Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mark Carney implicated in "in and out" scandal

Too bad Mark Carney didn’t have the same ethical concerns as these ad execs who appeared before the Ethics Committee today, when Mark falsified his tax leakage analysis.

That was a case of in and out as well.

Mark put “in” a really big number for the percent of trusts held in RRSPs......38% instead of 31%.....and then he took “out” all the taxes that these inflated number of trusts held in RRSPs pay. A classic case of cooking the books. And to think, he’s now the Governor of the Bank of Canada. Maybe its time for an early withdrawal

Ad execs say they worried about the legality of Tory campaign ad system
Canadian Press
August 13, 2008


Robert Gibbs said...

"No. No. No. Don't take my picture."

"I'm wearing my 'I kissed Harper's ass and I liked it' lapel pin."

Robert Gibbs said...

*** Because of Lepsoe's involvement, Kumpf and Campbell said, they could not disclose what was said during the calls BECAUSE OF SOLICITOR-CLIENT PRIVILEGE between the party and its lawyer. ***

Now isn't THAT convenient!

Robert Gibbs said...

Ah, the old "In-Out, In-Out."

Good old lascivious "droog" Alex of "A Clockwork Orange" fame must have also been involved.

Robert Gibbs said...

And lest we forget...

Tories Blasted For "Dirty Tricks" Handbook On Paralyzing Parliament

Updated Fri. May. 18 2007 5:16 PM (EDIT)

Canadian Press

OTTAWA -- The Harper government is being accused of a machiavellian plot to wreak parliamentary havoc after a secret Tory handbook on obstructing and manipulating Commons committees was leaked to the press.

Opposition parties pounced on news reports Friday about the 200-page handbook as proof that the Conservatives are to blame for the toxic atmosphere that has paralyzed Parliament this week.

"The government's deliberate plan is to cause a dysfunctional, chaotic Parliament,'' Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale told the House of Commons.

New Democrat Libby Davies said the manual explodes the Tories' contention that opposition parties are to blame for the parliamentary constipation.

"So much for blaming the opposition for the obstruction of Parliament,'' she said.

"Now we learn, in fact, that the monkey wrench gang have had a plan all along and not just any plan, a 200-page playbook on how to frustrate, obstruct and shut down the democratic process.''

Bloc Quebecois MP Monique Guay said the manual demonstrates the government's "flagrant lack of respect'' for the democratic process.

The opposition demanded that the manual, given to Tory committee chairs, be tabled in the House of Commons.

Peter Van Loan, the government's House leader, ignored the demand.

The government was so embarrassed and annoyed by the leak, that, according to a source, it ordered all committee chairs to return their copies of the handbook, apparently in a bid to determine who broke confidence.

The handbook, obtained by National Post columnist Don Martin, reportedly advises chairs on how to promote the government's agenda, select witnesses friendly to the Conservative party and coach them to give favourable testimony. It also reportedly instructs them on how to filibuster and otherwise disrupt committee proceedings and, if all else fails, how to shut committees down entirely.

Some of those stalling tactics have been on display this week.

Tory MPs on the information and ethics committee stalled an inquiry into alleged censorship of a report on the treatment of Afghan detainees. They debated the propriety of the witness list for more than five hours while two critics of the government's handling of the matter cooled their heels in the corridor.

The official languages committee has been shut down all week after Tory chair Guy Lauzon cancelled a hearing moments before witnesses were to testify about the impact of the government's cancellation of the court challenges program. All three opposition parties voted to remove Lauzon from the chair but the Tories are refusing to select a replacement, leaving the committee in limbo.

Tories have also launched filibusters to obstruct proceedings in the Commons agriculture and procedural affairs committees and a Senate committee study of a Liberal bill requiring the government to adhere to the Kyoto treaty on greenhouse gas emissions.

Davies, a 10-year parliamentary veteran, said the Tories have taken manipulation to extremes she's never seen before.

"They've codified it. They've set it down. They've given instructions.''

Both Davies and Goodale agreed that the recent dysfunction may be part of a long term Tory strategy to persuade voters that minority Parliaments don't work, that they need to elect a majority next time.

But Goodale predicted the ploy won't work because Canadians will realize that the Tories are the "authors of this stalemate.''

Goodale said the manual also demonstrates that the government is in the grip of an "obsessive, manipulative mania,'' run by a prime minister who has "a kind of control fetish'' in which there can't be "one comma or one sentence or one word uttered without his personal approval.''

Robert Gibbs said...

Top Conservative Had To Be Forcibly Removed From Commons Committee After Refusing To Leave

Conservatives Consider Themselves Above The Law?

The Canadian Press

Monday, August 11, 2008 (EDIT)

OTTAWA — The Conservatives created a committee and media circus Monday as parliamentary hearings into the Tory "in-and-out" elections financing scheme began.

The Commons ethics committee hearings got off to a raucous start with a top Tory being ejected after showing up unannounced two days early and refusing to leave voluntarily.

The spectacle overshadowed testimony from two former Conservative candidates who told the committee how party officials orchestrated campaign advertising in their ridings that likely violated federal election law.

Doug Finley, who ran the Tories' 2006 election campaign, surprised committee members by showing up two days before he was scheduled to appear - in what seemed to be an orchestrated attempt to create controversy.

Finley then stunned MPs by ignoring requests from committee chair Paul Szabo to leave and return for his scheduled appearance on Wednesday. Szabo eventually was forced to order in Commons security guards who then had to 'escort' Finley from the room.

As reporters trailed him down hallways, Finley refused to explain his unannounced Monday appearance and why he could not appear later in the week as originally scheduled and as the committee had requested. When asked if he would return voluntarily, he simply replied: "Not likely."

Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc said the bizarre standoff was unquestionably planned by the Tories to disrupt and take attention away from former Tory candidates who later testified that campaign advertising the party claimed was for their electoral districts was in fact advertising for the party's national campaign.

The year-long controversy over the in-and-out scheme centres on Elections Canada's determination that the party overspent its national campaign spending limit by $1.1 million by inappropriately transferring a total of $1.3 million in expenses for radio and television advertising to local candidates.

Elections Canada also states that the scheme allowed candidates to inappropriately claim taxpayer-funded reimbursements from Elections Canada for advertising expenses that should have been assigned to the party's national campaign.

The agency has refused to reimburse 67 candidates for the cost, saying it should be assigned to the party's national campaign.

Gary Caldwell and another former Tory candidate both told the committee that once the affair became public last year Conservative party officials warned them not to talk to news media about it.

Shocked by the confrontation between Finley and the committee, Caldwell told the MPs he was "quite frightened" by what happened.

LeBlanc called Finley's tactic "typical bullying" that was intended to intimate the former candidates and a campaign agent who were testifying.

Opposition MPs want to question Finley after they hear from nearly 40 former Conservative candidates and officials who took part in the in-and-out scheme during the last election campaign.

The list of witnesses include 31 people who had to be issued summonses to appear after not responding to invitations to testify or signalling they would not come without a summons.

The Elections Canada findings are contained in a 68-page affidavit that the assistant chief investigator for the federal elections commissioner signed last April to obtain a search warrant allowing Elections Canada to seize thousands of documents and computer storage systems during a raid of Conservative party headquarters in Ottawa.

That investigation continues under elections commissioner William Corbett, a retired Crown prosecutor.

One witness slated to appear later this week, Sam Goldstein, the Conservative candidate in the Toronto riding of Trinity Spadina, refused to talk to Elections Canada investigators in September 2007, according to the Elections Canada affidavit.

But the previous month, he told a news reporter the $49,999 his campaign paid to the Conservative party for television advertising was not for his campaign.

Robert Gibbs said...

Conservative Witnesses In Contempt Of Parliament; Ignore Summonses

Conservative Party Interfered With Witnesses; Contacted Witnesses Across The Country Suggesting They Need Not Attend Committee Hearings, Despite Summonses

"Party's Actions Tantamount To Obstruction Of Justice"

The Canadian Press & Ottawa Citizen

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 (EDIT)

OTTAWA — Douglas Lowry, the official agent for a Conservative candidate in the 2006 election campaign, says the party told him he didn't have to attend a parliamentary inquiry into the Tory "in and out" ad financing scheme, despite receiving a summons.

He says witnesses were contacted across the country, and told they didn't have to show up.

Lowry also said he was offered "talking points" from the Conservative party for his testimony, but never received them.

The hearings descended into chaos again on Tuesday when four Tory witnesses failed to appear, despite all having been issued summonses, indicating that the Conservative party has inappropriately ordered their absence.

And the Conservatives are now stupefyingly trying to claim that the inquiry is somehow "illegal."

Committee chairman Paul Szabo was forced to adjourn the morning hearing moments after its start.

The inquiry is looking into allegations the Conservative party illegally skirted its spending limit for the 2006 election.

A committee clerk's report on witnesses or proposed witnesses states that a number of former Conservative campaign agents had been advised by the party not to testify.

"I have reviewed the list with the clerk, with the various responses of the proposed witnesses. There are three that I can see that specifically indicated that they were not going to attend, that they were told not to attend."

"This is a serious matter; it has to do with interfering with witnesses."

Another MP on the committee noted that a total of seven witnesses had failed to appear. He said there was no question they were acting under orders.

"Ultimately, you're in contempt of Parliament for deliberately undermining the will of Parliament."

He added that the Conservative party's actions are tantamount to obstruction of justice.

The committee can issue summonses for witnesses who do not respond to invitations to appear, but unfortunately it cannot enforce them. It must first report to Parliament and request that the Speaker Of The House issue warrants compelling witnesses to attend, but that cannot happen when Parliament is on summer recess. Without a doubt, the Conservatives are aware of this.