Monday, July 28, 2008

Not So "Special" Deal

Absolutely unbelievable title in the Ottawa Citizen, relating to the outstanding Liberal leadership debts. Special Deal:
Special deal

OTTAWA - Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand has given several Liberal leadership contenders until the end of next year to repay their debts from their campaigns for the party's top job, but he has yet to rule on an extension request from party leader Stephane Dion.

In a decision made public Monday, Mr. Mayrand said the campaigns of Maurizio Bevilacqua, Scott Brison, Martha Hall Findlay, Hedy Fry, Joe Volpe and Gerard Kennedy have until the end of 2009 to make good on loans and other debts. Deputy Leader Michael Ignatieff was given an extension until the end of June 2009, and MP Ken Dryden has until the end of June 2010.

Together, these losing candidates received extensions on $1.7 million in loans and other claims.

Scott Brison, along with Maurizio Bevilacqua, Martha Hall Findlay, Hedy Fry, Joe Volpe and Gerard Kennedy, now have until the end of 2009 to make good on loans and other debts.
Montreal Gazette

The extensions are certain to inflame Conservatives, who have suggested Mr. Mayrand has unfairly interpreted the elections law by singling out Tory candidates when he refused to certify election campaign expenses in the so-called "in-and-out" affair.

Oh, how the Conservatives will howl, especially with dishonest headlines from a supposed reputable source. Hey, Glen McGregor, instead of intentionally suggesting Elections Canada is giving preferential treatment to the Liberals, why don't you get off your lazy ASS and be a journalist for a few minutes. Sort of like this reporter:
Scores of Conservative candidates missed campaign debt deadline

By Joan Bryden , THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA - Conservative election candidates have regularly missed deadlines for repaying campaign debts, indulging in the same supposedly illegal conduct for which the Tories are now denouncing Liberal Leader Stephane Dion.


According to a chart compiled by Elections Canada, 426 candidates - including 121 Conservatives - sought extensions to pay off loans after the 2004 election.

As well, 401 candidates - including 125 Conservatives - sought extensions to clear unpaid bills.

Elections Canada was not immediately able to say how many of those requests were granted but typically most candidates would have been given more time.

In a guide to understanding the rules for leadership debts, the agency notes that "under similar rules that exist for candidates during an election, the Chief Electoral Officer has normally authorized late payments as long as the sources of all contributions and details of all loan repayment schedules are disclosed."

Furthermore, Elections Canada's web site lists 19 candidates - five of them Conservatives - with loans that remained unpaid 18 months after the 2006 election.

It further lists 10 candidates - four of them Conservatives - whose unpaid loans were deemed to count as donations after 18 months. In five of those cases - three involving Conservative candidates - the donations exceed the legal maximum of $5,400 per donor.

Replace SPECIAL with STANDARD PRACTICE and the article might be fair. What a joke.

21 comments:

knb said...

This crosses the line imo.

I know I get on media a lot for spin and bias, but that headline is a lie.

Steve V said...

It crosses the line, because it suggests that the Cons are right, EC favors the Liberals, when the reality, INDISPUTABLE, is nothing of the sort.

knb said...

Yes that too. Not that it'll make a whiff of difference, I wrote the Citizen. (I was polite,;)

I hope the Liberals set the record straight quickly and EC for that matter.

Steve V said...

"(I was polite,;)"

I wasn't :)

knb said...

Lol. It's tough when you're mad isn't it?

How long do you think before Poilievre finds a mic?

knb said...

Geez. It just occured to me that the committee meets in a couple of weeks again.

This should be put to rest before that.

Steve V said...

National Newswatch had a special header on the story, first using a link from CTV, which was a generic headline. Now, it's changed to the "SPECIAL DEAL" link.

ottlib said...

So, I guess the folks at Canwest-Global have decided that they need to help out their friends in the Conservative Party.

What a surprise.

With the exception of the Conservative base no Canadian is really going to believe Elections Canada is biased. Sorry folks, it ain't going to happen.

Canadians are smarter than the Conservatives and Canwest-Global give them credit for. Well, at least the majority of Canadians.

Anonymous said...

As anyone who knows anything about newspapers can tell you, reporters don't write the headlines. Editors do.

Also, MacGregor and CP's Tim Naumetz broke the Tory in-and-out story, so I think you're looking for Con bias in the wrong place.

Steve V said...

anon

I'm well aware they broke the story, which makes this title all the more curious.

knb said...

Anon, it's not McGregor specifically, it's Canwest and their bias re' the headline writer.

Steve V said...

I might have erred by using ASS in reference to him specifically, more rightly the publication.

Anonymous said...

The timing of this is unfortunate for Elections Canada. They do seem to be applying the law rather selectively. As long as the parties appear to be basically complying with the law, they should be flexible and let it go. If there clear abuse, like say reports of bags of unreported cash being used for election expenses, then they should lower the boom.

Steve V said...

"They do seem to be applying the law rather selectively. As long as the parties appear to be basically complying with the law, they should be flexible and let it go."

How do you figure that? We have spending limits so elections are fair, that is a basic tenet, one we should all applaud, because it becomes a question of message not money. The more we learn about the Con tactics, the fact their own candidates could see the problems, the more solid EC looks for making this call. People can buy the Con spin here, but I'm inclined to believe an impartial body, headed by Harper appointees (and thank christ for that, just imagine the nonsense if these were Liberal appointees).

colten said...

Going after the CPC with search warrants (unprecedented I believe),

while allowing the Libs to by-pass the loan payback requirements.

Doesn't

look

good.

Steve V said...

colten

Nobody by-passed anything, if you actually take a look at election law, this concept is clearly laid out (and former candidates proceeded with this knowledge), not to mention the precedent, which so happens to include droves of Cons.

As for the raid, only a blind partisan can't see that the decision would not be taken lightly, that it would only come about if there was real sense of obstruction. I mean, come on people, you think EC wasn't weary of such a high profile raid?? I bet it was carefully weighed for weeks, if not months, and there was resistence, only done as a last resort. BTW, I think Canadians see this for what it was too, the questioning only seems to come from Conservative apologists.

colten said...

Steve V.

interesting how the comparison to the "in and out" - which is just ridings being able to spend how they see fit, and of course at the direction of the head office -

with this latest Liberal scandal,

allows us once again to note that the CPC is spending their own money,

while the Liberals are spending others'.

Of course this isn't stolen money as in adscam, but it IS about the Libs freely spending others money, and trying to wiggle out when the time comes to pony up as required by Elections laws.

Steve V said...

colten

Oh, the adscam reference, how original. Lame.

Blues Clair said...

and of course colten ignores,

Furthermore, Elections Canada's web site lists 19 candidates - five of them Conservatives - with loans that remained unpaid 18 months after the 2006 election.

It further lists 10 candidates - four of them Conservatives - whose unpaid loans were deemed to count as donations after 18 months. In five of those cases - three involving Conservative candidates - the donations exceed the legal maximum of $5,400 per donor.

colten your boring.

knb said...

colten is beyond boring.

blues clair, thanks for that.

burlivespipe said...

Colten obviously likes to play the shell game. His excuse 'ridings being able to spend their money as they see fit' doesn't jibe with what we know today, that the ridings had no say in how the money was spent, were not allowed to spend it, and that campaign managers and candidates were told to shut up about it. You don't tell people to 'shut up' unless you've got something to hide. What's Colten hiding under his tinfoil?