A wider and wider investigation - Macleans.ca
 

A wider and wider investigation


 

Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher report that Elections Canada is investigating the expenses of the Conservative campaign in Guelph.

Elections Canada investigators probing the robocalls scandal are interviewing workers on the Conservative campaign in Guelph, Ont., and trying to determine why payments made to an Edmonton voice-broadcasting company were not declared in financial reports filed with the agency…

Elections Canada wants to know why the costs of automated calls the campaign has admitted sending out never appeared in the campaign’s expense report, as required by law.

The Star reports that Elections Canada is now investigating calls in Nipissing—Timiskaming


 

A wider and wider investigation

  1. Thank you.  Also, I heard today (although I don’t have a source for it) that the campaign guy who admits he paid the Rack9 bill out of his personal pocket was paid a rather large sum for his campaign expertise.  That’s fine and lots of campaigns pay their campaign manager, but how much was the contract for campaign services, and how much was a reimbursement for robocalling expenses?  There’s one of three things here.  Either Guelph was at its legal spending limit (just checked EC website, and they were not) or the Guelph riding association is so rolling in dough they don’t need the 60% back on the Rack9 bill–which is apparently $15,000 for everybody else.  As a Financial Agent, I can tell you there would be frowns around my EDA table if I just “didn’t bother” to get $9,000 from Elections Canada.

    Or there’s a third thing, which is it was known not to be as above-board as they are now saying it was.

    • 2Jenn, where do you get the 15k number?  I saw a report earlier that put automated calling from Rack9 at 0.019/minute/call at their lowest rate.

      • I wonder about the $15K too.  CBC posted some CPC riding expense details which had most paying about $5K or so to Racknine.  It was mentioned that the federal CPC campaign paid Racknine for robocalls, some which were partially reimbursed by the ridings, and the total federal amount was not posted – so perhaps some extra cost there.  But I didn’t see anything that would add up to $15K for a riding.  

        Of course, now are we learning that at least one CPC  riding appears to have not reported their Racknine expenses.  So who knows about the others – maybe there are other unreported Racknine expenses too.

        • What?  There were all kinds in Quebec that paid $15,000.01.  All kinds being maybe, three.  Plus I saw somewhere (although now that you mention it, I don’t remember where) that had my own MPs charges amounting to $15,000.

          • Jenn, I think the Quebec ones are for a different company – the one the CPC uses for live calls.  Those cost more.  Although some ridings did pay Racknine $7K or so, I don’t think any paid $15K.

            The live calls may also have been doing something illegal (allegedly live calls pretended to be Liberals and also gave out wrong poll information).  Also, the Quebec ridings that paid $15K didn’t even seem to know what it was for and whether they received any benefit for it.  Sounded a bit like in and out redux.

          • I believe that the number quoted in the Guelph story was a couple of thousand, at least that’s what was paid to the staffer as “salary”.

          • According to Le Devoir a conservative riding was charged $15,000.01 for an invoice from Responsive Marketing Group (RMG), the services of which they never retained by the riding, hence Le Devoir wonders if this is not another case of In and Out in 2011. 

      • Just from the Quebec ridings (plus my own Peter Braid’s campaign) that spent $15,000 on robocalls.  I thought that meant it was the going rate for a campaign.  Individual campaigns could vary, of course.

  2. Interesting that CPC Quelph didn’t report their allegedly legitimate Racknine expenses and then Pierre Poutine went to some lengths to conceal his Quelph Racknine activities with a paid in cash disposable phone, anonymous PayPal account, etc.  Perhaps these two events are just coincidental but unless it is typical for the CPC to not report their election expenses, that seems quite unlikely.

    • How do you know the Paypal account was anonymous? The news reports I’ve read don’t mention an anonymous account. I don’t think it’s feasible to maintain an anonymous Paypal account, IMO. They’re usually linked to a bank account, debit card or credit card, and they validate all information to confirm the accuracy of each account.

      • I understand that it is possible to do so.