Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Friday, June 09, 2006

"Hand in my pocket, hand in my pocket..."


Some Liberals never learn...
OTTAWA (CP) - A number of Liberals are using taxpayer-funded parliamentary offices to promote party leadership bids and would be breaking federal election laws if they fail to refund the public purse.

Supporters of at least eight of the 11 leadership candidates have used MPs' offices on Parliament Hill to distribute partisan campaign material, according to e-mails obtained by The Canadian Press.
Funny, there are three running that aren't currently MP's... 11 - 3 = EIGHT.
During parliamentary business hours, offices have churned out invitations on campaign letterhead to meet candidates, attend leadership launches, or get together with campaign staff.

One Liberal MP called the practice unethical and said it runs deeper than just e-mails.

"This is the tip of the iceberg," he said. "There are interns being used to do (campaign) work, there's the odd phone call to twist a colleague's arm.

"But that's not traceable."
(not traceable as a "campaign expense")
A spokeswoman for Elections Canada said MPs' staffers are ineligible to work on campaigns while being paid for their time from the public purse.

"These rules are very similar to those applicable to MPs during an election period," said spokeswoman Diane Benson.

She said any work done during business hours should be paid by the individual leadership campaign - not by the taxpayer.

"If a member of an MP's staff engages in leadership campaign work for the MP or for any other leadership contestants during normal working hours, then a proportionate share of that person's salary . . . must be included as a leadership campaign expense," she said.

"The same applies to the use of the member's office facilities or supplies."

One Liberal leadership campaign forwarded at least 17 e-mails to The Canadian Press from different parliamentary accounts that suggest campaign work is being done during business hours.

The e-mails were sent from supporters of Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae, Gerard Kennedy, Stephane Dion, Hedy Fry, Maurizio Bevilacqua, Ken Dryden and Carolyn Bennett.

At the very least, those e-mails indicate that the leadership campaigns have used a few hundred dollars' worth of office time and equipment.

However, any campaign using office hours on more time-consuming pursuits - writing leadership speeches, lobbying supporters, updating websites, producing press releases - could be using tens of thousands of dollars in public resources.

The e-mails forwarded to CP were mainly brief, poster-style invitations for Liberals to attend campaign events.

The latest leak of memos from MPs' offices will not help Liberals attain another precious objective for the coming months: party unity.

Most candidates have repeatedly said the party must move on from years of infighting between its Jean Chretien and Paul Martin factions.

The internal leaks, and the complaints about Volpe, suggest the party has slipped back into full-on, back-stabbing mode.
Excuse me while I grab some beer and popcorn...

Now, just to be clear, we all know that SOME partisan things go on within MP's offices... most of that is because sometimes, it's hard to draw the line between what's official business and what should be left to the local riding association to deal with. I have no problem with that, as long as it's within reason. But running (or clearly working on) a leadership campaign? Come on...


  • At Fri. Jun. 09, 04:08:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Fred :) said…

    Best order your popcorn by the pallet and your beer by the keg, we are going to need a lot to get through this leadership campaign.

  • At Fri. Jun. 09, 05:53:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    "Now, just to be clear, we all know that SOME partisan things go on within MP's offices."

    Yep. I'm betting "some" is a lot. Meaning, that folks spend a lot of resources and time worrying about their own advancement or re-election. This is in no way unique to the Liberal party, although they have been getting all the press about this sort of thing lately.

  • At Sat. Jun. 10, 01:21:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Liberal thieves and liars.

  • At Sat. Jun. 10, 08:28:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger Joanne (True Blue) said…

    I cannot stand that Hands in my Pocket commercial. I change the channel everytime it comes on. Now I'll think about the Fiberals, which is even more reason to do so.


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