Break out the popcorn, boys and girls. Things are about to get very fun in Big Daddy’s hermetically-sealed, accountability from thee but never from me alternate universe.
RCMP are searching Conservative party headquarters in Ottawa on Tuesday as part of an Elections Canada investigation into campaign spending. Conservative party spokesman Ryan Sparrow had no comment as he entered the headquarters, where the Mounties were executing a search warrant.
Elections Canada is probing party spending for advertisements during the 2006 parliamentary election campaign. The Conservative Party of Canada, having reached the $18.3-million advertising spending limit set out under the Canada Elections Act, transferred cash to 66 local campaign offices.
The local campaigns sent the money back to national party headquarters to buy local television and radio advertisements for their candidates. Elections Canada says the advertisements produced through the local offices didn't qualify as local spending because they were too similar to national ads. The ads looked exactly the same as the national ads, except for small print or the names of the individual candidates.
Financial agents for at least 35 of those Conservative candidates later asked to be reimbursed for those expenses. Candidates who get 10 per cent of the votes in their riding get a portion of their election expenses returned from Elections Canada. Elections Canada refused, saying the party paid for the ads, not the candidates.
The Conservatives maintain they didn't break any rules.
I’ll just bet they do.
Pay no attention to that brewing scandal behind the curtain. This could get delicious.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is downplaying concerns about an RCMP raid on Conservative party headquarters in Ottawa.
The Mounties executed a search warrant on the Tory offices today at the request of Elections Canada. Officials wouldn't say what the raid was about, but Elections Canada and the Conservative party have been engaged in a legal battle over alleged campaign spending irregularities from the 2006 election.
Harper told the House of Commons that the party remains "confident" in its legal position despite the raid. Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan said the party has co-operated with Elections Canada and he doesn't understand why a search warrant was necessary.
Let's just savour that last line, shall we? Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan said the party has co-operated with Elections Canada and he doesn't understand why a search warrant was necessary.
I just can't understand either, Peter. After all, didn't Big Daddy and his merry band of hypocrites ride into town on their platform of honesty, accountability and transparency? Why I do believe they did. My, my ... the more things change, the more they stay the same.