Rae enjoys using terms like "we" and "team", partially as a way to endear himself to lifelong Liberals. Many Liberals were suspicious of Rae, which may account for the early leadership dismissals by many pundits. To Rae's credit he has mostly silenced the detractors, through a combination of institutional supporters and crafty rhetoric. The news of NDP donations couldn't come at a worse time, as I'm sure many Liberals are presently taking a second look at Rae. Expect rival camps to quitely whisper the charges, as ridings select delegates, killing the past weeks apparent "surge". This news is particuarly important because it speaks to Rae's loyalty, something which I am quickly learning is incredibly important in Liberal circles. This story is the equivalent of finding out that Dion drives a Hummer and dumps his old paint cans in the local tributary. The timing is horrible, let's see if this has legs, but I suspect it might.
Rae responds to the NDP donations:
In an interview Wednesday, Rae said he had no sign on his lawn. But he confirmed he did make small donations to three or four NDP candidates who were personal friends, as well as to several Liberals, including interim leader Bill Graham.
He said he even gave money once to Hugh Segal, now a Conservative senator, for his ill-fated bid to lead the now-defunct Progressive Conservatives.
"I try to give generously to charity and I try to give generously or as well as I can during political campaigns to encourage good people to get into public life. It's something that I've always done," Rae said.
A search of party donations filed with Elections Canada, shows Rae gave $250 and $300 to two NDP candidates in last winter's election. He also gave two $250 donations to NDP candidates in the 2004 election.
In the last election, Rae also gave $300 each to Liberals Pierre Pettigrew and John Godfrey. An aide said Rae also gave money to Graham in early 2006, which has not yet been reported by Elections Canada, as well as small donations over the years to provincial Liberals in Ontario.