Following up on Sean Holman's freelance blockbuster that made its way into yesterday's Globe, The Ceeb's Kady O'Malley dives into the belly of the PR beast and comes out, alive, with a fistful of entrails that, when spread out for all to see, spell out just one word....
According to documents reportedly obtained through provincial access to information, Ontario-based political marketing firm Campaign Research Ltd. was the single largest beneficiary of the HST contracts, pulling in over $167,000 for "conducting telephone town hall meetings" related to the implementation of the controversial tax change. An official with the BC finance department -- which managed the contracting process -- told the Globe that the firm provided the "best value" out of the three bids that were privately solicited by the government.
As noted by the Globe, the company in question was deeply involved in George Abbott's unsuccessful campaign to win the BC Liberal leadership.
What it does not point out, however, is that it was co-founded by former Conservative Party national councillor and past party vice-president Richard Ciano, who - along with his then-partner Nick Kouvalis, was also a key member of the team that propelled Rob Ford to victory in last year's Toronto mayoral race.
Like most political communications firms, Campaign Research Ltd. tends to prefer to operate beneath the radar, they seem to have been willing to make an exception for Ford; not only does the CRL website feature a congratulatory post-victory statement that highlights the firm's role in his victory, but Ciano and Kouvalis allowed themselves to be quoted extensively in a lengthy Globe profile on the race.....
LINO = 'liberal in name only'....Remember, the entire HST thing was cooked up by Steve-O and The Gord behind closed doors in the weeks bracketing the 2009 provincial election at a time when The Gord's minions were running around telling anyone who would listen, including many of their own most ardent supporters, that the tax was not even on their 'radar'.