Saturday, December 26, 2015

Another *grassroots* industry-funded Con tank

Canadian Cynic wonders how the astroturf/fundraiser actiontank Conservative Voice, according to their own website, can manage to juggle :
"Conservative Voice believes that Canada needs an organized, non-profit voice financed by industry to ensure that the Canadian political landscape remains in balance"
with :
"Funded and supported by citizens who cherish individual freedom, free markets, and smaller government." 
Good question. They also declare :
"Conservative Voice is independent of all political parties."

The sole director for Conservative Voice listed at Industry Canada is Dan Hilton, who was personally hired on by Irving Gerstein as Executive Director of the Conservative Party of Canada in January 2009, a position Hilton held til October 2013. 
The Conservative Voice website was registered five months later in March 2014 and Hilton is still thumping up business for them.

(You'll perhaps recall Conservative Fund head Irving Gerstein told Hilton about Nigel Wright's $90K personal cheque to Duffy long before the rest of us heard about it.)

Political analyst Alise Mills, who divides her analyzing time between Ezra Levant's Rebel Media and CBC's Power and Politics, was named National Executive Director at Conservative Voice this past July by "Dan Hilton, Founder and Chair". 
Alise Mills' previously plumped for the astroturf pipelines booster site British Columbians for Prosperity, and apparently will continue to do so in her new gig at ConVoice
"On Monday November 9th, our Executive Director, Alise Mills, stands up for Canadian jobs, ethical oil and notes the hypocrisy of cancelling Keystone XL."
I'm not sure what Industry Canada means when it lists Conservative Voice as a "Non-Soliciting" Corporation, but ConVoice held a big fundraiser at the Marriott in Ottawa a couple of weeks ago on December 9 with guest speaker Tony Clement and Rebel Media's Brian Lilley.

Last year, Conservative Voice explained their fundraising objective
" ... the real battle takes place between elections."
“We need your corporate support now to build a campaign for the Conservative Voice .... This seed money should be considered a lobbying/activism expense as we promote your conservative corporate agenda. We are seeking funds to finance a national mail and telephone campaign to small and medium sized business owners to build our war chest ahead of the next election so that we can start to push our message in early 2015.”
Corps will get their tax receipt outside the writ period which imposes spending caps on PACs.

Their Mission Statement :
"To raise support and awareness for conservative ideals; and to keep Canada on the right track of Conservative principles and policies while keeping Canada’s political landscape balanced."
Big C in Conservative. Alrighty then.

Monday update : via Greg Fingus : How the Koch network rivals the GOP, overtaking political parties and candidates, infusing money and talent, and answerable to no one. 

This, Greg notes, underscores our need up here for counterbalancing citizens' movements  working across party lines. 


Anonymous said...

Tom Flanagan:
“The Conservative Party has to look beyond Canada’s traditional political financing system and start getting companies and groups to spend on its behalf...I think the next step for conservatives and people in Conservative parties is to get outside the party and start outsourcing political functions, kind of like American political action committees."

double nickel said...

Another phoney baloney shell designed to soak the rubes.

chris said...

New to me, again. How many of these things are out there. Can we have a list please?

This one has been very quiet for a long time. Do you think it was formed "just in case" the Cons lost the election?

Anonymous said...

According to Industry Canada "A corporation is a soliciting corporation if it receives more than $10 000 in money or property from the public."

So far in their week of soliciting pledges from the public towards a goal of $500,000, Conservative Voice has raised $25.

The Mound of Sound said...

Fascinating as always, Alison. Thanks for all your work and do have a Happy New Year out there on your island. I have a bottle of champagne set aside to toast the departure of our Calgary nemesis, ol' Beelzebub himself, Shifty Steve.



Alison said...

Good to hear from you, Mound. Keep up that climate beat. I'll be drinking a toast to you on New Years.

Anonymous said...

Morten Blackwell will be speaking at Manning Centre Annual Conference in late February.

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