Speaking of unsubstantiated

by Aaron Wherry

The Conservative side tried yesterday to turn around the accusations against them. This apparently did not go so well.

“The opposition parties said that [their supporters] received calls from a telephone firm with offices in North Dakota. But the only party who hired a firm with offices in North Dakota was the Liberal Party,” Poilievre said…

The confusion centred on three call companies with similar names, including Prime Contact Group, based in Canada, and Prime Contact Inc., based in North Dakota. A spokesman for Prime Contact Inc. told CBC News that the company has never worked for a Canadian political party or candidate and is not affiliated in any way with Prime Contact Group.

Harper said a third company, First Contact, routed its calls through the U.S. A number of Liberal campaigns used First Contact for calls during the 2011 election and in at least one previous election. But First Contact owner Mike O’Neill told the CBC’s Dave Seglins last April that someone was “spoofing” First Contact’s numbers — projecting a fake caller ID — to impersonate his company.




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Speaking of unsubstantiated

  1. Do you have an English Bonhomme to put on your front page at Maclean’s -  maybe a polar bear as the symbol of the New Harper Canada as suggested by some Con MP ? The world’s largest land carnivore would seem appropriate. I can see why that MP had it in mind.

    • and on the verge of extinction.

  2. Anyone remember those ads with Stephen working, late, alone, trolling the halls of the House of Commons – making late night phone calls, signing and shuffling important paper… looking very much in charge of things…

    • robo-calling in the dark?

  3. The boards are eerily quiet this morning…..

    • The roboposters are awaiting their latest scripts.


  4. But First Contact owner Mike O’Neill told the CBC’s Dave Seglins last April that someone was “spoofing” First Contact’s numbers ”

    Riiiiiight, and somebody photoshopped an entire boobie flick of Ruby Dhalla.  Liberals can’t even lie competently.

    • As someone who works in the telecom industry, it’s actually quite easy to do if you know what you’re doing/have a willing provider and particularly common practice in the telemarketing industry to get around people trying to call screen you by number despite legislation, in the US at least, to try and ensure the information is accurate. 

      If you wanted to damage a competitors reputation/prevent them from reaching customers it would be a quite effective tactic to call display their number so it gets blocked out while yours remains functionally “hidden”. It’s also one of the ways SWATing works.

    • You’re such a bone head! Why would any robocalling company need to lie and protect a political party. I think bloggers should wait until the investigation is complete and a report is given to the HoC, before putting more opinions from citizens who have no clue what is going on.

  5. I’m going to float a hypothesis.

    This will turn out to be the work of a loosely-organized, off-the-books group of midlevel Conservative staffers and campaign workers, inspired by hardball American election-screwing tactic and bent on winning for its own sake. Some will have been in touch with Republican counterparts in the US, seeking ideas. The upper echelon is flailing for a unified response and flooding the press with rhetorical chaff because they have no clue what, exactly, was done in their name either, though I think there are upper-level staff and MPs who are starting to realize just how far some of their own took a “winning is the only thing” culture created by the Harperites. I can’t see EC recommending a new federal election, though a byelection or three could be recommended in ridings where the spread was within a couple hundred votes and vote suppression demonstrably took place. Mind you, if the CPC goes all-in on a coverup, all bets are off and we are truly in Watergate territory.

    • …the work of a loosely-organized, off-the-books group of midlevel Conservative staffers and campaign workers, inspired by hardball American election-screwing tactic and bent on winning in the hope that they’ll get appointed to the Senate !

    • I share your suspicion.  It all reminds me of the whole “who will rid me of this pesky priest” stuff — and like a drama tragedy, it’s always a fall from greatness based on hamartia — fatal flaw. 

      harper accusing the Liberals off being sore losers, and thus involved in this though — I guess we are all victims of our own personalities, and the prime minister is an offensive bully.  That’s his fatal flaw — no graciousness.  He should be handling this very differently, but he just can’t help himself.

      And he’s gonna lose the next election, that is if he sticks around long enough to even try.

      • He’ll probably appoint himself as GG or to the Senate.

      • Ooops, I meant to say “annoint himself.”

      •  So what would he do in the event of his downfall: resign or abdicate?

    • and as with Watergate, the cover-up may be worse than the original crime.

  6. Harper also claimed that the CPC did not use any US phone services in the election, but Elections Canada files show that both Kenney and Benoit made a payment in US dollars to Racknine and the money was actually then paid to a US firm.  Racknine may have been acting as a middle man, but the money went to a US company.

    • that sounds like cross border money laundering. Isn’t that what organized crime does?

      • Oh for Gods sake. It’s also called outsourcing. You really should crank down the hyperbole a bit.

        • Yes mom.

    • I was also wondering, do you have proof? I know there’s an invoice with Kenney’s name on it but it was paid directly to a firm in the U.S.

        • Of course, I was being facetious.

          • On the other hand the financial bookkeeping of the Guelph Deputy Campaign manager sounds fishy.  He was paid “salary” and he claims he used that salary money to pay Racknine for robocalls, using his own company account. Expenses should be accurately reported to Elections Canada and “salary” for a campaign manager should not mean “Racknine robocalls”.  Also the amount of money doesn’t jive with what other CPC ridings paid for robocalls by Racknine, particularly given that Prescott says they sent out 8 waves of robocalls over the course of the election.  Some creative bookkeeping in that one!

  7. Prescott’s public story seems to already be breaking several laws, making me think the whole story must be pretty bad if he is admitting to this publicly.  Claiming that he paid out of pocket for CPC robocalls, going through his private company’s account, and did not submit any invoices or documentation of this fact to Elections Canada.

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