Friday, May 17, 2013
Mike Duffy and the Dark Heart of the Scandal
Well he's finally been kicked out of Con caucus.
Senator Mike Duffy has resigned from the Conservative caucus and will sit as an Independent amid controversy over his living and travel expense claims.
Even as the scandals keep on coming.
Sen. Mike Duffy attempted to influence the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission’s upcoming decision involving the right-leaning Sun News Network, a source has told CTV News.
But now at last we can understand why the boys in the PMO were so desperate to try to make the problem go away.
Conservative Sen. Mike Duffy submitted expense claims while Parliament was dissolved during the last federal election, reporting he was on Senate business on days he appeared to be campaigning for the party.
If Duffy collected daily Senate expenses while on the Conservative campaign trail, taxpayer may have paid twice: Conservative candidates who paid for Duffy’s hotel stays would have received federal rebate money for those expenses.
Because now it wasn't just a "misunderstanding" over where he lived. A "clerical error" or a "dumb mistake." Now he might be accused of double billing taxpayers, while campaigning for the Cons. And the police were moving in.
So they gave him the dough, on the condition he keep his mouth shut. And the very next day he announced he would stop cooperating with the auditors, so we might never know who or what he had billed.
But it didn't work. Somebody blew the whistle, and it blew up in their faces. Now the PMO boys owe Canadians an explanation. For out of the sinister darkness in which they operate a monstrous picture is emerging.
No doubt the coming days will bring further clarity to these bewilderingly conflicted accounts. But what is already clear is that Mr. Duffy’s claims of “doing the right thing” were grotesquely exaggerated. Repaying what was wrongfully taken from the taxpayer only after securing a promise for easy treatment does not sound like moral leadership. It sounds like cowardice.
Now Mike Duffy needs to come clean. So does Nigel Wright.
Surely the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff knows that gifts to sitting senators are governed by Senate regulations? A senator may receive the usual array of courtesy gifts they are presented with during the course of their duties, or from family and friends, but must report any gifts valued over $500. Mr. Wright’s cheque exceeds that amount by a whopping 180 times.
It has opened up the PMO to claims that one of Mr. Harper’s most trusted confidants was either ignorant of a basic ethical safeguard in our government, or believed he could break the rules and get away with it. Neither answer is acceptable. Mr. Wright’s involvement in this affair must be investigated.
And so does Stephen Harper, for it is his special relationship with Mike Duffy that lies at the dark heart of this scandal.
The reason a man like Wright would do such a desperate deed, and claim it was for a friend, when the two men hardly know each other. And what he was really trying to do was protect the Con regime, and his master's special bond with Duffy.
Because nothing else can explain why Harper stayed loyal to Duffy for so long, or waited until this evening to boot him out of the Con Caucus.
Until you remember he owes him an election.
Prime Minister Harper has a habit of digging in deep to defend his own. He could have cut Duffy loose and avoided all these problems when the news first broke about the illegitimate expense claims. But Duffy has been a favourite of the PM’s. He was viewed as having done the Conservatives a great favour in the 2008 election.
At the end of the campaign, when momentum could have tilted either way, Liberal leader Stephane Dion stumbled in responding to a CTV question he couldn’t understand. The CTV reporter promised Dion he wouldn’t run the clip — but Duffy turned around and made a major story of it. The Conservatives later acknowledged it really swung votes their way in the final days. It wasn’t much later that Duffy was named a senator.
For who can forget what Duffy did with that clip that night?
Who can forget what a disgusting hatchet job it was? And how devastating it was to the Liberal campaign. I still remember.
And that's the kind of thing a man like Harper NEVER forgets. Which is why he has allowed Duffy to get away with so much for so long. Why Wright really did what he did. And why now they are ALL in such big trouble.
For the obvious question is, if Harper owed Duffy so much, and he is such a control freak, can anyone seriously believe that he didn't know what his faithful right hand man was doing to protect his good buddy Mike?
And if it can be proven that he did know, he could be accused of trying to conceal the truth in a criminal matter. Or covering up a scandal.
And you know what that could mean? Just ask Richard Nixon.
For it wasn't the actions of the Watergate burglars that brought him down.
It was the cover-up that proved fatal...
And the same thing could happen to Harper.
Which would be so terribly ironic eh?
Brought down by a sordid little scandal when he should have been brought down by so many of his other larger crimes against Canada and the planet.
Brought down by Mike Duffy, and CTV, who helped him win the 2008 election, and could cost him the next one.
Brought down by a Con hog as grubby as he is, with whom he made a Faustian bargain.
You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. And cover your big ass too.
Until the hog came back to haunt him...
And Canadians said enough is ENOUGH.
Golly. I must admit I was hoping for a grander ending to the Con regime eh?
But cheap and piggy will do just fine. For it will be Stephen Harper's epitaph.
They've just handed us the most beautiful scandal.
And we shall use it to destroy them...
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