Friday, June 09, 2006

Librano Business as Usual --Part 2

Just when I thought the LPC couldn't get any more shifty in their leadership campaign, National Director Steven MacKinnon goes and proves me wrong. On the heels of Joe Volpe's campaign financing fiasco comes this.

OTTAWA (CP) - A number of Liberals are using taxpayer-funded parliamentary offices to promote party leadership bids and would be breaking federal election laws if they fail to refund the public purse.

Supporters of at least eight of the 11 leadership candidates have used MPs' offices on Parliament Hill to distribute partisan campaign material, according to e-mails obtained by The Canadian Press.

During parliamentary business hours, offices have churned out invitations on campaign letterhead to meet candidates, attend leadership launches, or get together with campaign staff.

One Liberal MP called the practice unethical and said it runs deeper than just e-mails.
"This is the tip of the iceberg," he said. "There are interns being used to do (campaign) work, there's the odd phone call to twist a colleague's arm.

Well at least one of the 105 Liberal MP's sees some ethical problems with these practices. On the other hand, leadership candidates have until six months after the convention to file campaign expenses. If they claim the time spent by parliamentary staffers as campaign income and reimburse the public purse for this time all is in compliance.

LPC National Director Steven MacKinnon weighs in on this very point.

We expect that all leadership campaign activities be fully disclosed and the expenses incurred to undertake those activities be fully disclosed," said Steven MacKinnon, the party's national director.

"Once (candidates) do that . . . they've complied with the law and the rules."

MacKinnon also pointed out that the Liberals have an internal complaints mechanism to deal with alleged transgressions. The party can impose fines of up to $100,000 or disqualify leadership candidates who break the rules.

Wait a second! Did I hear that right? The LPC has mechanisms to deal with alleged transgressions? Is this a recent development?

Steven MacKinnon was claiming something completely different a mere eight days ago. In response to the breaking of Joe Volpe's kiddiegate scandal Steven MacKinnon is quoted here as saying:

"Elections Canada regulates contributions to leadership candidates. The Liberal Party does not," Mr. MacKinnon said.

So the National Director of the LPC, the Grand Poo Bah, Numero Uno, the gate keeper of this asylum claims to be powerless when Joe Volpe bends campaign finance laws to the tune of $54,000.00 hard cash but asserts the LPC has "internal mechanisms to deal with alleged transgressionsns" when Liberal leadership candidates are dipping into the public purse.

Why the contradiction Steven??? Could it be that cash is king?? Is it possible that campaign reporting requirements that allow for disclosure six months after the leadership convention make this a moot point. Is this one of those ethically fuzzy areas that makes it "legal" for the LPC to utilize public resources at their will and any "illegal" activity can be later taken care of with "creative accounting" practices. You know, like the ones used to hide the true cost of the long gun registry.

But that wasn't all Mr. MacKinnon had to say on the subject. Apparentlyly the LPC MP who found all this to be lacking ethics did not go unnoticeded by the National Director.

The internal leaks, and the complaints about Volpe, suggest the party has slipped back into full-on, back-stabbing mode.

"I take a very dim view (of that)," MacKinnon said.

"Ronald Reagan's first commandment was, 'Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.' Certainly the leadership candidates themselves have spoken of the need for a civil, open contest.

"I would urge anyone who may not have heard that to listen to what their own candidates are saying."

Wow!!!! You know things are tough at LPC headquarters when the National Director is looking to Ronald Reaganan for inspiration. Does this suggest the LPC is advocating "American Style" politics?

On second thought I'm sure his message could be summed up in one word that encapsulates the true spirit of Canadian Style Librano politics.


And finally this from the linked article.

One memorable e-mail invitation to join Hedy Fry this week for a campaign event in Ottawa promised an evening of "dancing with drag queens."

That pretty much sums up the LPC. They can put on all the lipstick and rouge they want and dance into the night, enchanting the public with their feminine wiles. But you best be carefull who you take home or you may end up with a handfull of something you never bargained for.


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