Fuck you, you crooks. No more buts.
Note: With respect to the Blogging Tory search immediately above, I'm interested in the perfect combination of search words or phrases that will be as generous to the BTs as possible, but still minimize the number of irrelevant hits. At the moment, I'm searching simply on the phrase "regional advertising" since that phrase seems to be the operative one in this scandal, but I'm open to better search criteria.
Fair and balanced, that's our motto. Yessir, fair and balanced.
OK, I'M A BIT CONFUSED: After reading the Globe article carefully, here's the part that confuses me:
Lise Vallières, who acted as the official agent for former MP Jean Landry in the Quebec riding of Richmond-Arthabaska, said yesterday she had just discovered that she was part of the initial case against Elections Canada. "Nobody ever asked anything of me," she said. In an interview, Mr. Landry complained that the Conservative Party placed $26,000 in his campaign account during the last election, and then used it to buy advertising that was not specifically related to his own campaign.
"It wasn't for me," Mr. Landry said of the ads.
Elections Canada reimburses 60 per cent of the election expenses of candidates who get at least 10 per cent of the votes in their riding.
Mr. Landry reached the 10-per-cent threshold, but he said he does not qualify for a reimbursement on the $26,000 because he has no proof the advertising was authorized by his official agent.
"Elections Canada does not have to reimburse a cent, because we don't have invoices," Mr. Landry said.
As I've understood it until now, the money that was "loaned" to candidates was meant to be in-and-out but, from what I read above, those local candidates were actually intending to claim the 60% Elections Canada reimbursement on it, is that right? But they can't because they have no actual receipts.
However, why are those local candidates complaining (if they are)? It wasn't meant to be their money in the first place, so one would think that, from that perspective, it all works out for them. (Certainly, trying to claim a reimbursement on that phony cash strikes me as obvious fraud, but it doesn't seem like those candidates can claim an actual loss, can they?)
On the other hand, I can see how that laundering scheme allowed the federal party to exceed the campaign limits. But I'm still not sure what the locals are complaining about. What's the actual basis for the lawsuit here?
If someone wants to write up a "Conservative Corruption for Dummies" piece related to this, I'll be happy to post it as a main piece.