Tuesday, June 18, 2013

James Moore and the Framing of Justin Trudeau

In the ghastly Orwellian circus that the Cons have turned our Parliament into, it was a wonderful moment.

There was James Moore, filling in for Stephen Harper, doing what he has been doing since Great Ugly Leader left for Europe in a hurry.

Answering every question by smearing the opposition.

Accusing Justin Trudeau of stealing money from charities.

Heritage Minister James Moore said Trudeau should have never accepted any money from any charities -- before or after becoming an elected official.

"What is it about the ethical standard of giving money to charities rather than taking money from charities that he doesn’t understand?" he asked.
Even though the only charity that complained had a Con connection.

Grace Foundation board member Judith Baxter, whose husband, Glen, is on the executive of Moore's riding association.

And the whole thing stinks of a frame-up. Or a political favour returned.

What the release doesn't mention, however, is that Baxter is on the Museum's board of trustees, to which she was appointed in 2007 by then Canadian Heritage Minister Josee Verner, and renewed by the current minister, James Moore, in 2011 - a part-time gig for which she nevertheless collects $4,000-$4,700 per year, plus a per diem rate from $310-375 plus travel and living expenses set by the minister.

But that didn't stop Moore from making it sound like Trudeau is a criminal.

Or going after the NDP as he did last week. Again and again. Ad nauseam.

As the other Cons cheered and whooped it up like rednecks at a rodeo.

Except for that wonderful moment I mentioned earlier, when Tom Mulcair asked Big Jim about his former employee Saulie Zajdel.

A little over a year ago, Saulie Zajdel joined Stephen Harper for a happy-hour pub stop in Montreal as the Conservatives' best hope to win their first seat in the city in a quarter-century. Today, Zajdel is under arrest.

And the Cons were suddenly silent, and Big Jim suddenly looked like this...

Like a mobster at an inquiry about to plead the fifth.

And who can blame him?

He knows this one is really going to hurt him and Stephen Harper. Because he gave Zadjel a job.

And Steve and Saulie were super tight...

Harper wanted to win Mount Royal riding more than any other riding in Canada, because it once belonged to Pierre Trudeau. And any story that shines a light on that relationship, and the strange things that  happened there, will only make Harper look even more sleazy and sinister.  

At a time when the last thing he needs is another scandal.

Not when he has so many...

Not when they just keep on coming. 

Montreal RCMP officers are investigating a former Conservative Senate staffer who was a onetime political candidate, after a three-year corruption probe into a Parliament Hill renovation project.

And not when for more and more Canadians, the word corruption is starting to sound like another word for Conservative.

Lordy. You know when I started writing about politics, I was just hoping it would help some of my dumbest most distracted friends understand why the Con's policies were bad for Canada. And why they and other young people should educate themselves about the issues and VOTE.

But now it's a whole lot easier eh? 

Now I just tell them the Cons are a bunch of sleazy crooks and LOSERS. Their leader is a political pervert.

And if they hang with that grubby gang.

They'll end up in the same place he will...

Gosh. I don't know how a horror story turned into a sordid crime story eh?

But I LOVE it. It's so much easier to explain.

The Cons will be defeated because they must be arrested.

And justice will be done...

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  1. While I am in complete agreement regarding your post as to the CPC's actions in all of this, in terms of how they operate against the foes and especially in this really ugly smear of Trudeau (and I find this one especially disturbing and did even before the CPC links behind it started to show, I mean really, what was the scandal really, there isn't any, at the absolute worst there could have been considered a character question and even there I think one is reaching). I mean from the outset the fact that for over 8 full months after he provided his service they had nothing but glowing things to say about his work, and then one member of the board (who we have no idea what authority she was acting on behalf of, the charity as a whole, the board specifically, or herself in either a board member or simply as a private person), then sends a letter to Trudeau saying since we botched the fundraising effort you were a part of would you please donate your fee back to us despite our having absolutely no right to ask it, but since you are now a party leader no doubt you don't want the image issue (yes, that last is speculation, but given this was written right before Garneau dropped out and the signs were already showing Trudeau was almost a lock on the Lib leadership barring something extraordinary happening) if this were to become a public request (which for me by this very letter's timing is implied, but that is my opinion, not something I am declaring as fact, because it has yet to be proven to be despite the clearly obvious potential for it) problems not doing so could cause. Which of course it did, and then as it turned out is was picked up by another member of this board, passed to her husband who just happened to sit on a CPC MP's riding executive who in turn gave it to the PMO who in turn pushed for all they could with it starting late last week.

    Now, expecting any better from the Harper CPC is for the rational person an exercise in futility, and you calling them out as such is a fine thing MS. However, given the CPC's record for smear politics, and given the clearly obvious questionable nature of this letter and its demand from the very beginning, I do find it puzzling that you are letting Mr. Mulcair off the hook for jumping on it almost as fast and as hard as Moore did. I thought I was supposed to be able to expect better from the NDP than I would the CPC, even when it come to their mutual opposition/rivals when it comes to something this dirty, disgusting, and most of all obvious a contrived smear job.

    Seriously MS, most times I don't bother to get offended by the NDP going after Trudeau or the Libs beyond my views in how it enabled the rise of Harper to power (and that is not something I am ever going to apologize for or retract, it really is how I've always seen it and always will for the reasons I have discussed in exhaustive detail repeatedly over the years), but this time I am. It would be one thing if Trudeau was the one who actively solicited/pressured this or any of his other speaking gigs to hire him, both charities and others, for his paid services, but he didn't, he simply listed his services and they came to him. While in the perfect world we all wished we could live in charities would always be pure as snow worthy of nothing but the highest volunteer work and such, the reality is and has been for decades now it is more of a business than anything else, and to expect people to always give them services for free, especially when they are the ones looking for the services as opposed to people coming to them to volunteer, in this reality is more than a little unreasonable.

    To be continued...

  2. Continuation:

    I also think it reasonable that MPs are able/free to be paid for public speaking so long as it is outside their ridings and not only partisan politics or specific legislation/policy as long as there is no political quid pro quo involved (and this case clearly has none such), so long as they are not party leaders or members of the Cabinet, whose positions are such that they will always be speaking in those roles no matter where or on what by their very nature. I also think it needs reminding that Trudeau was doing these speaking gigs while as a lowly backbench MP as a continuation of something he had been doing since before he got into politics, he didn't start doing so because being a politician raised his profile to make him salable, if anything the order is reversed in that his salable qualities as a professional paid speaker made him a good choice for politics. He also clearly was not in his first years planning on running for the party leadership, or at least not anywhere near as soon as he ended up doing, my impression was that while he thought he might way down the road he was willing to wait and mature more in the job first, but after seeing how bad things had gotten both for his party and for the nation, and seeing how much positive response just the idea of his candidacy was getting for the party he decided that he had to do so. I've never gotten the vibe off of JT that ambition for leadership was a driving influence, a part of him to a degree yes, but a core driving passion, no, not even close, and not something I've been able to say of any federal party leader since I'd say Joe Clark back in the late 80s.

    So for Mulcair to chime in so fast on what was clearly right from the get go a fabricated smear and fake scandal (as I said, at worst this is a question of character, and even that to me seems a stretch, but a scandal by any sane defintion, not even close) which a party desperate to change the channel on their hydra-head of scandals that the public is finally showing real interest in for the first time since this party became government put out there shows some serious character and leadership issues/flaws. The leadership one is that it helps enable the CPC to deflect attention from their most current major scandals, not just limited to the criminal investigation at the heart of the PMO in the Wright-Duffy affair, but also the newer ones dealing with corruption connections and MPS who have been caught acting improperly where their election expenses are concerned to the point of bringing their right to sit as MPs into question and the Speaker's unwillingness to enforce that rule, and other such. The character one because it looks too much like Mulcair is as willing as Harper to find anything to tarnish and make ugly Trudeau to voters regardless of actual merit to it because he represents an electoral threat, which if you are a party and leader driven by expediency and power first is fine (nasty yes, but to be expected), but when you take the position that you and your party are a different more ethical and moral kind of party that that, well I would suggest that is rank hypocrisy and a rather ugly one at that.

    To be concluded...

  3. Conclusion:

    I am fine with people supporting their parties/leaders, just not when they are clearly doing the wrong thing. The relative who trained me in politics and I split over the fact that I could not become a party partisan like her, someone that placed blind faith in the party or the leader before all else, I always had to be even handed in being critical where there was cause as well as giving credit, I just can't do true partisanship in anything, it is just not the way I look at the world, both in politics and without. Indeed, one of the things that makes Harper so appalling to me is how little credit I can give him for anything, not because I am so partisan but because he has offered so little to do so with on anything of substance. Even Mulroney had several things while he was PM one could respect him for while still thinking his was a very corrupt government, this CPC government though is something totally unique and horrific that way, which was why I was so hard core about trying to stop them since well before the fall of Martin. I think in too many ways over the past several years the NDP have become a dark mirror to the CPC because of their mutual antipathy/hatred of the Liberal brand, and I think it has created some very dangerous blind spots within the NDP leadership and base, I mean when anyone can seriously argue that Lib Tory same old story has any remote connection to reality when talking about the Harper CPC, that for me shows a whopping major blind spot.

    Sorry about how lengthy this got MS, but this is something I am really pissed about, this attack on Trudeau for doing nothing whatsoever remotely illegal, and even difficult to argue immoral or unethical despite the attempts of many to do just that., You are one of the better bloggers these days when it comes to pointing out the faults in our politicians, especially the CPC and Harper (which since they are the sitting government by definition they should be the most focused on for that, in any sane reality you always put the most critical focus on those in power before all else whoever they are when you live in anything that calls itself a democratic type of government), but at times I can't help but feel you cut your own preferred side more slack than they deserve, and I really think Mulcair deserves to be called out for his participation in this particular hack job on Trudeau given its nature and obvious questionable aspects to it from the very outset. So I felt I had to say all this, sorry, I wish I was better at doing the pithiness you manage so well, but alas it is not how I am wired.

    1. hi Scotian...thanks for your comment. You make a lot of good points, and I understand where you're coming from. I think however there are two separate points at issue here. One is the disgraceful way the Cons are behaving by trying to frame Justin, and the other is the argument over whether MPs should charge for giving speeches. My personal opinion is that they should not, so I do agree with the NDP on that one. However, since Trudeau is not breaking any rules as far as I know, I don't think the NDP should attack him for having done so. That's a separate debate and by attacking him they look like they are agreeing with the Cons manufactured argument. And since unfortunately I am not as pithy as you give me credit for, I thought I'd leave the larger argument for another post. Also although I do lean towards the NDP being more left than they are,I am prepared to let Justin show what he can do, for he has raised the hopes of many and that can only be a good thing in a country where hope is in such short supply. What I do hope for is that the opposition parties can find some common ground so we can concentrate on evicting the Cons and then argue about our differences later. I know that might be seen as a bit naive, and believe me I pay for it from friends on both sides. But I can only be who I am, my heart tells me to cheer on all progressives, and to concentrate on attacking the horror of the Harper regime. And of course should we ever form a coalition government I've got it made. I shall demand to be made ambassador to Tahiti, and lie on the beach laughing... ;)

  4. There are two Moores in the House of Commons, one Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, representing a BC riding, who has indirect ties to Judith Baxter, appointed to a New Brunswick Museum's board of trustees, compensated for such role by the federal government, the other Fundy Royal Conservative MP Rob Moore, on whose riding association Judith Baxter's husband glen sits as an executive.

    One Moore is providing the ammunition, the other, James Moore is leading the attack accusing Trudeau of stealing from charities, as if he were some lowlife stealing from the collection plate at Church or some drug addict running off with the charitable donation collection box from some Tim Hortons.

    On the other matter referenced, former Conservative Senate staffer Hubert Pichet is small fry, as the corruption trail involving
    dubious Montreal construction firms leads directly to Public Works in Ottawa.

    The Wikipedia entry on former Public Works Minister Christian Paradis informs us :

    "Paradis is also facing allegations of providing favorable treatment to construction contractors seeking Federal Government business during a Conservative party fundraiser in the Montreal-area riding of Bourassa in January 2009. Initially Paradis told the House of Commons "At no time was there any discussion about government business, it was strictly a fundraising event.” Construction company owner Paul Sauvé, who organized the event, claimed that he heard Paradis talking about government contracts with Joseph Broccolini of Broccolini Construction. Paradis subsequently changed his story. Paradis now acknowledges that he discussed government business with a big construction contractor. ..."

    "Sauvé's company received a $9 million contract to renovate Parliament’s West Block. Sauvé and Gilles Varin, a Conservative Party organizer, are the subject of a RCMP probe relating to the West Block renovation contract. Opposition politicians allege a Conservative staffer interfered with the bid process of the West Block renovation contract to allow Sauvé's company to qualify for the work. Sauvé paid $140,000 to Gilles Varin who subsequently discussed the contract with Bernard Côté, a staffer representing Michael Fortier who was Minister of Public Works at the time. On September 21, 2007, the Public Works Department amended clauses in the bid which allowed Sauvé to submit a bid for work in which the company was previously unqualified to do. Paradis took over the Public Works portfolio after Michael Fortier lost the 2008 election. Sauvé's January 2009 fundraiser was attended by West Block contractors who paid $500 to $1000 to meet with Paradis."

    The news article you reference on Pichet notes that "Quebec provincial police gathered key evidence about the contract from surveillance of (former Conservative Party organizer Gilles) Varin . Varin was under surveillance because of his links to Hells Angels boss Normand Marvin (Casper) Ouimet, who is facing charges in connection with 22 murders."

    Police should continue surveillance of Montreal restaurant Le Mas des Oliviers where Conservative Party organizers and bagmen and criminally-inclined construction firm representatives routinely meet to conduct business.

    1. hi Rene...You know I used to think that James Moore was a better than average Con. He was not until recently one of the smearmongers the Harperites regularly deploy. So I have to admit his behaviour has both shocked and disappointed me. That'll teach me to look for good where there is none eh? As for the epidemic of corruption in this country I simply can't believe how low we have fallen. As I've said before I am no saint, I can be impatient with fools, and too easy to get into fights. But I try to be as ethical as possible. Over the course of my life I have only downloaded two songs without paying for them, and only because i-tunes and others didn't have them. And I can't believe how so many people and politicians don't have any qualms about cheating. We need to clone the Quebec anti-corruption squad and set them loose across the land. Oh well. As I say to my friends who laugh at me, I don't have as many songs as you have, but I find a clear conscience makes them more enjoyable... ;)

  5. Anonymous11:34 AM

    This incredibly stupid stunt will be one of the last nails in the cons coffin.

    1. hi anonymous...I hope it will be one of those last nails, because goodness knows that coffin has more nails than wood in it. And although I have been disappointed many times I think that the Cons have finally crossed the bounds of decency and they will pay for it...

  6. Here's what the Grace Foundation initially had to say about that suddenly now maligned event:

    An Evening with Justin Trudeau
    Posted July 3, 2012 in News

    "On Wednesday June 27, Grace Foundation hosted its inaugural fund raising event. Guest speaker Justin Trudeau spoke passionately about our roles and responsibilities as Canadians in the global community, challenging each individual to consider his or her contribution toward positive change. Following the formal presentation, audience members had an opportunity to pose questions and engage in conversation. Audience members agree it was an evening to remember." - Oh boy hey? And coincidentally now in the middle of a corrupt illegal Senate scandal, Judith Baxter, who has received patronage appointments by Con Heritage Minister to sit on the Museum of Civilization Board, floats this letter about Trudeau, NOW? 8 months after the fact?

    It's all pointing back to Harper and the PMO crooks.

    Justin did nothing wrong. His fees were all up front. There was nothing hidden from these organizations about his fees. They didn't have to sign any contracts. All monies were accounted for and reported and vetted through the Ethics Commission. The charities willingly accepted and basked in having such a speaker attend their function. Now, years later they are having second thoughts? Really? I wonder who these groups are affiliated with politically, hey?

    The Grace Foundation demanding Trudeau reimburse the speaking fee they signed a contract to pay, spent almost $1-million more on administration than charitable programs last year. A 70 bed seniors home that spends close to $50K on admin per bed. Gosh hey? For that cost I bet all 70 beds are filled with CPC senators. And is clearly tied to the Harper PMO. Judith Baxter has been given patronage appointments by the Harper Cons, then 8 months later during a Con Senate fraud scandal she suddenly 'decided' to write an extortionist letter and then publicly release it. It's a poorly managed charity with no clue how to raise funds or market events properly. This whole thing stinks of the rot of the Harper PMO.

  7. hi wazz...I agree that something about this Grace Foundation affair stinks to high heaven. The Con connection and the high cost of administration make me wonder what's going on. And of course beyond the politics it's a tragic situation because we really need to build more and better homes for seniors, so old people can live out their lives as happily as possible and with dignity. Because there is such a shortage of decent homes, far too many seniors are forced to stay in hospitals, which is bad for them and bad for the system since they take up beds that are needed for the really sick. How I wish we had a decent government so we could all put our heads together and do what needs to be done...