Dean Del Mastro is Stephen J. Harper's point man in Parliament on the voter fraud scandal and criminal impersonation of Elections Canada officials designed to confuse voters and suppress their votes (known as the Robocall scandal). Dean Del Mastro's defense is that this alleged scandal is a giant smear campaign designed to malign the integrity of the Harper government, and is without foundation whatsoever.
Now we learn that Dean Del Mastro was swimming in the deep end of Harper's cess pool of voter suppression as well during the 2010 election. I didn't know that being a Conservative Super-hero (see picture above) or "being here for Peterborough" voters involved engaging in highly questionable tactics as these:
Del Mastro's robocalls confused voters, says Ontario Grit
Constituents complained to MPP about 'impostor'
By Glen McGregor And Stephen Maher, Postmedia News And The Citizen March 13, 2012
The Conservative MP leading his party's defence against charges of voter suppression sent out two robocalls of his own on election day that left some voters in his Ontario riding confused.
Peterborough Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro, who serves as parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, on Monday repeatedly accused the Liberals of using deceptive robocalls in Guelph two days before the May 2, 2011 vote.
But a story from the Peterborough Examiner from last May shows that Del Mastro admitted he was behind pre-recorded robocalls that the area provincial representative said left his constituents confused.
The messages urging people to go vote were from someone identifying himself only as "Jeff."
Ontario Liberal MPP Jeff Leal told the paper he had heard complaints from constituents who thought the caller was "an impostor" pretending to be him.
Leal even sent out a news release complaining about what he thought was a prank. The paper described Leal as "hopping mad" over the calls.
The day after the election, Del Mastro contacted the newspaper and admitted his campaign had sent out two robocalls on voting day and that the "Jeff" in the message was, in fact, his own campaign manager, Jeff Westlake.
Del Mastro told the paper the messages reminded people it was election day and gave his campaign's phone number with an offer of rides to the polling stations.
The robocalls were sent out on Del Mastro's behalf by Campaign Research, a firm used by 39 different Conservative campaigns in the election. The firm later made headlines for making contentious calls into the Montreal riding of Irwin Cotler, suggesting the veteran Liberal MP was planning to retire.
The election day robocall in Peterborough may not have had the caller's full name, as would be ideal, but it did identify the campaign and it did include a real phone number people could call for more information, said Nick Kouvalis, Campaign Research's principal partner, in an interview on Monday.
"He did identify the campaign office phone number on the call display," he said. "And Jeff, his campaign manager, introduced himself at the front of the script. I think they could have done a better job on identification, but it's pretty clear."
In comparison, he said, it was impossible to know the source of an abortion-warning call from federal Liberal Frank Valeriote's campaign in Guelph just by listening to the recording.
"The person says they're somebody they're not," he said. "They don't give a phone number to call back. They're two different things."
Westlake was paid $1,600 for work on the Conservative campaign and is now a constituency assistant in Del Mastro's Peterborough office. Neither he nor Del Mastro's office responded to requests for comment.
The revelation of the Del Maestro robocalls comes after news of a robocall sent out by Valeriote two days before the election. The Valeriote call gave the Conservatives a new way to deflect questions in the House of Commons Monday.
Valeriote admitted over the weekend that his campaign was behind a call to voters on April 20 that attacked Tory candidate Marty Burke over his views on abortion.
Valeriote has allowed the call, recorded by a female volunteer using an assumed name, should have been identified as coming from his campaign. But his office contends the calls were legal, despite Election Canada rules that require the sponsor of communication that promotes or opposes a candidate must be identified.
Del Mastro previously attempted to rebuff opposition attacks over robocalls by alleging the Liberals had used a voice-broadcasting company located in the United States and claiming his party didn't use American firms.
The defence backfired when it was revealed that Del Mastro had confused a U.S. firm with the same name with the unrelated Ontario company the Liberals used. And Del Mastro's campaign, it turned out, was using an Ohio-based company to arrange telephone town halls.
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen
Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Mastro+robocalls+confused+voters+says+Ontario+Grit/6291547/story.html#ixzz1p0oa87k9
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Posted by Brent Fullard at 11:44 AM