Thursday, June 07, 2012

Sometimes A Cheque Is Just A Cheque...

...And Sometimes a GeoVote Is Just A GeoVote.

Well, whadd'ya know....

The McMaher duo have another one on the line.

This time the story is from 2008 and it involves the FedCon's Robocall pointman Dean Del Mastro.

Here's their lede in the O'Citizen from yesterday:

OTTAWA — The MP leading the Conservative government’s defence in the robocalls scandal is himself under investigation by Elections Canada for alleged election-law violations related to voter-contact calls made by his campaign in 2008.

Elections Canada says in a court document it has reasonable grounds to believe offences were committed by Dean Del Mastro, who serves as Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s parliamentary secretary, and by his campaign’s official agent.

In a surprise television appearance Wednesday evening, Del Mastro emotionally denied any wrongdoing. None of the allegations have been proved in court.

The allegations of Elections Act violations are listed in the court order compelling Frank Hall, owner of Holinshed Research Group, to produce emails, invoices and other documents related to work he did for Del Mastro.

An invoice submitted in a small-claims-court dispute brought by Holinshed against Del Mastro purports to show that Holinshed performed voter identification work as well as get-out-the-vote calls on election day for Del Mastro’s 2008 campaign. The company, once based in Ottawa, now no longer appears operational.

The production order, issued in response to an investigator’s sworn statement, says Del Mastro is suspected of incurring costs that breached his campaign’s spending limit by more than $17,000.

He is also suspected of paying $21,000 for election expenses with a cheque drawn on his personal bank account — which, if proven to be a personal contribution, would dramatically exceed the $2,100 contribution limit for candidates...


Here's the thing.

No allegations have been proven, and it would appear that there was some other stuff, stuff that very well may have been completely above board, that Holinshed Research did for Mr. Del Mastro after the 2008 campaign.

How do we know this?

Well, it turns out that Holinshed took Mr. Del Mastro to small claims court seeking remuneration for doing that 'stuff':

...In the small-claims lawsuit the company sued Del Mastro, alleging it had not been paid for providing a voter-tracking system called GeoVote — work it says the MP requested Holinshed perform after the campaign...

Interesting that, eh?

And just what is this 'GeoVote' and where did it come from.

Or, put another way, who helped pay for its development?




North Van's Grumps said...

you're in my league now RossK, once upon a time my spelling .... of payments for services rendered was "renumeration" just like yours, today.

But alas, the correct spelling is remuneration

Beijing York said...

What an incestuous bunch:

From the article above:

Holinshed Research Group has strong ties to both the federal and provincial Conservative Parties. Not only did co-founder Frank Hall serve as Atlantic policy advisor to then-opposition leader Preston Manning, but he even carried the Canadian Alliance banner in a Newfoundland byelection in 2000.

According to a corporate profile that appeared in the Newfoundland-based Business Post in 2008, later that same year, Hall employed what turned out to be the forerunner of Geovote to elect one of just two Canadian Alliance MPs to win in Ontario: Scott Reid, Randy Hillier's federal seatmate and longtime friend and supporter.

The Post also reports that "Holinshed provided services to candidates in 16 ridings" during the 2008 federal election, as well as 14 candidates in the 2007 Ontario provincial election.

Anonymous said...

"The small claims action appears to have gone dormant."

$125,000 of windfall government dollars through the back door can cause that sort of thing. No need to collect on the $10k if you got a $125k bonus.

RossK said...


I'm a little fuzzy on the chronology based on the McMaher reports so far....Which came first - the court claim or the $125K pretend loan/real grant?



RossK said...

(and thanks BY for the explanation)

(and I fixed my spelling error NVG - thanks also)


Anonymous said...

Found your blog, and followed up by trying to access the government website on the holinshed funding... either I am blind, or it has been removed! I went to the site and here and any reference to holinshed is GONE!!!!!

Why is the Conservative government altering documents and what do they have to hide..