Saturday, October 11, 2008

Harper, a Million Dollars, a Dying MP, the Reputation of a Journalist, and the Effective Cover-Up of a Scandal

A transcript from The Star of the tape recording of Harper talking about the Cadman bribe:
Zytaruk: "I mean, there was an insurance policy for a million dollars. Do you know anything about that?"

Harper: "I don't know the details. I know that there were discussions, uh, this is not for publication?"

Zytaruk: "This (inaudible) for the book. Not for the newspaper. This is for the book."

Harper: "Um, I don't know the details. I can tell you that I had told the individuals, I mean, they wanted to do it. But I told them they were wasting their time. I said Chuck had made up his mind, he was going to vote with the Liberals and I knew why and I respected the decision. But they were just, they were convinced there was, there were financial issues. There may or may not have been, but I said that's not, you know, I mean, I, that's not going to change."

Zytaruk: "You said (inaudible) beforehand and stuff? It wasn't even a party guy, or maybe some friends, if it was people actually in the party?"

Harper: "No, no, they were legitimately representing the party. I said don't press him. I mean, you have this theory that it's, you know, financial insecurity and, you know, just, you know, if that's what you're saying, make that case but don't press it. I don't think, my view was, my view had been for two or three weeks preceding it, was that Chuck was not going to force an election. I just, we had all kinds of our guys were calling him, and trying to persuade him, I mean, but I just had concluded that's where he stood and respected that."

Zytaruk: "Thank you for that. And when (inaudible)."

Harper: "But the, uh, the offer to Chuck was that it was only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election."

Zytaruk: "Oh, OK."

Harper under oath: "What I do know is that this answer is not the answer to this question, I think there’s been some editing in this question, so I don’t think it goes from this question to this answer." After the quote, The Star article continues: "Harper insisted in his testimony that at that point in the interview he told Zytaruk he did not know about the offer of an insurance policy. He claimed Zytaruk edited that response out of the recording."

It appears from the tape that Harper did not tell the truth under oath. His initial response confirmed the question. Several statements later he appears to repent that and makes a weasel-statement about "replac[ing] financial considerations he might lose due to an election" but he never denied the million dollar question, and in fact initially appeared to accept it as fact.

As to what exactly the Conservative operatives offered Chuck Cadman, The Globe published this: "Jodi Cadman says her late father, Independent MP Chuck Cadman, told her on his deathbed about an alleged offer from the federal Conservatives to gain his pivotal budget vote and topple the government. ...[Cadman's] wife Dona says he told her two Conservative representatives offered him a $1-million life-insurance policy and other inducements in exchange for his tie-breaking vote against the minority Liberal government's May, 2005 budget."

Some other things to note:

* By suing the Liberals, Harper muzzled them. For example, the Scandalpedia page on the issue now says, "This story has been delayed due to Stephen Harper's lawsuit."
* Journalist/author Tom Zytaruk is a victim of Harper's hardball tactics. Zytaruk said recently, "I was really looking forward to testifying because it's not pleasant to be accused on a national scale of doing something dishonest such as doctoring a tape."
* Bribery of the Cadman family may have extended to his wife. By offering her a Conservative candidacy in this election, they effectively muzzled her as well - at least until the election is over.

See also Cyberwanderer's blog: February 28, 2008 and October 10, 2008.

Listen to the tape here.


Anonymous said...

EXCELLENT Post, Yappa!

Thanks for laying it out so clearly. I wish the MSM would manage to lay it out so clearly, but they wouldn't want to "interfere" with the election already in progress ; ).

Rick M. said...

And sadly he has succeeded in delaying all of this until after the election.

e.s. said...

The Liberal party can't raise the issue because of the law suit. The news that the tape is not fake came out just before the long weekend so there's no time for legal action before the election. The media has got to pick up this story!!! Otherwise harper gets away with the coverup.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the reason this is so important. Vote buying of MPs is ILLEGAL. See criminial code, section 119 (1)(b): "directly or indirectly, corruptly gives or offers to a person mentioned in paragraph (a), i.e. member of Parliament or judicial office (my added reference about paragraph a), …. any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment in respect of anything done or omitted or to be done or omitted by that person in their official capacity."

Bert said...

Yep, and I'll bet the liberals are as white as the driven snow. Can someone say "Sponsorship", or "Gun Registry", the later of the two costing 1,000 times more than they said it would.

Yappa said...

Hi Bert,

First, let me say congratulations on your party's victory yesterday. The Conservatives ran an effective campaign and were rewarded at the polls.

Re the gun registry, I never understood why the program ended up costing so much. The only explanation I have ever heard for it is that people who opposed the plan mounted a grass roots opposition to it that ended up making it very costly. I admit that when the program was designed that sort of skullduggery should have been predicted and planned around, but I don't think it can be completely blamed on the Liberals. Where exactly do you see the scandal in it? I have never heard a whiff of a hint that any Liberal benefited.

The sponsorship business was shameful, and the Liberals have paid for it dearly - precisely because Paul Martin called an inquiry that was so wide open that everything came out. The Liberal party made the sincerest of efforts to make sure that something like that never happened again.

As I said in another recent post, I think Conservatives only hurt themselves by being so tolerant of dirty tricks by and within their party. For example, the boasting by Conservative MPs that they interfered in the Liberal leadership race and helped keep Bob Rae from getting elected - that's undemocratic and just plain shitty. There's no question that it has helped you win, but it will be remembered in history.

Bert said...

I just noticed this reply, Yappa. Thankyou for the congratulations. It was a tough race. And, there is still one seat I know of in limbo. I speak of the Andrew Telegdi/ Peter Braid riding.
I do agree. I wish we could just elect officials based on their record and not have to resort to name calling & dirty tricks.

Yappa said...

Hi Bert -

I believe the recount is today or tomorrow. I wonder how far off the count was? I was a scrutineer at two polls and was appalled at the poor system of counting. I wrote Elections Canada about my concerns because the problem seemed to have come from the training of the DROs and polling clerks. They didn't let the scrutineers see the ballots to agree that they were valid and for the party they were being counted for; and one poll did not do a recount - just called out the names, ticked off each vote and then called it a night - with no double-checking.

Not that that indicates the recount will go in Telegdi's favor, but I bet the numbers will change.