Monday, February 17, 2014

Harper's Parade of Perps with Perks #9

Whoa, holy bat signal! and a warm welcome to Etobicoke Centre Con MP Ted Opitz to Harper's Parade of Perps with Perks for contributing $9,000 to his nomination campaign, thus exceeding his $2,100 personal contribution limit by nearly $7,000.  Oh, and failing to file an election expenses claim. 
That's Ted there at the back between Nigel Wright and Arthur Hamilton.

A week ago Mr. Opitz was on his feet in the HoC applauding the Cons new Fair Elections Act for having .... wait for it .... don't rush it .... "sharper teeth, a longer reach, and a freer hand".

Now this is ironic because it was the Supreme Court upholding the spirit of the old Canada Elections Act rules - allowing vouching because a citizen's right to vote trumps whatever subsequent paperwork mistakes made by Elections Canada officials might serve to disqualify that vote - that ultimately allowed Mr. Opitz to keep his seat. 

Just 26 votes out of 52,000 separated his election win from Liberal incumbent Borys Wrzesnewskyj in 2011. After a recount, an Ontario court overturned the election results due to voting irregularities - including ballots cast by people who did not live in the riding. 
Opitz appealed the ruling and another razor-thin vote - a split 4-3 Supreme Court decision - overturned the lower court decision and Opitz kept his seat.

At the time the Supreme Court found both parties blameless.
$6,900 well spent, I guess. 

Wednesday Update : According to the Hill Times, Opitz only had one other donor of $50 to his 2008 nomination campaign, aside from his own donation to himself of $9,000. His campaign expenses were $6,696 

Perps with Perks Virtual Boxed Set


Anonymous said...

Elections commissioner Yves Cote:
"Mr. Opitz has agreed to use his very best efforts to enable [his campaign financial agent] to remit to the receiver general the greatest possible portion of the amount of $6,900"

Good God.

Anonymous said...

No one disputes during last May 2011 Federal election in the Etobicoke Centre riding, a poll at a seniors' home was shut down by CON Ted Opitz’s campaign manager, and then seniors couldn't vote for a while.

The seniors' home incident, which Borys Wrzesnewskyj dropped from his court case before it was heard, happened at the St. Demetrius Seniors Residence, a large apartment building in Etobicoke offering assisted living and long-term care.

***Affidavits filed by 3 Elections Canada polling staffers at poll # 427, describe a Conservative named Roman who arrived at the poll in the morning and "suddenly started screaming and waving his arms wildly.

He was raging in a bullying fashion, which caused confusion, and frightened many voters."

Anonymous said...

re above incident at senior's residence

"The (D)RO reports that a candidate's rep has tried to stop proceedings at poll 427 because the rep does not believe that it is a registered retirement home and the vic [voter identification] cards are not acceptable ID."

Sound familiar?

deBeauxOs said...

I believe that may have been "Roman" Poutini, a cousin of Pierre Poutine, from the Italian branch of the family.

Alison said...

Anon's CBC link on Opitz and Gowur and the seniors' residence voting incident

Roman Gawur, Opitz's campaign manager, was also assigned to Rob Ford's election campaign team in April 2010 by Richard Ciano of the Manning Centre and his partner at Campaign Research, Nick Kouvalis.

According to Robyn Doolittle in Crazy Town, Gawur's wife ran the office, his daughter became Kouvalis' assistant, and Gawur himself helped with policy.

the salamander said...

.. and mainstream media is exactly where journalistically, on this story ??

Kim said...

Amazing teamwork here! I'm sharing this.

We simply do not live in a democracy.

scotty on denman said...

Opitz is in! Time to celebrate (artfully packed in there, too, I must say---getting crowded up there, Alison, great job, though, right up there with The Last Supper!!)

Since BC Chief Electoral Officer Keith Archer comprehensively and categorically rejected online voting (his report is concise and quite an interesting read), I've been able to breath a bit easier; for a while there Christy trying to sham-wow online voting was making me nervous; but Chief Archer's conclusion is too closely reasoned for BC's number one majorette to refute---thank goodness!

I've always said the only reason to replace our paper-ballot system, scrutinized, hand-counted and re-countable, with online voting is to cheat. I've called ours the cadillac of voting systems but I must admit, in light of Ted Opitz's reinstatement, and other irregularities strongly associated with the Conservative party, to getting a little rhetorical; compared to a system so inextricably riddled with veracity problems as online voting, it's a cadillac---but obviously one in need of repair. It's perverse the maniacs that banged it up now have master mechanic pretensions.

While these grease-palm monkeys affect repairs, the Opitz case got another warning light flashing on the dashboard of our democratic machine: the courts. Elections Canada should have had the parts and license to quickly re-count, decide and correct all by itself but Wrzesnewskyj was justified in challenging their re-count in court. He was certain there'd be a rerun of the vote when EC couldn't even certify its own accounting--that would seem the simplest solution. The facts that the court decision turned on statistical sampling, not on an actual count, and that it cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars out of his own pocket in legal costs is enough to discourage anyone from verifying the vote count. Stuff del Mastro and the rest do, lot of it's pretty greymarket, loop-holy shit but counting votes?...supposed to be easy---it's arithmetic, like, adding...pieces of paper in your hand, can you screw that up? By getting the wrong number?

Alison said...

Scotty : As you say...
Elections Canada should have had the parts and license to quickly re-count, decide and correct all by itself
and the cost to Wrzesnewskyj to contest it in court ...

From NaPo, Oct 2012
"Wrzesnewskyj, who spent about $350,000 of his own money contesting the election result, was hoping for a byelection. In order to keep costs down, his lawyers agreed to consider only 10 of 79 polling divisions in Etobicoke Centre. He will never know whether he might have won if he opened more polling books."

Salamander : Do you mean on Opitz? Well they certainly haven't mentioned the Rob Ford/ Campaign Research connection.

Thanks, Kim!

thwap said...

The SCOC ruling was an absolute disgrace. It's argument was so stupid that I honestly wonder if it was bought-and-paid for.

The vote is the only control we have over the direction our country takes and these vermin believe that a stolen vote provides the same mandate as a genuine vote.

Scum. Total scum. And their supporters are either ignorant, evil or stupid.

(One thing they like to go on about is how certain Liberals haven't paid back their leadership expenses. That's awful, but a party leadership vote isn't the same thing as a general election. Furthermore, it doesn't justify their own fraud. "B-b-b-ut the Librullssss!!")

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