Frank's "Incorrect" Nomination Expenses
I debated whether or not to blog this one, but I think it's at least worth the public debate.
Right from Alberta posted the other day on Guelph Liberal candidate Frank Valeriote's nomination expenses... or, should I say, his lack thereof. According to his submitted Elections Canada returns, Frank was pretty confident going into the Guelph Liberal nomination contest... so much so, that he didn't spend a single dime on it... nor did he even accept a single donation to his cause.
Here's the official Nomination contest return from Elections Canada:
Now, in Frank's defence, it does appear that he does have all the paperwork in order, as required by Elections Canada. According to Elections Canada, he must:
Provide the Nomination Contestant’s Statement of Personal Expenses to the financial agent no later than 3 months after selection day even if it is a NIL statementSo, according to Elections Canada, it looks like Frank did indeed file all the required paperwork... he filed a NIL statement. Meaning he didn't raise, nor spend, a dime on his nomination contest.
Submit the Contestant's Nomination Campaign Return and related documents within 4 months of the selection date of the contest (if contributions or expenses are $1,000 or more)
Of course, I wasn't there, so I can't prove anything otherwise. However, I do have one question... did Frank have any buttons or posters with his name on them? If so, wouldn't they be considered nomination contest expenses?
And then, of course, there's the problem of his website... you see, according to the WHOIS lookup, Frank's website was originally registered on October 4, 2006. However, the nomination wasn't held until April of 2007. Now I don't have any screenshots archived, but do I happen to know that Frank used his domain name during his nomination contest... a simple Google search on "Frank Valeriote" and "Putting Guelph First", his original campaign slogan, pulls up his link. (that search also pulls up my story on how he had to change his campaign slogan, but that's another story for another time). But in addition to having a nomination website, he also had a phone number set up for his nomination, I remember it being also listed on the website. As such, they also should have been deemed as nomination contest expenses... should they not?
Now you're likely asking yourself, "Why on earth is this idiot bothering with these tiny little details?" Well, that's actually a very valid question! Here's why...
If Frank is elected as an MP, he'll have to regularly file his MP's expenses. Today, I've shared some research I've been able to do with his previous Elections Canada submissions... and brought to light some, shall we say, discrepencies... legitimate nomination expenses he should have claimed, but did not for one reason or another.
So there's a big an important question that arises... he's a lawyer. He should be fully aware of the legal definitions on what is and is not considered a nomination expense. If he's already not correctly filling out the legally required paperwork, what's going to happen if he becomes a Member of Parliament?
Of course, this could all be a simple misunderstanding, and someone else may have simply done the paperwork for him, and didn't correctly submit his nomination expenses on his behalf. As such, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, and wait for him to publicly release his corrected and resubmitted Nomination Expense forms. He has six days before by-election writ... though he may get an extension if a new general election writ drops.
Here's hoping that the local media will also inquire as to his missing and/or incorrect Elections Canada paperwork... after all, he is seeking to represent us in Ottawa.
WARNING: Be smart with your comments folks... I'll publish everything that isn't stupid