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Impolitical: The first robocalls victim – again

The Ottawa Citizen published an op-ed by former Saanich-Gulf Islands Liberal candidate Briony Penn on Tuesday: “I was the first robocalls victim.” It tells the story of the 2008 federal election in that riding and the strange robocalls urging people to vote for an NDP candidate who had withdrawn from the race, thereby splitting the vote to the Conservative Gary Lunn’s advantage.

The funny thing is, the Citizen – home of McMaher – published the same op-ed when this story first broke back in early March, as an astute reader points out to me. She thinks that Penn’s piece

. . . → Read More: Impolitical: The first robocalls victim – again

A BCer in Toronto: Ethics committee talks social media without Del Mastro

I had a few committee meetings to choose from while I was in Ottawa last week, and attending the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics meeting on Tuesday made sense. And not just because it was hearing witnesses on a study of the privacy issues around social media.

I was hoping to see Conservative ethics committee member Dean Del Mastro, who has been keeping a low profile and allowing Pierre Poilievre to speak for him. Alas, Dean was a no-show. Disapointing to those hoping for a show, but perhaps a blessing for those looking for some substantive

. . . → Read More: A BCer in Toronto: Ethics committee talks social media without Del Mastro

Trashy's World: Friday miscellany…

… absenteeism, heat and, of course, the Del Mastro edition.. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ There is a lot of talk around this “leaked” document purportedly (I say purportedly, because very few have actually seen it) showing that public servant absenteeism is a BIG problem costing Canadians GAZILLIONS of $$$’s a year!!! The Sixth Estate commented on this: Whether [...]

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- I wouldn’t want to take Dan Gardner’s conclusion as to the effects of power as an immutable truth – as he himself notes in pointing out means of minimizing its risks. But it’s certainly an apt description of what’s happened since the Harper Cons took power: The government could have responded by making a show of listening to the opposition and Conservative backbenchers, picking a few innocuous amendments, and passing them. Doing that would have cost the government essentially nothing. But it may have softened the complaints a little. And, at a minimum,

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A BCer in Toronto: It’s so hard to find good help these days…

You know, I’m starting to feel sorry for Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro. I’m sure he wants to do good, but he just keeps being foiled by those around him. I mean, it is so hard to find good help these days, isn’t it?

Take these allegations of campaign overspending in the 2008 election campaign that have dogged Del Mastro of late. Apparently it’s totally not *his* fault. No, apparently his campaign manager *accidentally* approved paying $21,000 for services that were never supposedly contracted for or delivered. Happens all the time, I’m sure. You’re paying your bills. Hydro, check. Cable, check. $21,000 for something I

. . . → Read More: A BCer in Toronto: It’s so hard to find good help these days…

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Why Is Tom MulCair Protecting Dean Del Mastro?

I get LPoC talking points delivered into my mail-box every day.  I usually ignore them, but sometimes they raise legitimate questions:

NDP Must Stop Protecting Dean Del MastroOTTAWA— Liberal Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics critic Scott Andrews made the following statement today on the Liberal motion to call Dean Del Mastro to appear before the Ethics committee:“The Prime Minister’s Parliamentary Secretary and chief apologist for Conservative election fraud, Dean Del Mastro, is under investigation by Elections Canada for allegedly violating campaign spending limits and serious questions have been raised about the conduct of his campaign.Liberals have tabled a

. . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: Why Is Tom MulCair Protecting Dean Del Mastro?

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Bruce Johnstone and the Star-Phoenix editorial board both join the voices decrying the Cons’ decision to throw parliamentary democracy under their omnibus budget bill. And Gerald Caplan points out the Harper Cons’ more general tendency to silence dissenting views: (T)here’s little doubt the government was deliberately crippling many of Canada’s best and brightest, including many groups who upheld the country’s good reputation abroad that the Harper government was cavalierly undermining. In any event, the groups weren’t targeted because of their actual achievements, which were often exemplary.

Something entirely different was going on here.

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Driving The Porcelain Bus: Dean Del Mastro – The Hits Keep On Coming

Dean Del Mastro is Harper’s Parliamentary Secretary. He is also the point man for the Cons in dealing with the election fraud scandal. He is currently being investigated for cheating on election expenses (if found guilty he could face 5 years in jail).

Now, it has been discovered that there appears to have been some illegal contribution activity towards Del Mastro’s campaign.

So far, the guilt here points to Dean’s cousin, David Del Mastro, and the people who were paid to make additional contributions for David. But, there is no evidence (yet) that Dean knew of this contribution plan.   (Read more…)

Impolitical: New troubling allegations on Del Mastro 2008 campaign

“Employees linked to cousin’s company each gave $1,000 to Dean Del Mastro campaign.” Bravo to Postmedia for pursuit of this story. But three donors to Del Mastro’s campaign or riding association, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, say they were asked to make $1,000 donations and were reimbursed by Deltro for the full amount plus a $50 bonus. “It was put, ‘We need to find some people to make $1,000 donations,’” said one former Deltro employee.

Numerous sections of the Elections Act forbid donors from exceeding the individual limit on donations by concealing their donations and forbid others

. . . → Read More: Impolitical: New troubling allegations on Del Mastro 2008 campaign

Trashy's World: Hmmm…

… if I wanted to skirt election campaign funding rules, this would be an effective way to go about it. Illegal, but effective. Numerous sections of the Elections Act forbid donors from exceeding the individual limit on donations by concealing their donations and forbid others from helping to conceal the real source of a donation. [...]

Montreal Simon: Coping With the Horror of Harperland

Sometimes when I stare at the horror of Harperland, like Simon in the Lord of the Flies stared at the head of the pig, I get a bit depressed eh?

I don't know how I'm going to make it to the next election. Three years seems such a long time.

And one really has to wonder whether there will even be an election the way things are going in Harper's Canada police state, Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Evening Links

Assorted content to end your day.

- Thomas Walkom highlights why we should be nothing but dubious about the austerians’ call to slash public supports: The Harper Conservatives are scaling back spending on national parks to save about $20 million. But at the same time they are planning to spend $25 billion on 65 new fighter jets.

My guess is that most Canadians would make do with one less jet in order to fund parks properly. But in this, as in so many decisions, the voters — once they have elected a majority government — get no choice.

In Europe,

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Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- The OECD is the latest independent observer to confirm Thomas Mulcair’s point that dutch disease is a real problem for Canadian manufacturing. And Marc Lee calls for a green industrial revolution as a better path toward economic development and environmental responsibility than the Cons’ focus on resource extraction alone.

- Andrew Coyne sees the ongoing opposition resistance to the Cons’ omnibus anti-environment bill as a battle for the very soul of democracy: This is how it happens. This is how it has happened: the more powers government acquires at the expense of

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Impolitical: Del Mastro under investigation

Terry Milewski has a good overview of the deets on yesterday’s big news of allegations of Dean Del Mastro having overspent in the 2008 federal election. The report came from Postmedia who have been all over the robocall scandal like gangbusters and they have now uncovered these Del Mastro allegations as well in the course of their reviews of court documents.

That cheque above, courtesy of the Postmedia report, is payable to Hollinshed Research Group by Del Mastro. Funnily enough, Hollinshed received an Economic Action Plan grant of $125,000 to develop an application: “This project involves the development of

. . . → Read More: Impolitical: Del Mastro under investigation

Montreal Simon: Dean Del Mastro and the Ghastly Cons

Uh oh. I KNEW it was a mistake to make Dean Del Mastro, the Con point man on the robocall scandal.

One moment he was leading the charge, bellowing like a bull, claiming da Liberals did it, and that the Cons didn't do dirty stuff like that.

The next moment he was under investigation. Read more »

Trashy's World: A departure from my travel log…

To say the Dean Del Mastro makes Jason Kenney look like a genius! That is all. Trashy, Ottawa, Ontario

Impolitical: Late night

Irrespective of how you feel about the Vikileaks episode, you have to recognize in today’s hearing that the Conservatives were hoist on their own petard.  (Yes, I did see Veep this week.)

Check out Kady O’Malley’s liveblog as well. It draws out the point, in its entirety, that Del Mastro’s witch hunt, fishing around the Liberal research bureau in particular, was an exercise in sideshow politics.

Also, note a few references there to “key Liberal bloggers” and a “specific Liberal blogger” who apparently pointed the finger at the NDP at some point (11:23 mark). I don’t remember bloggers

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Politics and its Discontents: This Is Most Gratifying

I suspect that Adam Carroll, the Liberal staffer who established the Vikileaks Twitter account revealing embarrassing yet publicly-available information about Public Safety Minister Vic Toews was speaking for many of us today during his voluntary appearance before the Commons ethics committee today.

Despite the predictable bullying from member Dean Del Mastro, who insisted that Carroll must have been part of a Liberal conspiracy, Carroll said,

“I disagree with everything Mr. Del Mastro has said. To use his words ‘baseless smears’ or, in the acronym, B.S.”

You can read the entire satisfying account here. Recommend this Post

David Climenhaga's Alberta Diary: Thomas Mulcair? We can’t spare that man. He fights!

Ulysses S. Grant, exactly as he appeared. Below: Thomas Mulcair (from a Toronto Star photo), for comparative purposes; President Lincoln.

I like Thomas Mulcair for the same reason Abraham Lincoln liked Ulysses S. Grant.

As President Lincoln famously said of Gen. Grant, the Commanding General of the Union Army in America’s great Civil War: “I can’t spare that man. He fights!”

Legend has it that the president was responding to a silly delegation of people who wanted Gen. Grant cashiered because he was reported to be too fond of whisky. The President, who was personally an abstemious man, but

. . . → Read More: David Climenhaga’s Alberta Diary: Thomas Mulcair? We can’t spare that man. He fights!

From Orangutan: Dear David Johnston, Governor General of Canada,

Would you please appoint a Royal Commission to investigate Canada’s ever widening election fraud scandal? Rick Mercer and millions of other Canadians would be very pleased if you did.

The Progressive Right: Aliens?

Quite possibly, the worst Photoshop job ever with the worst grammar ever. (Know Your Meme, Ancient Aliens)

Harpes spreading through Conservative party. Epidemic proportions.

Harpes symptoms: sweaty, fidgety, guilty looking as hell, overcompensating denials

Harpes [har-peez]

noun Conservative Pathology

1. Blistering dishonesty, festering corruption, uninhibited contagion among Conservatives.

2. Most prevalent among those closest to Prime Minister Harper (Vic Toews, Dean Del Mastro). Also known to infect Conservative rap duos (Easy-E and K-Mart). Older

David Climenhaga's Alberta Diary: Notwithstanding Dean Del Mastro’s wonderment, the robo-call dots are easy to connect

Dean Del Mastro on those robo-calls: Maybe a giant did it! Unnamed conservative voter-suppression operatives may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The credulous Mr. Del Maestro.

Conservative robo-calls point man Dean Del Mastro prompted a lot of rude repartee in the Twittersphere yesterday when he suggested we should all just calm down and stop jumping to conclusions.After all, Mr. Del Mastro explained in response to a CBC story the day before that pointed to a connection between people who had received misleading robo-calls and an earlier call from the Conservative Party that identified how they planned to vote,

. . . → Read More: David Climenhaga’s Alberta Diary: Notwithstanding Dean Del Mastro’s wonderment, the robo-call dots are easy to connect

People are jumping to conclusions that we’re stupid, MP says

Defenders say MP Dean Del Mastro’s performance on CBC-TV could be due to medication

Montreal Simon: An Idiot’s Guide to the RoboCon Scandal

Well, I guess this Gable cartoon kind of says it all. I mean what more can you say eh?

That’s what the Cons have done to our Parliament.

But since this is after all a four-ring fascist circus, it’s a quiet day, and I’m feeling a bit idiot, I thought I’d bring you some of the other lowlights. (1) Michael Sona says he’s shocked, shocked I tell you, that members of his own gang could finger him as a suspect.

Anonymous Conservatives have repeatedly fingered Michael Sona, singling out him alone among a group of workers on the campaign

. . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: An Idiot’s Guide to the RoboCon Scandal