Coyne v. Wells on the Conservatives’ “in-and-out” campaign scandal

Coyne v. Wells on the Conservatives’ “in-and-out” campaign scandal

  1. The polsters don't find the "in-and-out" scandal material and I'm glad to hear the average Quebecer is showing some common sense. Also Bettman has indicated no plan for NHL expansion.

    The Ipsos Reid considers it of interest only to partisans, saying: “If you don't like the Conservatives, this just gives you one more reason to dislike them.”

    But there's no sex, no drugs no Charlie Sheen and no cash-stuffed envelopes. So this scandal lacks “the lurid content that proved to be so destructive to the Liberals with Adscam,” he says.

    “Nobody has been caught passing envelopes of cash to questionable characters. And no one has been accused of using public funds for personal as opposed to political gain.”

    Without that “type of angle,” he believes this dispute will “descend into a boring battle of lawyers and public officials, which won't be resolved until well after the next election.”
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/otta

  2. The polsters don't find the "in-and-out" scandal material and I'm glad to hear the average Quebecer is showing some common sense. Also Bettman has indicated no plan for NHL expansion.

    The Ipsos Reid considers it of interest only to partisans, saying: “If you don't like the Conservatives, this just gives you one more reason to dislike them.”

    But there's no sex, no drugs no Charlie Sheen and no cash-stuffed envelopes. So this scandal lacks “the lurid content that proved to be so destructive to the Liberals with Adscam,” he says.

    “Nobody has been caught passing envelopes of cash to questionable characters. And no one has been accused of using public funds for personal as opposed to political gain.”

    Without that “type of angle,” he believes this dispute will “descend into a boring battle of lawyers and public officials, which won't be resolved until well after the next election.”
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/otta

    • Re: Bettman/NHL not planning expansion.
      While they are not planning to add more teams to the league, there are plenty of existing teams steadily losing money in US markets that would be moneymakers in Quebec City, Winnipeg or Toronto for that matter.

  3. The Conservatives cheated in the `06 election. They corked their electoral bats and in doing so deprived the country of a fair election. It doesn't matter how serious this is, the bottom line is they cheated and anyone who values democracy should not put up with it.

  4. The Conservatives cheated in the `06 election. They corked their electoral bats and in doing so deprived the country of a fair election. It doesn't matter how serious this is, the bottom line is they cheated and anyone who values democracy should not put up with it.

    • and they would not put up with the Quebec MPs who campaigned and were elected with stolen cash. Not an accounting situation , just taken from my pockets and put in brown bags and donated back to the Liberal party.

      • No they wouldn't. That's why there was a little thing called an election and the voters tossed the scoundrels out of office. The same needs to be done with the current batch of cheaters.

      • Bc voice of reason, you were probably all of 12 years old when that happened. It was not your money that was stolen and onyly the 1.95. Adscam belongs in the 20th century. News flash. Liberals were defested for that and so will Harper with the in and out, and other stuff being investgated. You see we are not as forgiving of Harper as you seem to be. You deserve to share his cell in his newly built prisons.

  5. Coyne, gotta love him – ever the contrarian.

    What about the fake invoices AC?

    Sigh…why bother? There obviously wasn't any brown paper envelopes or shady characters with Italian sounding names involved. Just accounting stuff…zzzzzz
    http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/decision

    Not the best evidence perhaps. But it seems the parties were warned by EC that an in and out scheme would be considered illegal before the event.

  6. Coyne, gotta love him – ever the contrarian.

    What about the fake invoices AC?

    Sigh…why bother? There obviously wasn't any brown paper envelopes or shady characters with Italian sounding names involved. Just accounting stuff…zzzzzz
    http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/decision

    Not the best evidence perhaps. But it seems the parties were warned by EC that an in and out scheme would be considered illegal before the event.

  7. Isn't this called money laundering in the private sector?

    If the tories did nothing wrong, then neither did Joe "Youth for Volpe"

  8. Isn't this called money laundering in the private sector?

    If the tories did nothing wrong, then neither did Joe "Youth for Volpe"

    • you mean the dead for Volpe right? If memory serves it was the dead who wanted him to be leader. Kind of like the current LIBERAL party more or less dead.

      • Nah, Volpe was caught receiving donations from the kids of primary donators in an effort to slip money around the edges of the donation rules. It's why I don't vote for him; he should've been tossed from the party for that stunt.

  9. and they would not put up with the Quebec MPs who campaigned and were elected with stolen cash. Not an accounting situation , just taken from my pockets and put in brown bags and donated back to the Liberal party.

  10. They did it in order to circumvent campaign financing caps.

    They submitted falsified invoices.

    They had ridings from one province paying for advertising that only showed in other provinces and were never even ever seen by the constituents.

    And, most importantly, they did this to get elected. To get around the laws to circumvent the rules of our democracy.

  11. They did it in order to circumvent campaign financing caps.

    They submitted falsified invoices.

    They had ridings from one province paying for advertising that only showed in other provinces and were never even ever seen by the constituents.

    And, most importantly, they did this to get elected. To get around the laws to circumvent the rules of our democracy.

    • Coyne ignored two key issues.

      First, the money was transferred in and then the exact amount was transferred out again, so how could this be a true purchase of services by the local candidates?

      Second, the 67 candidates then apparently tried to get tax rebates (some of them actually did before EC stopped issuing rebates) for money from the Cons Party that was already above the maximum amount of $18.3M allowed: sure suggests a dishonest scheme to get something they were not entitled to.

    • And you can bet your first born that they knew exactly what they were doing was illegal but did it anyways. Thats Harpers style. We have had over 5 years of getting to know him. He is so predictable.

      Election please so that sensible Canadians can use their democrative rights at the real polls on election day with kicking this dictator own on his large inflated head.

  12. It's not criminal, but someone could go to jail…so how is it not criminal again? The fake invoices say it all…fraud. If it ain't ethical, it ain't right…how does Mr. Law & Order, Mr. Open & Accountable square that with what went on? 'Aggressive Accounting' still smacks of fraud.

  13. It's not criminal, but someone could go to jail…so how is it not criminal again? The fake invoices say it all…fraud. If it ain't ethical, it ain't right…how does Mr. Law & Order, Mr. Open & Accountable square that with what went on? 'Aggressive Accounting' still smacks of fraud.

    • It's like a speeding ticket, that's how criminal it is!

      No one is going to go to jail over this one, sad but true.

  14. Re: Bettman/NHL not planning expansion.
    While they are not planning to add more teams to the league, there are plenty of existing teams steadily losing money in US markets that would be moneymakers in Quebec City, Winnipeg or Toronto for that matter.

  15. …AND, had the in and out scam gone unnoticed, regional candidates would have been 'reimbursed' huge amounts of taxpayer money.

  16. …AND, had the in and out scam gone unnoticed, regional candidates would have been 'reimbursed' huge amounts of taxpayer money.

    • The "Lie"brals are well known for the in and out scheme, so what is all the fuss about. All parties were told by EC, so it was a fact that it was done before………….by whom of course the "Lie"brals!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • yeah…..except for those nasty but relevant fake invoices……

    • It has nothing to do with taxpayer money. It's a paper transaction and that is it!!!! NO MONEY EXCHANGED!!!!!

      EC should be going after all the "Lie"brals that have not paid there bills. It has been 4 yrs, 3 yrs over the alotted time. WHERE'S THE JUSTICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Your comment is entirely wrong. Taxpayers money was involved! Each riding involved in this scandal was able to claim a rebate for the money that was transfered in and out of their account and very likely did. Then subsequently the national party would be claiming the rebate since they actually spent the money. Same money two rebates, thats not aggressive accounting is dishonest and if not, should be illegal.

  17. No they wouldn't. That's why there was a little thing called an election and the voters tossed the scoundrels out of office. The same needs to be done with the current batch of cheaters.

  18. This is ridiculous. This is not about stealing or false invoices it's about shifting of money and keeping it in different books. There is not one individual who is sitting with all or some of this fictitious money. Corporations do this all the time with subsidiaries. Multi-national corporations will assign revenue to a country or department that best profits the corporations. Businesses will turn certain receipts into write-offs if there is any vagueness. They are not criminals they are simply trying to benefit from the inherent structure of the system. If this was theft it would have concluded sooner and been investigated by judicial authorities. Hell, the RCMP have not even been called in to do forensic accounting.

  19. This is ridiculous. This is not about stealing or false invoices it's about shifting of money and keeping it in different books. There is not one individual who is sitting with all or some of this fictitious money. Corporations do this all the time with subsidiaries. Multi-national corporations will assign revenue to a country or department that best profits the corporations. Businesses will turn certain receipts into write-offs if there is any vagueness. They are not criminals they are simply trying to benefit from the inherent structure of the system. If this was theft it would have concluded sooner and been investigated by judicial authorities. Hell, the RCMP have not even been called in to do forensic accounting.

    • yeah but there still are those fake invoices……that is NOT very good for optics

      • Forging documents and stealing taxpayers' money. I hope some Conservatives rot in jail for this.

    • This is not about corporations, this is about Canada's government elected by the people of Canada and yes their tax dollars. Follow the money, its very easy.

  20. Being surrounded by art in the background and it seems Coyne has found himself some common sense.

    Yes, aggressive accounting can be tricky, either the push up to the line can slip over the line. The courts will determine that.

    But arbitrarily defining the difference between national and local is no way to go about this. Like Coyne says: either the rules are clear on all of it (lawnsign as well) or the practice is at one's own descretion, and Elections Canada's point of opinion would then just be that: an opinion out of many.

    Coyne and Wells: fair comments this time around. Good stuff.

  21. Being surrounded by art in the background and it seems Coyne has found himself some common sense.

    Yes, aggressive accounting can be tricky, either the push up to the line can slip over the line. The courts will determine that.

    But arbitrarily defining the difference between national and local is no way to go about this. Like Coyne says: either the rules are clear on all of it (lawnsign as well) or the practice is at one's own descretion, and Elections Canada's point of opinion would then just be that: an opinion out of many.

    Coyne and Wells: fair comments this time around. Good stuff.

    • would aggresive accounting(that's pretty funny) include fake invoices?

  22. The fact that one court ruled in the Conservative's favour (overturned by the Court of Appeal) introduces a reasonable doubt. If a learned judge can interpret the law that way, arguably some lower rube could as well. Hence, no big deal.

  23. The fact that one court ruled in the Conservative's favour (overturned by the Court of Appeal) introduces a reasonable doubt. If a learned judge can interpret the law that way, arguably some lower rube could as well. Hence, no big deal.

    • Nonsense. If that were the case, every case that was successfully appealed at any level would result in the immediate exoneration of the accused.

      I'm going to quote Mark Slackmeyer here. "Guilty, Guilty, Guilty!"

      • I'm talking politics here, and making it stick, not law.

        • In that initial decision, I believe the Conservatives were arguing that Elections Canada had no right to check their invoices…not that there was or wasn't any wrongdoing. And I believe that the first decision agreed with the Conservatives…however the second one went against them.

  24. you mean the dead for Volpe right? If memory serves it was the dead who wanted him to be leader. Kind of like the current LIBERAL party more or less dead.

  25. Coyne ignored two key issues.

    First, the money was transferred in and then the exact amount was transferred out again, so how could this be a true purchase of services by the local candidates?

    Second, the 67 candidates then apparently tried to get tax rebates (some of them actually did before EC stopped issuing rebates) for money from the Cons Party that was already above the maximum amount of $18.3M allowed: sure suggests a dishonest scheme to get something they were not entitled to.

  26. The "Lie"brals are well known for the in and out scheme, so what is all the fuss about. All parties were told by EC, so it was a fact that it was done before………….by whom of course the "Lie"brals!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. It has nothing to do with taxpayer money. It's a paper transaction and that is it!!!! NO MONEY EXCHANGED!!!!!

    EC should be going after all the "Lie"brals that have not paid there bills. It has been 4 yrs, 3 yrs over the alotted time. WHERE'S THE JUSTICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. At what point did Coyne become a member of the Conservative Lie Machine ?

    No wonder nobody bothers to comment on these diatribes anymore.

    Pathetic.

  29. At what point did Coyne become a member of the Conservative Lie Machine ?

    No wonder nobody bothers to comment on these diatribes anymore.

    Pathetic.

  30. Your comment is entirely wrong. Taxpayers money was involved! Each riding involved in this scandal was able to claim a rebate for the money that was transfered in and out of their account and very likely did. Then subsequently the national party would be claiming the rebate since they actually spent the money. Same money two rebates, thats not aggressive accounting is dishonest and if not, should be illegal.

  31. would aggresive accounting(that's pretty funny) include fake invoices?

  32. yeah…..except for those nasty but relevant fake invoices……

  33. yeah but there still are those fake invoices……that is NOT very good for optics

  34. Forging documents and stealing taxpayers' money. I hope some Conservatives rot in jail for this.

  35. Nah, Volpe was caught receiving donations from the kids of primary donators in an effort to slip money around the edges of the donation rules. It's why I don't vote for him; he should've been tossed from the party for that stunt.

  36. Andrew, it's not just unethical or "sharp practice" it is an actual crime. They defrauded the people of Canada and stole our tax money for their partisan election purposes. I want to see some Conservatives in jail for this.

    And criminals get caught all the time for committing their crimes stupidly. Why expect the Conservatives to be more competent as criminals than they are as government?

  37. Andrew, it's not just unethical or "sharp practice" it is an actual crime. They defrauded the people of Canada and stole our tax money for their partisan election purposes. I want to see some Conservatives in jail for this.

    And criminals get caught all the time for committing their crimes stupidly. Why expect the Conservatives to be more competent as criminals than they are as government?

    • Good luck with that….i'm still waiting for all the Quebec Liberal MP's who were involved in Adscam to be thrown in Jail, and that crooked bastard Cretien should be the 1st one in! Oh but I suppose in your mind that was different of course. This is a accounting interpretation matter, while the other was without doubt criminal. Why did not 1 single Liberal crook spend any time with Bubba in the big house? Conservatives in jail for this…..ya right!

      • Don't hold your breath!!!

        Benoit Corbeil, a former top federal Liberal party official who pleaded guilty to influence peddling and fraud charges, had his 15-month jail sentence, imposed last December, reduced to 12 months served in the community by the Quebec Court of Appeal.

        • "Wah, wah, waaaaah! The Liberals did it toooooooo!" Honestly, grow up you whiney rightwing babies.

          • Oh how insightful…….you just proved our point with your mindless name calling drivel. Do us all a favor when the Con's get their majority…….move!

          • your moniker suits you

          • Exactly, Holly. I'm sick and tired of that childish excuse. "The Liberals did it too."

            I have three brothers. I tried that excuse exactly once. The answer from my mother was, "Yes, and he got his ass tanned for it." Guess what happened next?

  38. Good luck with that….i'm still waiting for all the Quebec Liberal MP's who were involved in Adscam to be thrown in Jail, and that crooked bastard Cretien should be the 1st one in! Oh but I suppose in your mind that was different of course. This is a accounting interpretation matter, while the other was without doubt criminal. Why did not 1 single Liberal crook spend any time with Bubba in the big house? Conservatives in jail for this…..ya right!

  39. Don't hold your breath!!!

    Benoit Corbeil, a former top federal Liberal party official who pleaded guilty to influence peddling and fraud charges, had his 15-month jail sentence, imposed last December, reduced to 12 months served in the community by the Quebec Court of Appeal.

  40. It's like a speeding ticket, that's how criminal it is!

    No one is going to go to jail over this one, sad but true.

  41. After the election; did the national conservative's expense account for advertisement exceed the legal limit of $ 18.3 M? Where did the money come from to pay for these extra so called local ads?

  42. After the election; did the national conservative's expense account for advertisement exceed the legal limit of $ 18.3 M? Where did the money come from to pay for these extra so called local ads?

  43. "Wah, wah, waaaaah! The Liberals did it toooooooo!" Honestly, grow up you whiney rightwing babies.

  44. Oh how insightful…….you just proved our point with your mindless name calling drivel. Do us all a favor when the Con's get their majority…….move!

  45. Perhaps I'm mistaken on the details, but it seems that Mr. Coyne's question ("Would local signs promoting the national leader be local or national"), while it may be interesting, is beside the point in this case. It is beside the point because by all accounts the advertising "purchased by" the local campaigns was indisputably national. There was no pretense that it was being run locally, none of it mentioned the candidate's name, etc. It was explicitly national spending. So the charge that a) this was done deliberately and b) that its consequence was that the Torie's could exceed their national spending cap is very plausible and very damning on my view.

    Mr. Coyne's broader point, seemingly that this is problematic legal distinction and it is bizarre for us to be attempting to regulate it in the first place is well taken. I won't go so far as to say that I wholly agree, but I think it is a highly worthwhile debate. If this particular case were something along the lines of: the national party transferred funds to the local campaigns which they then had to spend on running national ads in their local papers; that would be a case where the problem as Mr. Coyne construes it would apply. This case, on the other hand, is seemingly so obviously an attempt to circumvent the national spending limit that the broader criticism of the law seems much less relevant.

  46. Nonsense. If that were the case, every case that was successfully appealed at any level would result in the immediate exoneration of the accused.

    I'm going to quote Mark Slackmeyer here. "Guilty, Guilty, Guilty!"

  47. Exactly, Holly. I'm sick and tired of that childish excuse. "The Liberals did it too."

    I have three brothers. I tried that excuse exactly once. The answer from my mother was, "Yes, and he got his ass tanned for it." Guess what happened next?

  48. I don't understand the Coyne contradictions. A week ago he was shrieking about fraud and thuggery on the Oda affair and really it was wrong, is wrong, but patently trivial … this week, well, it is just about gaming, no biggy …

    Really? No biggy? Exceeding legal limits on election spending by pretending that local candidates paid for certain advertising when they did not. The issue is not whether the advertising was for local campaigns or the national one (and how high the letters are in Harper's name) it is whether the local campaign actually footed the bill … and by all accounts, they didn't … they just pretended they did …

    As for saying that they must not have thought that what they were doing was wrong, otherwise they wouldn't have left a paper trail …please see Exhibit "A" – the handwritten interlineation of – NOT – in the Oda letter … no genius cover up there … this isn't about foresight, it is about doing what you like and believing that you will never get caught …

    With respect, Mr. Coyne, the only difference between "aggressive accounting" and tax evasion is jail. Game all you want but cross the line and its criminal …

    What I don't get is why the media has not made more of the fact that Doug Finley has been charged, that he is the husband of a cabinet minister, and that he was involved in the Cadman Affair, making him a repeat player in the Conservative dirty tricks department …

  49. I don't understand the Coyne contradictions. A week ago he was shrieking about fraud and thuggery on the Oda affair and really it was wrong, is wrong, but patently trivial … this week, well, it is just about gaming, no biggy …

    Really? No biggy? Exceeding legal limits on election spending by pretending that local candidates paid for certain advertising when they did not. The issue is not whether the advertising was for local campaigns or the national one (and how high the letters are in Harper's name) it is whether the local campaign actually footed the bill … and by all accounts, they didn't … they just pretended they did …

    As for saying that they must not have thought that what they were doing was wrong, otherwise they wouldn't have left a paper trail …please see Exhibit "A" – the handwritten interlineation of – NOT – in the Oda letter … no genius cover up there … this isn't about foresight, it is about doing what you like and believing that you will never get caught …

    With respect, Mr. Coyne, the only difference between "aggressive accounting" and tax evasion is jail. Game all you want but cross the line and its criminal …

    What I don't get is why the media has not made more of the fact that Doug Finley has been charged, that he is the husband of a cabinet minister, and that he was involved in the Cadman Affair, making him a repeat player in the Conservative dirty tricks department …

  50. I'm talking politics here, and making it stick, not law.

  51. Agree with Coyne, in particular his suggestion that this is the continuation of a pattern.

    At minimum this is aggressive accounting, and eventually a court may decide that this aggressive accounting actually broke a law. For some folks the use of aggressive accounting techniques will count as a black mark against the CPC, while others will admire the effort. Other folks may not count this as a black mark until a court renders an opinion.

    The rest of the discussion between Coyne and Wells around the in and out issue convinces me that there should just be one single election spending limit – let each of the parties decide how they want to allocate the overall amount between national and local spending.

  52. Agree with Coyne, in particular his suggestion that this is the continuation of a pattern.

    At minimum this is aggressive accounting, and eventually a court may decide that this aggressive accounting actually broke a law. For some folks the use of aggressive accounting techniques will count as a black mark against the CPC, while others will admire the effort. Other folks may not count this as a black mark until a court renders an opinion.

    The rest of the discussion between Coyne and Wells around the in and out issue convinces me that there should just be one single election spending limit – let each of the parties decide how they want to allocate the overall amount between national and local spending.

    • Or even simpler, no national spending whatsoever. Restrict it so that no advertising for or against a candidate can be done outside of their riding. And no advertising for or against a party can be done period. All media coverage of a candidate must contain either a policy announcement, or the candidate being willing to be asked and answer questions by other candidates, the public, or the media.

      • Or even simpler, no national spending whatsoever.

        Sure, that would also be OK with me. Trying to limit the exact nature of the advertising would seem to be a lot harder to enforce. I get what you are trying to achieve, but not so sure that it would be workable, and also not so sure that those limits are all that necessary.

  53. Bc voice of reason, you were probably all of 12 years old when that happened. It was not your money that was stolen and onyly the 1.95. Adscam belongs in the 20th century. News flash. Liberals were defested for that and so will Harper with the in and out, and other stuff being investgated. You see we are not as forgiving of Harper as you seem to be. You deserve to share his cell in his newly built prisons.

  54. And you can bet your first born that they knew exactly what they were doing was illegal but did it anyways. Thats Harpers style. We have had over 5 years of getting to know him. He is so predictable.

    Election please so that sensible Canadians can use their democrative rights at the real polls on election day with kicking this dictator own on his large inflated head.

  55. This is not about corporations, this is about Canada's government elected by the people of Canada and yes their tax dollars. Follow the money, its very easy.

  56. Or even simpler, no national spending whatsoever. Restrict it so that no advertising for or against a candidate can be done outside of their riding. And no advertising for or against a party can be done period. All media coverage of a candidate must contain either a policy announcement, or the candidate being willing to be asked and answer questions by other candidates, the public, or the media.

  57. Or even simpler, no national spending whatsoever.

    Sure, that would also be OK with me. Trying to limit the exact nature of the advertising would seem to be a lot harder to enforce. I get what you are trying to achieve, but not so sure that it would be workable, and also not so sure that those limits are all that necessary.

  58. your moniker suits you

  59. In that initial decision, I believe the Conservatives were arguing that Elections Canada had no right to check their invoices…not that there was or wasn't any wrongdoing. And I believe that the first decision agreed with the Conservatives…however the second one went against them.

  60. Let's focus on the substance of the transaction and not the nitty-gritty form. What the CPC did was against the spirit and purpose of the law.

  61. Let's focus on the substance of the transaction and not the nitty-gritty form. What the CPC did was against the spirit and purpose of the law.

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