Monday, July 21, 2008

The 'In and Out and Sideways' Scheme

Well now! It now looks as though the 'In and Out' scheme may have actually been more devious and complex than we've already learned.

The Conservative party shifted thousands of dollars in advertising expenses from two of its top Quebec candidates to other Quebec candidates who had more spending room in their 2006 election campaigns, the lawyer for Elections Canada has suggested.

A former financial officer for the party confirmed last month in a court examination that expenses incurred by Public Works Minister Christian Paradis and former foreign affairs minister Maxime Bernier were assigned to other candidates.

Since when is it accepted practice to ask a neighboring candidate to take on your expenses because you've hit your limit?

If this claims bears out, all the faux outrage demonstrated by the Conservatives last week during the committee meeting will be beyond laughable.

But former chief financial officer Ann O'Grady said the expenses were "pro-rated" to the other candidates because the firm that placed the television and radio ads billed Paradis and Bernier for higher amounts than their campaign agents originally committed.

'Pro-rated' will be an important point in the overall case, imo. One of Mayrand's main points in front of the committee last week was that his investigators noted that the ad buy expense by candidate did not represent anything remotely resembling 'fair market value'. Some were charged hundreds others thousands for the same ad buy. Obviously the national party was looking for room where they could find it.

Boy, this whole 'everyone did it' line is sinking fast. So the question is where do the Con's go from here? The committee meetings are scheduled to go forward Aug. 11 - 14. To shut them down now would look too suspicious, to go forward will only paint the Con's into a tighter corner. What to do, what to do?

My guess is they will allow the committee to go forward and continue to play the 'everybody is against us' card. They may bet on Canadians not paying attention through the summer and prefer to change the channel in the Fall by bringing out something they can hammer away on. If they prorogue, the focus will remain on this issue.

Awww, it looks like they are in a bit of bind. I'm sure you can tell just how sympathetic I am.

What's your prediction on how they will handle this? It's early day's of course, but you have to admit that this new element, if true, lends even more credence to Harper's disdain for Elections Canada.

Fact's really do get in the way of the Conservative agenda don't they?


Steve V said...

Note to self, go to knb's first, prior to posting ;)

Remember, Harper said their case was "ROCK SOLID". LOL.

Steve V said...

" It's early day's of course, but you have too admit that this new element, if true, lends even more credence to Harper's disdain for Elections Canada."

Didn't Maynard say last week, with a slight smirk, that there were new items that he had learned of just recently, since the raid?

knb said...

Lol Steve. I'll write myself the same note.

Indeed, Maynard said that facts have come to light since his proclamation. His face told me they stood him in good stead.

(Still no transcript btw. I keep checking.)

I've never had goose, but I can smell one cooking.

Steve V said...

"Still no transcript btw. I keep checking.)"

I'm starting to think that's intentional. I did catch some of the repeat on Cspan this weekend (I was tempted to do the transcript), and the Cons were absurd the way they treated Maynard.

Given Harper's bravado here, I wonder how it could translate to his similar assuredness with the Liberal suit.

knb said...

Good point Steve.

If the defense going into every case is going to be 'they're picking on me', I'm not so sure that facts will hold up their argument.

Ah, it's but a dream, but maybe, just maybe, we are seeing the fall of Stephen Harper before our very eyes.

I still stand by my comment that if he does not win the next election, he's outta there.

penlan said...

This just gets better & better! I do think Steve will prorogue but just not sure when exactly.

I assume you think that if he prorogues it will be heavy election fodder for the Libs? I think it will be anyway, whether there's an election sooner or later. It will be "out there" no matter what.

The CONs have now dug an even deeper hole than any of us realized & I think Mayrand also has more to reveal than this. Let the games begin!

knb...I'm with you that Steve will be gone if they lose the next election. And I see no one, at this time, strong or capable enough to replace him as leader of the party. They are all a bunch of "no-good, do nothing but harm" sorry excuses for MP's.

RuralSandi said...

Even though I didn't believe in "Progressive" Conservative policies, I never felt as threatened for my country as I have with Harper.

What's next - Mayrand's job and dismantle elections Canada?


penlan said...


I feel exactly the same way you do. "Threatened" for my country by Harper & his minions.

I've actually been scared for the 1st time in my ancient life with the govt. that's in power.

knb said...

penlan as to who would replace Harper, it's pretty slim pickings to be sure but I imagine Prentice, Flaherty and MacKay will all try.

knb said...

What's next - Mayrand's job and dismantle elections Canada?.

That would be political suicide at the moment, but if I were Mayrand, I'd be nervous about the future.

I agree with you and penlan. What bothers me the most is how he general public is unaware of much of what this government is doing.

It also makes me crazy to hear or read media saying that he has no agenda and that the Lib's made it all up.