"Prime Minister Stephen Harper has told a court that an alleged offer to the late MP Chuck Cadman of a $1-million life insurance policy in exchange for his vote in the Commons in 2005 is “preposterous” and that only “rogue representatives” of the Conservative party could have done such a thing.
Harper says he authorized party officials Doug Finley and Tom Flanagan to meet with Cadman May 19 to assure him that if he rejoined the Conservative caucus he would automatically secure the party nomination in his B.C. riding and get all the party help he needed to campaign.
Harper said that when Dona Cadman first asked him in September 2005 if he knew anything about Conservative representatives offering her husband a $1-million life insurance policy, he did not know her husband had told her about it and did not ask where she heard that."
Sept 4 2008 : Harper testifies he OK'd approach to Cadman, unaware of insurance offer
"Prime Minister Stephen Harper has testified that he personally authorized an offer made to late MP Chuck Cadman in 2005 in exchange for his help defeating the Liberal government. But he maintained he knew nothing about an alleged offer of a $1 million life insurance policy to get Cadman's vote, saying he only approved an offer of campaign financial support in the event of an election."Sept 9 2005. Tom Zytaruk, biographer of independent MP Chuck Cadman, interviews Stephen Harper [h/t PaulGraham for audio] in the Cadman driveway on Sept 9 2005. Harper was accompanied by executive assistant Ray Novak and Carolyn Stewart Olsen, then Harper's press secretary. Excerpted :
Zytaruk: "I mean, there was an insurance policy for a million dollars. Do you know anything about that?"
Harper: "I don't know the details. I know that there were discussions, uh, this is not for publication?"
Zytaruk: "This (inaudible) for the book. Not for the newspaper. This is for the book."
Harper: "Um, I don't know the details. I can tell you that I had told the individuals, I mean, they wanted to do it. But I told them they were wasting their time....But they were just, they were convinced there was, there were financial issues.
Zytaruk then asks how official these 'individuals' are.
Harper: "No, no, they were legitimately representing the party. I said don't press him. I mean, you have this theory that it's, you know, financial insecurity and, you know, just, you know, if that's what you're saying, make that case but don't press it...."
"After my meeting with Mr. Harper concluded, Mr. Tom Zytaruk interviewed Mr. Harper for approximately 10 minutes in my driveway. When that interview concluded Mr. Zytaruk came into my house and I told him that Mr. Harper told me that he had no knowledge about a $1 million insurance policy offer made to my husband by Conservative Party representatives."Mike Duffy tries unsuccessfully to tone the story down ...
Steve Vai on Mike Duffy's take on his interview with Chuck Cadman via Galloping Beaver :
"Duffy was trying to tone down the story, offering up a conversation he had with Cadman, wherein he said he didn't want to vote against the budget, for fear he would lose his seat in an election and the insurance he had as an MP because of it. Duffy said Cadman was concerned that he would die and his wife would suffer. What nobody has picked up, Duffy actually connects some dots here. If Cadman was concerned about his insurance as an MP, then what better way to allay his fears in voting with the Cons, than to offer him assurance on that score. Insurance was on Cadman's mind, according to Duffy, which puts the offer into complete context."Update : Which brings us up to today ... and the RCMP's charges of "criminal conspiracy" within the PMO of breech of trust, fraud and bribery
PM didn't know staff asked Conservative Party to pay Duffy's expenses: spokesperson
"Harper’s director of communications, Jason MacDonald, says Harper had no idea his staff had asked the Conservative Party to pay Sen. Mike Duffy’s ineligible expenses, ... and didn’t know PMO staff wanted a Senate report into Duffy’s expenses sanitized, or that the party’s chief fundraiser tried to influence the independent audit of Duffy’s claims."Just another case of "rogue representatives" in the PMO again.
Image at top from CBC At Issue panel..