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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Harper's Ad-scam Money Went to Promote Conservative Candidates in Quebec

The Harper Con Adscam gets curiouser and curiouser. The Conservative Party of Canada launched a lawsuit against the campaign watchdog Elections Canada. This was over the party’s spending in the 2006 campaign to try and squeeze more taxpayer money out of the system to pay for their advertising costs.

Newspaper reports today say the Cons have dropped almost all of the original 34 applicants from the action leaving only two people to take the fight forward. Looks like the CPC Politburo are having some trouble keeping the party faithful faithful. Apparently some former candidates and their official agents are publicly disavowing the advertising scheme.

Other former candidate’s official agents who were named as applicants in the law suit did not even know their names were being used and were never asked for permission to use their names. Others claimed the central party funds were just deposited into local candidate campaign accounts and pulled out again the same day. You gotta wonder how that happens without permission.

One former candidate is quoted as saying $26,000.00 was put in and out of his campaign account and used for advertising “…that was not specifically related to his own campaign.” Opps!

Here is the big kicker. Guess where the additional advertising money was spent! It apparently all went to buying advertising in Quebec. It was targeted to bolster the Harper’s promise of “freer federalism” and in specific support of close races in 10 Quebec ridings the Cons eventually won.

Does this smell like the Conservative version of an Adscam to you too? Party money that is subsidized by the taxpayer used to curry favour with Quebec to save the country? It is not a perfect fit because there is no fraud involved but there is a fit nevertheless.
Check out Impolitical for another take on this issue.