Friday, March 4, 2011

Who Will Chant "Shame" This Time? Isn't Karma a B*tch

David Akin yesterday spoke of Karma in the case of Jason Kenney distributing his plans to exploit the immigrant communities, to the wrong Duncan.

But there is a much bigger 'Karma' playing out in the Harper government, when it comes to fraud and the Senate.

They are following a script written 20 years ago, and while some of the roles are being played by different actors, Saskandal II, stuck close to the original plot.

Saskandal I: The Saskatchewan Connection

Eric Berston was a patronage appointment senator, one of Marjory LeBreton's, "be nice to me and I'll set you up for life" choices.

But Eric Bernston, who was a crony of Brian Mulroney's, would get caught up in one of the biggest political scandals of the century, eventually spending a year in jail.

According to Robert Shephard (Saskandal, By: Robert Shephard, MacLeans, March 29, 1999)
He was the big fish in the small pond - the deputy premier who, everyone knew, truly ran Grant Devine's Saskatchewan government in the turbulent 1980s. But when now-Senator Eric Berntson was sentenced last week to a year in jail for defrauding taxpayers of $41,735, the ripples extended all the way to Ottawa. Saskatchewan residents - those who have not tuned out the long saga of provincial Tory corruption - were struck by two images of Berntson. One was the jowly, stone-faced power broker they had come to loathe. The other was a broken man, nearly friendless, pleading for compassion, citing the strain of events and his work on behalf of literacy and homeless children.

Except for one day in the Court of Queen's Bench - just before Justice Frank Gerein pronounced the sentence an abuse of trust and "a sad day for Saskatchewan" - Berntson has maintained a public silence. That has left most Canadians with another indelible image: that of another Tory senator led from court in handcuffs - only to return to a Senate seat, pending appeal. Both Berntson, 57, and Senator Michel Cogger*, 60, who was convicted last July of influence peddling, showed up unexpectedly for Senate duties on Wednesday. They sat side by side in an isolated corner of the upper chamber while catcalls of "shame" came from Reformers and New Democrats in the nearby House of Commons.
"... another indelible image: that of another Tory senator led from court in handcuffs - sat side by side in an isolated corner of the upper chamber while catcalls of "shame" came from Reformers ..."

So if two of Harper's Senators become an "indelible image: that of another Tory senator led from court in handcuffs" will Harper's Reformers once again make catcalls of "shame"? Remember, Marjory LeBreton is now Leader of the Government in the Senate, so her fingerprints are all over this thing ... again!

And more Karma may be hitting Harper MP Tom Lukiwski. When an old tape surfaced of him making homophobic remarks, the Conservatives immediately went into major damage control, assuring that the headlines would be about his homophobia. He cried and everything.

Because what they wanted to keep from the public, was the fact that Lukiwski was part of that Saskandal, though never charged (he was the executive director of the party), and one of the people on that tape, was none other than Eric Bernston.

Saskandal II: The "In and Out" Election Fraud Scheme

We again have two patronage appointed "be nice to Marjory LeBreton" senators, caught up in an attempt to defraud taxpayers, and who like Bersnston, could be spending a year in jail.

Only the names of the senators have changed.

Will the sequel be as exciting as the original? It's certainly shaping up to be. And this new round of players are just as immature as the previous cast (see Lukiwski's videos below and judge for yourself)

Anyone refusing to take part in the scheme were labelled 'idiots' and 'turds' by Conservative organizers. Nice.
Workers on the campaign of a Conservative MP who declined to participate in the in-and-out advertising scheme in the 2006 election were denounced as “idiots” and a “bunch of turds” by senior party officials, who wanted to “put the fear of God” into them for not taking part in the contentious TV and radio purchases.
And a bit more:

Aftermath of an 'in and out' election scheme

Ex-Tory MPs say they rejected ‘in-and-out’ financing scheme

Doc Harper's amazing campaign money machine

Doug Finley did a good job on those attack ads, Doug Finley says

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