the group at speeds that individual candidates and their respective campaign teams cannot compete with. Keep it genuine, keep it clean and keep it up.

How do you feel about your mayor’s ability to Twitter and engage using social media? I am being beckoned to my crate for the day, but I have wifi access, so leave a comment, Tweet me, email me or stop me on my daily walks. This pug would love to chat!

Citizen engagement done right

September 15, 2010

Huge Puggy high five to David Chernushenko for this great parody of the Old Spice commercials. Check it out, forward it to your friends, call your Mom and tell her about this, blog about, tweet about, and should you dare – try your paw at your own parody.

In other puggy news, have you been downtown to see After Stonewall? if not, then bark at your human while circling their feet until they get the idea. If need be, drag him/her/them to 370 Bank street already!  Trust us, it will be worth the walk.

We are still waiting to hear from Larry O’Brien and his team about the window.  Maybe he hasn’T had a chance to bring Remi (his pooch) by yet! We think that we got Larry’s good side with the pictures used.  Don’t you?

Puggy high fives to everybody for the emails, comments, tweets and other Puggy love.  The mayoral race is really heating up, so this Pug needs to dig in and take it up a notch.

Puggy high five.

Cleo’s and scribe

Municipug election update

September 13, 2010

What a week it has been for this Pug. I can barely keep up with my news aggregator, the blogosphere and Twitter regarding this week’s developments with the municipug election.

For those of you who follow this blog, you already know that cycling, effective use of social media, unifying city council, and off-leash dog parks are priorities with this mayoral candidate.

Do you know what other candidates are saying? If not, this Pug recommends that you thoroughly sniff out all the candidates and their platforms. For those of you who spend some time on Twitter, make sure to follow the peeps in your ward and those running for mayor. Some tweet more than others. This should be a good indicator as to the role of social media post election, so keep tabs on what is being tweeted; how often tweets are happening, and who is engaging in a dialogue or conversation as opposed to tweeting for the sake of tweeting.

There are 20 mayoral candidates, so let this Pug extend a helping paw to get you up to speed ok?

You’re first stop should be at the Elections 2010 page on the City of Ottawa’s website. It contains all the information you need to locate your ward, whether you are on the voters list or not, the closest voting stations, important dates, FAQs, and most importantly, the contact information for ALL CANDIDATES. If you can’t find the information you are looking for online, or in a pamphlet, then for the love of Pugs, call the candidate up and ask. An informed voter is an empowered citizen! So, spend some time on the City’s website. It will be worth your time.

A sampling of candidates:

Jim Watson has a website and he is an avid tweeter. Find him on Twitter @JimWatsonOttawa

Larry O’Brien has a website and tweets occasionally. Find him on Twitter here @LarryOBrien2010 (what is he going to do next year on Twitter?)

Clive Doucet has a website, some great videos and Tweets as well. Find him on Twitter @CLiveDoucet

Andrew (Andy) Haydon joined the mayoral race at the 11th hour. He has a blog that can be found here. He isn’t tweeting but he is worth a wiki. Check it out here.

Don’t forget to see who is running in your ward as well. What word do you live in? Great question! Check this out before researching who is running in your neck of the woods. Some wards, like Bay ward, have almost as many candidates running for the councilor’s seat as there are running for the mayor’s seat.  These peeps want to represent you and your interests for the next four years, so learning more about their political platform is a great first step to a four year relationship no?

Now that we have the basics down, let’s move on to other, great resources:

Ottawa Citizen – A whole section of material specific to the upcoming election

Ottawa Sun -Check out the Ottawa & Regional section of the website.

Ottawa Election News – If it happened, might happen, is happening, and/or could possibly, maybe, sorta happen, then these guys probably know about it!

Not sure where to start with Twitter? You will quickly find a ton of peeps to follow, but in the interim, check out these hashtags:

#ottvote and #OTT2010 #iwantamayorwho

Still craving more information? Looking for a forum to ask all the candidates about a burning issue, an unresolved problem or anything you feel passionate about? Here are the candidates debates:

Thanks to OttawaStart for posting the list of debates.

Pugs are a fiercely loyal and committed breed. I think that I could really shake things up at City Hall for the better. I started this blog because I am convinced that a Pug could do a better job than our current mayor. I have him beat on social media paws down, and I’m pretty sure that I have the edge on basic financial math after reading his 8 point action plan. That said, my ultimate goal is to help Ottawa realize its potential. The best way I can do that is to facilitate any interested party in becoming better informed, and hopefully, engaged in the municipal election conversation.  As the painting denotes, this Pug is all in!

Puggy high five!


If I missed a resource that you found helpful, please leave a comment, Tweet us up or fire off an email to  We will update this post for the balance of the campaign.

shaking paws and chatting with small business owner David Rimmer

September 10, 2010

With talk of the upcoming municipal election heating up, Cleo stopped by After Stonewall, on Bank street to chat up the owner, David Rimmer. Cleo and David can talk politics like it’s nobody’s business and this election is no exception. Public transit, taxes, cycling, urban green space and unifying city council provide more than enough fodder when these two sit down to chew the fat! The views of Ottawa citizens are important to Cleo, so she decided to share them on her blog. As a small business owner in the city core for the past 12 years, David has seen and heard it all. In some cases, he has seen and heard it more times than he cares to admit.

Without further ado, here is Cleo’s interview with David:

1 – What should people know about David Rimmer?

Retired nurse originally from Western Canada, settled in Ottawa 20 years ago have been operating After Stonewall, Ottawa’s GLBT bookstore for 20 years, last 12 on Bank St.

2 – If you were in charge of creating a highlight reel of the past four years with our current mayor, what would it look like?

  • The mayor’s stealing of the last election with the vacuous promise of zero means zero resulting in his nickname of Mayor Zero.
  • His inability to negotiate a quick resolution to the collapse of Somerset House resulting in a prolonged Bank St closure. His arrogant refusal to come to any kind of early agreement with the OC Transpo resulting in a major loss of business in the downtown core.
  • His failed attempt to increase metered parking times downtown which would have resulted in less business for restaurants and churches as well as small stores.
  • His condescending approach to homelessness and persons on assistance.
  • His attempt to rally voters to his cause by promising to freeze workers wages.
  • His refusal to excuse himself from office while under criminal investigation.

Enough is enough. Anyone(dog) but Mayor Zero!

3 – What could Cleo do as mayor for small business owners in Ottawa?

Cleo would bring a paws on approach and common touch to city politics. She would bring a spirit of compromise and communal respect to the table. She’d look great in the chain of office! She won’t be “wagging her dick” at opponents as our classy Mayor Zero stated he was doing when confronted by Kilrea (see filmed police interview).

Clearly, David Rimmer is a man who is as passionate about this city as Cleo and is equally passionate about seeing a necessary change.

Puggy high five to David for taking the time to sit down and chat with Cleo. Each and every conversation sheds new light on a situation. Cleo is committed to making this city great – one conversation, tweet and email at a time!


David Rimmer has graciously provided Cleo with the front window of his store to help get the word out about the upcoming election. Now Cleo may not be able to pack 600 people into a room legally meant for 250, but that math comes from the same guy that raised taxes 14% when he promised zero increases. Just saying.

Break out the digital cameras, smart phones and any other gadget that will take a photo. Cleo is an avid fan of Glee as well as the work of Andy Warhol. She has pulled from these to passions to create a truly Pugtastic art piece to engage citizens, foster conversations, and poke a little fun at the same time. The piece will be up for the start of business Saturday, September 11th. Call your mom, tweet your roommate and mark your iCal…endars because we are looking to get some attention with this. Sometimes, a Pug has to do, what a Pug has to do!

For those of you who cannot wait a minute more for the opportunity to show their Pug Pride, the wait is over my friends! Vote4Cleo posters have arrived! Super puggy high five to the stellar volunteer that did all of Cleo’s graphic design work.

The countdown has begun. What is a priority for you this election? What candidate can get the job done? Cast your vote on Oct. 25th!

Cleo’s scribe

holy scandalous coffee, pugman!

September 8, 2010

Have you been following the news (gossip) regarding Jim Watson’s alleged “secret deal” with ATU Local 279? If not, CleoMan has been following the story, and is on the case.

The word on the street is: Following a difficult relationship with the incumbent, the interim president of ATU Local 279 indicated to the media that “Anything is better than Larry O’Brien”.


After shaking paws and having a chat with Jim Watson, this same union rep noted he would be “able to work with him”.


This networking experience was reported in The Sun. Displaying completely balanced and objective journalism, it was reported that Jim Watson was partaking in SOME KIND OF BACK-ROOM AGREEMENT with the union. The article also goes on to mention that the only reason Aldrich dropped Jim Watson’s name “is because Jim Watson is the only one who has called us so far”. (The article failed to mentioned that Jim Watson would show up at a bah mitzfah to chat if invited and/or has reportedly agreed to attend the opening of a door, a window and a peanut butter jar…)


Larry O’Brien’s dog Remi tweeted a new blog DEVOTED to “exposing Jim Watson’s secret deal with the transit union“.


After vigorous research and napping, Cleo considers this to be the case of the manufactured secret deal — it appears there are those out there who are trying to equate Jim Watson with Larry O’Brien (*cough*bribery charges*cough*snort*). Oddly enough, insodoing, serves as a reminder to voters of the actual forserious allegations against Mr. O’Brien. Also. Maybe Remi got dirty at the dog park and needs a bath.


Not to follow Jim Watson’s lead, but because it is the right thing to do, Cleo intends to meet with all union reps when she is mayor in order to build strong relationships and help get things done in Ottawa.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

Now if you’ll pardon me, the pugphone is ringing. Quick Team! Back to Pugcave!

See you Friday.  Same Puggy time. Same Puggy channel.

Cleo’s scribe.