He is the only one charged in the Robo Con scandal.
Michael Sona, the former Con staffer who claims he is being set-up to conceal a much larger conspiracy.
A couple of days ago we finally found out the names of six Conservative Party workers, who the PMO has brought forward to claim that Sona told them he did it.
A publication ban has been lifted on the names of six witnesses who allegedly said then Conservative Party staffer Michael Sona bragged to them about arranging a misleading robocall in Canada's 2011 federal election.
Today we found out that at the time some of those witnesses claim that Sona was bragging about his exploits, he was apparently sunning himself on a beach in the Caribbean.
At the same time as some Conservative party staffers allege meeting with Michael Sona and reporting that he told them of his involvement in the robocalls controversy in the riding of Guelph, travel records show that Sona was vacationing on the island of Aruba.
Some of the most damaging testimony, according to a sworn statement by Elections Canada investigator Allan Mathews, comes from Rebecca Dockstaeder, who worked for CPC MP Chris Warkentin.
According to the Mathews document, Sona allegedly came by her office and that of another Warkentin staffer, John Schudlo, and boasted of his robocalls work “a week to 10 days” after the May 2, 2011 election. That would mean between May 9 and May 12. However travel records show that Sona flew on US Airways to Aruba, in the Caribbean, on May 7 and only returned late on May 14th, a Saturday. He was not back in his office – he worked on communications for Tory MP Rob Moore – until May 16, the Monday
Which of course leads me to wonder if Dockstaeder was wrong about that, could she also be wrong about this story?
Dockstaeder claimed Sona told her and Schudlo that he obtained a list of phone numbers of Liberal voters and recorded a message impersonating Elections Canada. She claimed that Sona spoke of “buying a ‘burn phone’ with cash and that he said he had bought a Visa card with cash so that it could not be traced as with a usual Visa card.” Sona closed their office door, the ITO says, and “he then went on to describe to us what sounded very very similar to the story that we’d been hearing about these robo calls.”
A story Sona has always called a cover-up.
Sona has denied the charge against him and has told reporters he is being framed and set up as the fall guy for an attempted vote–rigging operation by the Conservatives that, he says, went far beyond the riding of Guelph.
And who was tonight retweeting tweets like this one:
@nigelbeale @MichaelSona Yup. Michael showed up in Rebecca's Aruba Conservative office with a couple of mojitos and confessed to robocallsBut not saying anything himself.
— Richard Lorello (@richardlorello) November 18, 2013
Which at the end of the day leaves me asking the following questions:
Why did Dockstaeder meet with Fred Delorey, the then head of Con MEDIA relations before she met with the election Canada investigators? What was Arthur Hamilton the PMO lawyer doing procuring the witnesses and then sitting with them when they answered questions?
Why did Jenni Byrne, the Con pitbull delay the investigation?
One of Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s top advisers instructed a potential key witness in the robocalls investigation to delay an interview with an Elections Canada investigator until she could obtain legal advice.
Jenni Byrne, who was the Conservatives’ national campaign manager during the 2011 election, emailed Guelph campaign worker Andrew Prescott on Nov. 30, 2011, to ask him not to talk to an investigator looking into the “Pierre Poutine” robocall until she had a chance to talk to the party’s lawyer.
And with all those PMO sharks splashing around frantically in their chummy pool, does Dockstaeder really expect us to believe that the robocall scandal was just the work of a rogue operator or a juvenile competition?
Sona was motivated by a desire to get back at the Liberal party, she told investigators. “I guess there had been some kind of juvenile competition between, you know, the campaign staff of the Liberal Party and the Conservatives,” the ITO says she explained.
And of course, how could this happen?
Elections Canada has heard complaints of dirty tricks in the 2011 election from over 200 ridings. Many of the grievances don’t amount to much, sources say, but a substantial number are thought to be of a serious nature. A source with knowledge of the Elections Canada probe said investigators are handicapped because they are being blocked from gaining access to Conservative party records.
Why are the Cons refusing to cooperate with the investigation, or still dragging their heels like they have from the moment the scandal was revealed?
And what it tells me is that whatever the truth in this sordid matter, what we're dealing with here is no juvenile competition. It has all the trappings or the stench of a massive conspiracy.
And it is a scandal that when added to all the others can only make Canadians distrust Stephen Harper even more than they do now.
And as I've pointed out before, help make this question the main issue in the next election...
The one that I am convinced will eventually bring down the Con regime.
And the other good news? When the robocall case goes to trial next June it's going to be REALLY ugly.
Or judging by this song that Sona dedicated in a tweet to his Con accusers.
A real NIGHTMARE...
Golly. I have to admit that Con music is definitely not my kind of music eh?
In fact, it's one of the worst videos I've ever seen.
But it is scary, and considering how scared Stephen Harper must be of yet another sordid scandal.
And how much damage it might do to him.
I'm sure I'll learn to love it...
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