The bi-partisan Pierre Poutine

by Aaron Wherry

Amid this weekend’s NDP convention frenzy, Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher uncovered a new twist in the tale of Pierre Poutine.

According to Mathews, the second message “had the appearance of being in support of the Frank Valeriote (Liberal Party) campaign in Guelph. The voice sounded to me as though computer generated rather than a script read by a person.” Poutine had set up a call display number with RackNine, also not used, that corresponded to Valeriote’s campaign office during the election.

A spokesman for Valeriote said Friday that their campaign has never used RackNine’s services. The strange call in support of Valeriote suggests it may have been intended to annoy the Liberal candidate’s supporters. In other ridings, numerous voters have complained of calls allegedly coming from Liberal candidates that came late at night or early in the morning.




Browse

The bi-partisan Pierre Poutine

  1. The title of the Post’s article referenced by Mr. Wherry is so misleading.  Instead of reading
    “Newly revealed ‘Pierre Poutine’ robocall appeared to be from Liberal: Elections Canada”, it should have said that the robocall was made to appear to be from the liberals.  This would have been more consistent with the content of the article.

    • Ya, those National Post headline writers really aren’t doing their jobs in shielding the Liberals from being implicated in this “scandal”.
      So far, all we know about Pierre Poutine is that he used two numbers, one was a burner cell-phone, the other was that of the Liberal Party candidate. He recorded two messages, one being from a fake Elections Canada, the other being in support of the Liberal Party candidate.

      All the facts point to this being a Liberal black-op gone horribly wrong. If you were going to run some kind of dirty trick campaign, would you use the robo-calling provider whom you already have an account with and that has made legitimate robo-calls, or would you use the provider that you’re competition uses to muddy the waters?

      • When you upload a message you also choose a delivery time. This particular one was chosen for the middle of the night.  Although this one wasn’t sent, other ridings did receive calls late at night and at other inappropriate times and did pretend to come from the Liberals.  So this is just more of the same and points to a widespread voter suppression campaign.

      •  I am not sure you know what a “fact” is.

  2. Busy little fella wasn’t he….

  3. Perhaps the implication is that they would portray the call as being from the Liberal campaign, but would dial it at inappropriate times (dinner time, late at night), thus annoying people so that they would either a) not vote or b) vote for another party in retribution.

      

    • That is what some media reports suggested — one I thought went so far as to imply there was some evidence it was scheduled for midnight (I assume one usually places these robocalls in advance, requesting certain time slots) but was then withdrawn.  What is significant is that this, if true, would also tie Racknine facilities to calls meant to impersonate Liberals and turn away their supporters.  Previous reports only had fake EC calls coming from Racknine, although Liberal supporters did report getting harassing calls apparently from Liberal campaigns.

      • My understand is that the call was never sent out.

        However, its baseless speculation to say one way or another that it was intended to annoy Liberals.

        For all we know it was meant as illegal advertising over the spending limit to the benefit of the Liberal campaign in Geulph.

        For all we know Pierre Poutine is a Liberal who used Racknine to try and link this thing to the Conservative party.

        • maybe for all YOU know, but the rest of us aren’t that naive.  In this case, “naive” is a euphemism for what you really are.

          • Ya, you wouldn’t want to let facts get in the way of you’re predetermined narrative and presumption of guilt, would you?

          •  now i’m even more sure about you not knowing what a fact is.

        • Ah. That would certainly explain why when EC sent the RCMP to look at RackNine’s records to determine who paid for the calls and where they came from, the RCMP then turned around and started looking at the CPC.  Because a Liberal did it.

          Really? Do *you* even believe that line of crap?

          • Nope.

            I believe it was a rogue individual who supports the Conservative party and may or may not have been associated with the local Geulph campaign.

            But that’s just a hunch.

            As I said, there are a million possibilities. 

            One of those possibilities is that this is a frame up.

            That’s why we have investigations.

          • The number of ridings that seem to be involved suggests that’s simply not the case.

          • @Thwim:disqus I don’t believe there are any more ridings involved than Geulph.

          • Ah. So you’re basing your assertions on faith despite the significant amount of anecdotal evidence that is out there.

            In other words, you prefer to believe in a conspiracy theory involving hundreds of people and politicians all making false accusations, despite doing so putting their own reputations and possibly legal status on the line for no significant personal benefit.

            Edit: As a further aid to why you might want to shake off the azure colored glasses:
            http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Robocalls+Activist+group+files+legal+challenge+results+seven+ridings/6362995/story.html

            Note particularly the Vancouver and Yukon ridings, both of which have independant reporting of electoral concerns, including Elections Canada interviews.

          • @Thwim:disqus 
            No i’ve made no firm declarations about what happened one way or another. I’m waiting for the full investigation to be complete.

            I’ve merely told you what my hunches are.

            And there are a number of explanations for assucations including the well documented phenomena of mass hysteria. Or poor memory in general. Or confusion over what is and what is not a legit robocall. Or partisan wishful thinking. All the way to, yes, lying.

            Until you show me the phone record of someone who’s complaining showing a Pierre Poutine number and Pierre Poutin’s account showing a matching out bound call i’m highly, highly skeptical of any complaints.

        • Agreed. Anybody following the facts of this story will now realize that there’s far more evidence pointing to the LPC than the CPC. The LPC candidate has already admitted to placing other illegal robo-calls, why on earth would anybody *not* suspect him to be behind these?

          • Stop lying.

          • If you’re going to make such an accusation, you might want to A) point out what I’m lying about, and B) try refuting it with facts, or evidence, or something!

          • Ummmm….maybe because most of us believe people don’t actually want to receive political robocalls in the middle of the night?  Just a wild guess.

          • Where have you read that the call went out at night? Or that it was scheduled to go out at night? Or that the recorded call was anything other than a normal campaign message by the LPC?

          • Rick Omen, it was reported in the Globe and Mail and in the Guelph Mercury, which has been covering the robocall fraud because of the obvious local interest, mostly with a Conservative slant as they seem quite partial to Burke, posting all his statements (and his wife’s, friends, etc) unchallenged while acknowledging that he won’t take any questions on the advice of lawyers (but seems free to make his own statements from time to time).

          • Just to be clear, Rick, it was reported in the Globe and Mail and elsewhere that the call did NOT go out, but had been scheduled for the middle of the night.  

        • Here is what the media reported:

          A sworn statement by Al Mathews, the Elections Canada investigator leading the probe into robocalls, says the message “had the appearance of being in support of the Frank Valeriote (Liberal Party) campaign in Guelph,” media reported Saturday.This message was to have been sent in the middle of the night.The Globe and Mail reported the unknown operative set up a fake caller ID that would have shown the late-night robocalls as coming from Frank Valeriote’s Liberal campaign office.

        • I don’t know why you are calling Matt Meier a liar, or a cheat.  Because he has a contract with the Conservative Party of Canada that clearly requires he not allow his services to be used by any other political party.  Or he says he does.

          • I wasn’t aware of that.

            However, its irrelevent.

            Pierre Poutine hasn’t been linked to any party yet. Nobody knows who he is.

          • Except that it was the CPC themselves who fingered some gormless kid in Guelph as the responsible party. Back when they were hoping to contain the damage to “one overzealous juniour staffer” as they usually do. Did you forget about that? Pierre Poutine was linked to a party – the Conservative party – by those anonymous cowards who speak for that party.  

        • Right its “naive” to wait until the facts are in before drawing conclusions.

          I guess if you blame Conservatives for 100% of things that go wrong in this world and they occasionally do make a mistake you’ll be right once in awhile.

          Congrats Patchouli you are as right as often as a stopped clock.

          • More often than you, in other words.

  4. More evidence pointing to this being a *Liberal* black-op (why else would Wherry wait 4 days to post the link). In fact *all* of the evidence in this “scandal” is pointing to the Liberals, and there’s actually nothing to implicate the CPC. Perhaps that’s why EC selectively leaked information to Liberal-friendly reporters, implying it was the CPC while they really know at the end all fingers will point to the LPC.

    • You’re asserting the liberals attempted to suppress their own vote, somehow using a RackNine account tied to a CPC credit card, and have been calling for inquiries into the matter to prove what they did?

      Are you that stupid, or do you just think we are?

      • A) You’re lying about the account being tied to a CPC credit card.
        B) The only “evidence” that Liberals were targeted is purely anecdotal.

        On the other hand,
        A) The LPC candidate has admitted to making illegal robo-calls during the campaign.
        B) The account had a message recorded in support of the Liberal Candidate

        So, which would be more likely…
        1) The CPC candidate who already uses RackNine, sets up a second fake account with the same company (a company that is contractually obligated to not work with other parties), and sends out a call purporting to be from EC to a list of Liberal supporters (where a CPC candidate could get that list is yet another mystery) in a futile attempt to suppress the vote. He then records a fake message in support of the Liberal candidate to send out “annoying” calls, but for some reason never gets around to actually launching it.

        2) The Liberal candidate (who has admitted that he sent out illegal robo-calls before election day) has reached his campaign spending limit, but he wants to send out robocalls anyway. So he sets up an account with a company that is contractually prohibited from working with his party, using fake credentials to mask the real source, knowing that the call provider will be tied to his competition. We already know he’d have a list of Liberal supporters in his riding. He then uploads two recordings, one in support of his campaign, the other being a vote suppression call that would be targeted at Tory voters. Having never used RackNine’s software before, they screw the whole thing up, and accidentally send the vote-suppression call to their known supporters. Nothing can be done to undo this, because the candidate knows he was committing fraud, so the support message is ditched. Having heard complaints about the fake EC calls from supporters, he then files a complain with Elections Canada, knowing that initial clues will point to a CPC robo-caller, and leaks some details implicating the CPC to Liberal friendly media.

        So to answer you’re last question: I just think you guys are that stupid.

        • Yeah. I’m lying about that. Because the reason the RCMP would go from investigating RackNine to investigating the CPC is because there were no connections whatsoever to the CPC, and because RackNine doesn’t require a credit card to be tied to their accounts.  Oh wait.  They wouldn’t, and they do.
          If it were purely anecdotal, don’t you think the CPC would be more eager to get to the bottom of it? After all.. if they’re voters were suppressed, they’d be looking for a full inquiry already — not scheduling Marc Maynard to testify while reporters are in budget lockup.

          On the other hand you’re arguing that because the LPC fesses up when they do something wrong, that they haven’t ‘fessed up on this is evidence that they did it? The hell does that logic work.  If A then B, so if not A then B as well.

          As to what’s more likely first, nobody’s saying it was from a second account. They’re saying it’s a second message. You’re the only one assuming there’s another account, because that’s the only thing that gives your story any shred of credibility.  As for compiling a list of Liberal supporters, it’s already been established that the CPC keeps tabs on those who say they will not be voting conservative as well through their CIMS database.  So that blows your two reasons that it wouldn’t be likely out of the water.

          On the other hand, you’re asserting that not only is Meir incompetent at following his contractual obligations, but also that the RCMP is incompetent and somehow tracked a Liberal payment over to the CPC…

          Yeah, that makes tons of sense.

          • A full public inquiry would not speed this process up.

            It takes months to even come up with the terms of reference. Those things are sooooooo slow.

          • If you’ve got people with any sort of competence, a decent terms of reference can be drafted in a couple weeks, and it has the benefit of the whole thing being public, which makes both biased activity and secretive activity much harder to get away with. Both things which, if the CPC really did think the Liberals were responsible for this, would seem to play into the CPC hand.

            Of course, if they know that they’re responsible for it.. such a thing wouldn’t go well for them.

          • @Thwim:disqus I’m watching the inquiry in BC into Pickton and everything else. Its a gong show.

            I honestly don’t know why people fetishize these high priced debacles.

            Better to just let EC and the RCMP do their investigation.

        • When dozens of persons who post LPC signs on their front lawn get their brake lines cut and their homes sprayed with hateful graffiti, call the cops who open some thirty investigations – well to you that’s anecdotal.  To most it isn’t. There’s been some very sick and dangerous people out there deliberately going after liberals, widely reported in the newspapers.  These, and some of the robocalls, are criminal acts.

          Speaking of sick, just saw that Rae attack ad again, a little prior to 6 a.m. this morning.  You have to be afflicted with some form of compulsive obsessive disorder to use good money to run these ads three and a half years before an election.  Harper and his gang are a very creepy. Our money, as it is, would be better used on a shrink.  Obviously a stylist is not enough to do the job.

    • So why then was Michael Sona’s employment terminated just prior to the media reporting on the robocalling? And why is Marty Burke and his entire campaign team in hiding?  And why does his campaign not show any robocalling expenses?  It’s pretty strange behavior for innocent people, isn’t it?

      • Get your facts right.

        Sona quit. His resignation was refused. He insisted he leave to not be a distraction to Eve Adams.

        Marty Burke is all over the world on airplanes. His wife has given an interview. His team isn’t talking because there is an on going investigation. You’re not supposed to talk to the media during an ongoing investigation.

        Campaign expenses ? Are you kidding me ? Those are messed up and modified all the time.

    • So the CPC will have no reluctance at all to release their records to EC, right?

      Um, wait…

      • They have.

    • “why else would Wherry wait 4 days to post the link”

      Hmmm… maybe the fact he was busy covering the NDP leadership convention? I on’t recall any non-convention posts during this period. And if he were trying to cover anything up, he probably wouldn’t have posted about it at all.

      Talk about conspiracy theories… paranoid much?

  5. This from a guy with a ridiculously amateurish fake online id.  Apart from thinking we’re stupid, you must think we also have very short memories, ‘Rick’.

  6. So that I understand the new explanation for Pierre Poutine: the Liberals uploaded a “get out the vote” message AND a bogus polling station, and they meant to send them both to their own supporters? Give me a break. All this proves is that whoever Poutine was, he wasn’t a Liberal.

  7. To all those who dont think that the answer to this is obvious: Open your eyes and pull your head out of the sand.

    The Conservatives were desperate for their majority.  Like everyone else, they beleived that enemy number one that would get in their way was the Liberal Party of Canada.  So they systematically engaged in massive voter suppression and made use of Republican-esque dirty tricks on every wavelength and scale in the book, likely in every riding.

    Nobody knew the NDP would take so many seats in Quebec.  It was, for them, nothing short of a miracle.

    While politics is certainly a roller coaster ride, there was no gaffe or killer one-two punch during the election or election advertising that would cause the complete decimiation of the previously resilient and entrenched Bloc Quebecois to four seats or the Liberal Party of Canada to a number of seats not seen ever since confederation.  

    Anyone not watching the election results with absolute shock at the strange results had to be a Conservative backroom strategist.  The NDP taking Quebec, the Bloc all but wiped out, and the Liberals reduced to a handful of seats in Atlantic Canada and near Toronto was not reflected in the polling data nor any rational estimate of roughly how the election might turn out.

    Robo calls and voter suppression were not the only tricks being used by the Conservatives.  Pro-gun groups were told that the Liberals or NDP intended to repeal any and all firearms possession retroactively, was just one of the many outrageous lies broadcast by Conservative whisper campaigns.  In BC the whisper campaigns were that the Liberals intended to open the Haida Gwaii channel to supertanker traffic.

    The Conservatives were truly desperate to get a majority so they could attempt to satisfy their social conservative base with policies most in the country would find regressive and punitive.  

    This is just the tip of the iceberg.  Stay tuned, this story is going to carry on for four years, right through the next election.  Harper will be getting the smackdown of his life, starting from within his own party apparatus.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *