Thursday, December 17, 2015

Duffy, Sona, Finley, and Lunn

Three live accounts from CBC, CTV, and the Ottawa Citizen covering Mike Duffy's allegations under oath at his trial that :
1) Con campaign chair Doug Finley's "black ops" team perpetrated the Saanich-Gulf Islands robocalls in the 2008 federal election (Dec. 10 testimony) and 
2) Doug Finley said Sona could not have perped the Guelph robocalls in the 2011 election because he hadn't taken their black ops course. (Dec. 16 testimony)

John Paul Tasker, live blog at CBC  Dec 10 2015 10:01am :
"[Gary] Lunn met with Duffy and a lobbyist for Molson (big sponsor of the Olympics) at Hy's steakhouse in Ottawa. He wanted to discuss his 'election problems.' Duffy says Lunn was concerned, he had only squeaked by in the last election. 'He wouldn't have won without the intervention of Doug Finley's black ops at headquarters ... They used robocalls to misdirect NDP voters headed to the polls,' Duffy says, the Conservatives knew who all the NDP supporters were (because of their voter database), they made targeted calls to NDP urging them to vote for the NDP candidate. Problem is, the NDP candidate had dropped out after the deadline to withdraw, would still be on the ballot. Lunn told Duffy he had no idea he just a call after from HQ 'saying you're welcome Gary.' " 
"Lunn wanted Duffy to come out for 'third party validation,' to help him win over non-Conservative voters, because it had been so close last time and he had only won because of Finley's dirty tricks."  
John Paul Tasker, liveblog at CBC, Dec 16 2015  1:08 pm today :
"Turning now to June 18, 2009. 'Duty entertainment' with Gary Lunn at Hy's. ... This is the meeting where you described election fraud, Holmes said. Duffy said I didn't say it's election fraud, I said they mobilized robo calls to confuse NDP voters, I'm not a lawyer, I'm not sure if it's fraud, they thought it was clever. Did you think it was clever? I didn't think about it too much. That's why Lunn told me 'I was hanging on by my fingernails,' please come out and help me on labour day to win by riding. Duffy says the motivation to invite me out was for me to help him with campaigning. Would Harper have known about Doug Finley and his black ops? I have no idea. Duffy says I have no knowledge if Harper knew about those robocalls."
"Duffy says robo calls or misdirecting goes on in every party especially during leadership races; Duffy says parliament hill is rife with stories of manipulation. Holmes says did you keep Lunn's story to yourself. Yes. You didn't see it fit to go to Elections Canada to report this? No. Lunn only knew that he got a phone call when someone says 'you're welcome.' 
Duffy says when Michael Sona took the fall for the robo calls in Guelph [in 2011], Doug Finley flew off the handle. 'He hasn't taken our courses,' on black ops, 'he wouldn't know enough to do this,' Duffy says Finley said."

Katie Simpson, live blog at CTV  Dec 16 2015 today :
"Duffy says members of Conservative political "black ops" teams went to international conferences to learn tactics.
When Michael Sona robocall story broke, he was with Doug Finely. Duffy says Finley said "this kid doesn't know enough"
Duffy says Finley said that Sona hadn't been on this course."

Kady O'Malley, live blog for The Citizen on Dec 10, re Saanich-Gulf Islands in 2008 :
"The only way Lunn hung on to that seat, according to Duffy, was through the "black ops" robo-calls campaign to misdirect NDP voters, which was, he recalled, perpetrated by then-Conservative campaign chair Doug Finley."
Today in her Ottawa Citizen blog however, after she quotes Duffy : 
"Doug Finley "raced out" saying that Sona "couldn't be guilty" as he hadn't been on their course."
she writes :
But Duffy *now* concedes that at no point was Finley mentioned during the meeting at Hy's -- Lunn just told him about the subsequent phone call saying "you're welcome."
So just to clarify, Duffy is now backing away from his headline-ready anecdote last week about Doug Finley's black ops teams in Saanich, which now seems to be a conflation of separate stories, but which he acknowledges he didn't share with anyone else, including Elections Canada. (Nor does he seem to have been particularly surprised or appalled by the revelation.)"

Back in February 2012 before he went under the Con bus, Duffy was busy attempting to deflect blame away from the Conservatives about the 2011 election robo/live calls 
“I don’t believe it was the Conservative Party. But if something is going on, don’t forget, we have all these other groups,” Mr. Duffy said. 
“People have to remember that it’s not just political parties that are operating during a federal election campaign,” he added. “Under the law, we have all kinds of interested third parties that are operating in election campaigns, and I think that’s where we have to be careful. People are throwing stones but there have been third parties that have been attacking Conservatives as well as Liberals and New Democrats.”
Nice try but third party operations are not necessarily independent of the parties they support.
Also notable that Duffy mounted this handy 2012 deflection for the Cons nearly three years after his 2009 meeting with Lunn and his presumed knowledge of Con campaign chair Finley's alleged "black ops" operations in Saanich-Gulf Islands that he never mentioned to Elections Canada.

An excerpt on the 2008 Saanich-Gulf Islands robocalls pilot project from the documentary Election Day in Canada : The Rise of Voter Suppression is online here

With Harper now out of office, the media is bored with the whole business of election fraud because it's never going to happen ever again, right?  After Elections Canada determined there had been a widespread campaign of electoral fraud targetting non-Conservatives in at least 247 ridings, they closed their puny investigation and declined to put it before the courts.

Democracy Watch is taking the Conservatives to court because government lawyers won’t. 
If you have a few bucks to spare, kick them over a donation towards their court costs at the link.


thwap said...

I'm going to post that Democracy Watch fund-raising appeal far and wide Alison.


It's sickening, isn't it? All the self-described "respectable" people who countenance contempt of Parliament, covering-up torture, and now, election fraud. They actually ENDORSE it, and expect us to treat them with respect.

Anonymous said...

Today the Crown has abruptly concluded its cross-examination of Duffy, having asked exactly zero questions about Nigel Wright and the $90,000 cheque. Zero.

Anonymous said...

The media was pleased to be granted stories to report on hotdogs, pumpkins, and ironing shirts. The end.

the salamander said...

.. its crtical that Canadians ensure - 'take responsibility' - for the action & direction.. the concience of this country.. To make a very crude analogy, when a homeowner allows a tradesman into their house. To repair ceilings, install security, enhance electrical systems, fix the roof or repaint etc.. the homeowner has not relinquished the Deed of Ownership - respect of their neighbors properties - expectation of privacy, ie their home computer, banking records, private correspondance.. and the owner does not expect the locks and keys to be changed - or a bookie operation to be run out of the basement... or black ops found again partisan creeps coming and going...

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. Why didn't the Crown ask Duffy about Nigel Wright and the $90,000 bribery check?

Alison said...

IANAL, Anon, but it's Duffy and not Wright who is on trial here. Given that Duffy has already testified he didn't know the money was Nigel Wright's, I'm guessing the Crown did not see any advantage in only hearing more from Duffy about how he was coerced into accepting it. The Crown appears not to expect to be able to convict on bribery.

Anonymous said...

Holly Stick here

Sandy Garossino, who has been a trial lawyer, thinks the Crown has given up on the bribery charge:

Anonymous said...

This trial was over when Wright was made a witness not a perp. Same as robocalls was over when Prescott was made a witness not a perp.

Alison said...

Re Garossino's piece, I'm with RossK on this one :

"I can't fathom how something that has all the appearances of a massive, orchestrated criminal conspiracy can be viewed as nothing more than a little institutional rule fiddling by a passel of high-priced, highly-respected and highly-senior lawyers who should know better."

Anonymous said...

Holly here

Garossino's tweets today suggest she expects more from the closing arguments which I guess will be made in January?

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