Friday, November 23, 2012

Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk swings and misses on illegal donation allegation.

Alberta Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk was back in the muck yesterday as he put forward what could only be called a incredibly weak allegation that Wildrose MLA Rob Anderson attempted to solicit funds from Olds College.

So weak in fact is the allegation that he isn't even going to follow his own advice which he offered numerous times over the past week while Premier Redford dodged questions answering questions in the Alberta Legislature to take any such allegations of wrong doing to the Chief Electoral Officer so they may be properly dealt with. Something you know that he would do in a heartbeat if there was something actually there. In fact in an interview with the Edmonton Journal Lukaszuk changed his tune on the original solicitation allegation and  instead went with an even weaker one that 'Anderson made use of government resources for his partisan activities, since the college office staff who handled the letter are paid with taxpayer dollars.'  For a guy trying hard to deflect from the at least 50 known incidences where the PC party received possibly hundreds of thousands in illegal contributions, worrying about the cost of handling a single letter, which they must do multiple times each and every day at any college, is more than just weak it is completely asinine.

Let's look at the evidence.

The front page of the letter sent to Tom Thompson, President of Olds College and a constituent of Anderson's, at his office. Note the salutation is addressed to an individual 'Dear Tom' and not 'Dear Olds College', the organization which Thompson works for, as that would be soliciting funds from a prohibited organization and probably be in violation of the Election Act.
Now the issue has been raised that the letter should have been mailed to Thompson's home and not his office but that is a red herring because if the allegation is soliciting funds from a prohibited organization, does it really matter if the President of that organization receives the letter at his office or his home? It is addressed to a person who happens to be President no matter where they may open up that letter and the 'solicitation' certainly doesn't change depending on the location it was opened either. 

Also in this day and age of cell phones how easy is it to obtain someones home address if they are not listed in the phone book or in the case of municipal politicians, towns and cities also being a prohibited group, may be unlisted for security or many other reasons. It is simply easier to obtain someones work address than it is their home address but the bottom line is that the invitation was sent to an individual and not the prohibited organization for which they may work. If it ever does become illegal to send out invitations to people based on their employer, I suspect that future Premier's dinners will become very lonely affairs.

But all of this is really moot because included in this so called evidence is a copy of an internal memo from an Olds College VP who was forwarded the letter to review and which reads in part as follows (highlighting mine)

Thanks for your January 18, 2012 forwarding of correspondence from the MLA for Airdrie-Chestermere to President Thompson for advice as to dispensation or response.

This letter is an invitation to purchase and attend a partisan fundraising event. We are obliged to adhere to Olds College Administrative policy A24 (attached) which precludes Olds College employees from using College monies to attend. Tom ought not to attend the expense of the College but would be free to do so at his own expense.

And there you go. Per Olds College policy and Alberta Elections law President Thompson may attend as long as it is his money used and not that of Olds College. So much for Lukaszuk's smoking gun when it is that very gun that shoots down his own allegation and clears both Thompson and Anderson of wrongdoing.

Nice try Thomas but there really is nothing here. Now if you do want to see an example of a political party actively seeking donations from colleges and universities I suggest you read the following linked story from Charles Rusnell of the CBC to see how the pros solicit tens of thousands.


and be sure to check out all the internal links such as this one, being that you seem to be such a fan of letters, documents and such.  It is a real eye opener and you may recognize a few name too.


Blame Crash said...

There’s no question about it. The PC Party of Alberta is a criminal racket being operated by corporate cheats, power hungry bureaucrats and a vast array of small time hustlers. This wildly proliferating horde of scrounging parasites have devoured the massive wealth this provinces economy creates, plus all the accumulated wealth of past years and is now so out of control with greed that they are going to confiscate the future wealth of this province by burying it in debt. When that well has been sucked dry, they’ll be screaming for a provincial sales tax. All this can happen a lot sooner than people think. Just look at the economy of Ontario to see how quick things can fall apart.
The only way this ends is with provincial bankruptcy or a change of government that isn’t going to get squeamish about doing a lot of head rolling.

Anonymous said...

The PCs have been corrupt since Klein came to power in 1993.

Anonymous said...

Actually the tally of illegal taxpayer funds going to Redfords party now stands at 80, not 50.

That is what elections Alberta will admit to.