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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Four Liberal MPs were using public money to solicit donations

Today I heard the shocking news that several of Michael Ignatieff’s Liberal party caucus members are allegedly using their online offices that offer constituent services to further their private and/or partisan interests. According to Canada.com, Conservative MP Greg Rickford has filed a complaint with the House of Commons ethics commissioner against 18 Liberal MPs for fundraising through their websites.

“The website of Liberal MP Bob Rae, for example, contains a ‘donate’ link with a photo of three $20 bills. Clicking the link leads to instructions for how to donate to either the Liberal party or Rae’s Toronto Centre riding association.”

Can you believe this? The same Grit MPs who are complaining about partisan political antics of the Tories, are themselves allegedly knee deep in a scam. Here’s more from Canada.com:

“[MP] Rickford argues that such practices violate the House of Commons code of conduct for MPs, which states that ‘when performing parliamentary duties and functions, a member shall not act in any way to further his or her private interests’.”

A spokesman for Michael Ignatieff said 14 of the 18 websites in question are paid for by the MP’s riding association or the party. However, the other four MPs have removed the fundraising links. There you have it: four Liberals were, in fact, using a publicly funded Web sites to solicit donations. Shameful!

So, apparently, Bob Rae was telling a lie when he said in an interview:

“This simply strengthens our argument. We use political money to pay for a political website, and they’re using public money to pay for partisan activity. The two things are totally different.”

Apparently, until caught, four Liberal MPs were using public money to solicit donations.

Liberals really do not have any shame do they?

8 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. I watched terry Milewski on Peter Mansbridge tell Canadians that the conservatives were fear mongering and the Liberals were innocent!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. OK, so 4 links on 4 websites would cost about, what? half a cent?

    Compared to billions and billions and billions of stimulus, most of it going to Tory ridings.

    I thought you conservatives hated the moral equivalency arguments lefties sometimes give?

    ReplyDelete
  3. You have to admire the way in which Stephen Harper has learned how to blunt these nit-picking opposition complaints. While the opposition parties are trying to blow the 'logo-on-cheques' slip-up into a national crisis issue, Harper and company have so managed to muddy the waters that the original issues are being drowned in a sea of charges and counter charges.
    Firstly the Conservatives dug out a host of past Liberal indiscretions and charged the Liberals with hypocrisy. Now they have caught a number Liberals using government funded websites to appeal for donations, and are pressing their own claims with the ethics commissioner. The whole sorry mess has become so tangled in charge and counter charge that most voters have lost interest.
    Harper has also turned the tables on the Liberal-loving MSM. By doling out the Conservatives rebuttals to the Liberal claims on a day by day basis, the media now has to report on them. This leads to news overload for many people who have more important things to worry about. After a while people get tired of hearing it, recognize it for the non-issue that it is, and just tune out. The entire issue, including the original complaints, fade into obscurity. Already, I'm at the point where I don't much care who did what and when.
    Nice move Mr. Harper

    ReplyDelete
  4. You miss the point, Ted Betts. The billions did not got to Tories it went to Canadians. For fairness sake, man, don't you think Canadians of all political stripes live in every riding in Canada.

    As for stimulus money going more to Tory ridings, see CityTV story that shows even Ont. Liberal Infrastructure Minister dismissed accusations by federal liberals stimulus projects are skewed to Tory ridings. See link here:

    http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/news/national/article/61240--toronto-mp-claims-harper-government-favours-tory-ridings-smitherman-disagrees

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ted Betts is sounding like Carl Sagan, talking about "billions and billions and billions ..."

    OK, let's take a look at one riding, that of Minister Tony Clement: Parry Sound - Muskoka.

    Here are the results of the 2008 election:
    CON Tony Clement 50.16%
    LIB Jamie McGarvey 24.97%
    NDP Jo-Anne Boulding 12.30%
    GRN Glen Hodgson 11.83%
    IND David Rowland 0.75%

    That means 49.84% who did not vote Conservative will be enjoying and benefitting from whatever stimulus projects the Industry Minister was able to secure for that riding.

    Oh, wow, how shameful is that!

    Not convinced? OK, let's take another riding, Central Nova. The Chronicle Herald's crack journalist Stephen Maher took Minister Mackay to task for steering a lot of stimulus funding towards that riding.
    Oh my, we have to go through the same exercise:
    CON Peter MacKay 46.40%
    GRN Elizabeth May 32.24%
    NDP Louise Lorefice 19.56%
    CHP Michael MacKay 1.09%
    CAP Paul Kemp 0.50%

    So, that means 53.60% who did not vote Conservative will be enjoying and benefitting from whatever stimulus projects the Defence Minister was able to secure for that riding.

    Need any more examples?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Interesting you should mention Peter McKay, whose riding received more funding than any other in Nova Scotia. In fact, the three Tory ridings in Nova Scotia received some $162 million more than all of the other 8 non-Tory ridings put together.

    But you folks need to get your story straight on all this graft.

    We have Tony Clement saying all the money is being distributed equally and Tory ridings are not being favoured.

    We have John Baird quoting Jean Chretien as justification for favouring Tory ridings.

    We have some in the blogosphere trying to say there reasons for the favouratism, i.e. differing needs of differing ridings.

    And then you have the Prime Minister admitting that the money is not spread evenly but justifying it not by the needs of the ridings but by simpley and arrogantly saying Tory MPs worked harder than Liberal MPs to get that pork into their ridings.

    I think if the Prime Minister and Baird are admitting that the money is not spread evenly, you can stop trying to convince the world that favouratism isn't happening and start trying to unapologetically excuse Harper's most massive broken promise so far just as the PM does.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ted,

    Your silly claim, "But you folks need to get your story straight on all this graft." Graft? Really?

    So long as the stimulus money is not taken personally by the politician involved or spent fraudulently, how is it "graft?"

    This is, I think, libel. If you have proof there is graft, then you are bound by law to report it to the police--otherwise, you should watch your words.

    As far as we know, the stimulus money is being spent legitimately. The debate is over where in the country it is spent. There's a world of difference.

    On one hand we have questionable "ethics;" on the other we have a serious criminal act.

    Unless you can provide proof of graft, I'm sorry but I'll not be debating this further with you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think you need to read up on libel law for that claim to stick.

    Certainly, we already have evidence of some money going not just to Tory ridings but the interests and projects in which key Tories, including one senator, has a direct interest. That is the definition of graft. We have a private school getting $500K for a domed soccer field when one of its directors appears to be a major Tory donor.

    But if the word graft prevents you from responding to the last comment I made. I retract it.

    ReplyDelete

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