From the Mercury
Bartlett vents his fury - DAMIEN BROWN
March 29, 2010 12:01am
PREMIER David Bartlett has launched a savage attack on political scientist Richard Herr, denying a jibe at the marital status of Greens leader Nick McKim.
Mr Bartlett said the interpretation of his comments by Dr Herr was "bizarre", "biased", "twisted" and "untrue".
In a blistering email sent to the Mercury yesterday, Mr Bartlett denied the claims that his comments made on election night were a slight on Mr McKim and his partner, fellow Greens MHA Cassy O'Connor.
Mr Bartlett, who made much of his working-class roots during the campaign, used his election-night speech to thank the wives.
"I particularly want to acknowledge [Opposition Leader] Will Hodgman and Nicky because, like Larissa and me, I think Tasmanians get two for the price of one in Will and I," he said. "They are, like us, a young family [who] face great challenges."
Some, including Dr Herr, read the comments as a dig at the unmarried Mr McKim.
"That's how it struck me on the evening," Dr Herr told the Sunday Tasmanian.
"It might have been an expression of [Mr Bartlett's] disappointment that the issue did not seem to figure much in people's thinking."
Mr Bartlett said this was not correct.
"That Richard Herr would interpret my genuine remarks about Nicky Hodgman on election night as a slight on Nick McKim and Cassy O'Connor says far more about him than it does about me," he said.
Mr Bartlett said Dr Herr's comments made him question the quality of his analysis.
Mr Bartlett, who must wait another three days before he knows if he will still be premier in the wake of the March 20 poll, said he admired Mr Hodgman and his wife and the hard work they were doing within the Tasmanian community.
"Over the last four years Larissa and I have had the pleasure of getting to know Nicky," he said.
"We genuinely believe she is a hard worker for Tasmania and we know she has a tough role in working, managing a household and supporting her husband [and] I wanted to acknowledge that on election night.
"To skew those genuine views to be a comment on Mr McKim's marital status is as bizarre, biased and twisted as it is untrue."
Mr McKim is in a relationship with Ms O'Connor, who has four children from a previous marriage and relationship