Conservative senators have been using taxpayer-funded literature to target Liberal ridings with a partisan message in advance of the next election, according to the Toronto Star. At least one (Bob Runciman in Ontario) sent the mailers out at the direction of the Conservative Party of Canada’s national campaign office. It is not clear whether Senator Don Plett (Manitoba), who distributed similar material, did so on behalf of the party. The tactic—senators using their office budgets to throw negative light on the Liberal MPs in their own ridings—is unprecedented and an affront to the Senate’s role as a chamber of sober second thought, Liberal Senator Jim Munson said. The two Senators mailed some 6,000 brochures to the ridings of Liberal MPs Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre) and David McGuinty (Ottawa South) in September, asking constituents to join them in demanding stiffer sentences for young offenders while suggesting Liberals were soft on crime. “It’s the politics of fear paid for by taxpayers’ money and I find it disgusting,” Munson said. “It’s unethical and they should be ashamed of themselves.” The Senators have been unapologetic taxpayers’ dollars, saying they are informing Canadians about the Harper government’s plans to crack down on youth crime. By using the Senators to send out this kind of literature, the Conservative Party gets around the prohibition on MPs using tax dollars to send partisan messages to other ridings, which the House of Commons agreed must stop.