Monday, 7 March 2011

Former Tory MPs speak out against ‘in-and-out’ campaign financing

 Former Tory MPs speak out against ‘in-and-out’ campaign financing
[Debby] Sorochynski [former campaign manager for MP Inky Mark] said she remembers the issue because it sounded similar to a case involving Conservative cabinet minister Vic Toews, who pleaded guilty and was convicted of electoral overspending in a Manitoba provincial election.

Three other candidates in that election were also convicted of the breach of electoral laws.

The provincial Progressive Conservative party had asked candidates shortly before the 1999 election to sign an authorization to absorb $7,500 each in central campaign expenses, according to the Winnipeg Free Press account of court testimony. Ms. Toews's lawyer said at the time that Mr. Toews initially did not want to participate in the plan.

“That was a well-known, documented story in Manitoba, so when the national office offered an opportunity to get involved in something that sounded similar to that, we just said No,” Ms. Sorochynski said.
More details from the CBC:
Four high-ranking Conservatives, including two Senators, are charged under the Elections Act with moving more than a million dollars through local ridings to help fund the national campaign.

Conservative MP Steven Blaney says he and all the other candidates who participated were following the rules.

Court documents show Blaney's 2006 election campaign was one of those that received money from the national party, transferred it immediately back, and then claimed the money as part of its election expenses.

A comparison of Elections Canada documents and the ones filed in court reveals Blaney's campaign received $18,000 more in reimbursements than it was entitled to. Blaney says his campaign did nothing wrong.

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