It took exactly 17 minutes and 43 seconds (Actually, they were already running them).
Careful not to make it appear that he is focusing on his political opponents and not the mess that our economy is in, Harper instead allowed his alma mater, the National Citizens Coalition, to do his dirty work for him.
NCC had provided Harper with a stellar education in liberal bashing, under headmaster Art Finkelstein, Richard Nixon's former campaign strategist. He had the know how, but darn it all, his hands were tied, what with being the prime minister and all. Can't look petty and ... er ... desperate.
When Bob Rae was premier of Ontario, a group calling themselves Ontarians for Responsible Government, a spin-off of the NCC, launced a four year attack, headed up by Gerry Nicholls, Harper's former VP with the non-profit "public service" group.
So who better to get their hands dirty for you? They already had the file, even if it is 20 years old.
Going on the defensive, they emphatically stated that "National Citizens Coalition 'never has, never will' work for Conservative Party". What a farce. They acted as a registered third party during the last election campaign. They were certainly working for the Conservative Party then.
Glen McGregor has an excellent piece in the Ottawa Citizen, detailing the NCC's "not for the Conservative party" assault, including a list of big donors. (I thought you could only contribute $1100)
During the spring election campaign, the NCC raised $168,960 in contributions to advertisements, according to its third-party advertising return filed with Elections Canada. But the NCC appears to have held on to the bulk of this money for, uh, later use. The return shows the NCC spent only about 29 per cent of the money it took in. So, Election 41 was something of a cash bonanza for the NCC.And the donors ( public record)
Robert Colborne Calgary AB 2011-03-31 $10,000
John Elliot Midhurst ON 2011-04-28 $10,000
Darey Rector Toronto ON 2011-04-06 $10,000
Bruce + Robert Orr Vancouver BC 2011-04-20 $10,000
Wazir Seth Calgary AB 2011-04-11 $5,000
Rick Balbi Calgary AB 2011-04-19 $4,000
Kent Norris Victoria BC 2011-04-29 $3,000
Paul Greenhalgh Richmond Hill ON 2011-04-04 $2,500
Mrs. William P. Wilder Toronto ON 2011-04-15 $2,000
Robert Macdonald Calgary AB 2011-04-01 $1,500
Tom Skinner Kanata ON 2011-04-19 $1,200
Brian Buttler Saanichton BC 2011-04-21 $1,200
Bob Elliot Guelph ON 2011-04-06 $1,200
Tom Como Edson AB 2011-04-28 $1,000
Tara Sinanan Edmonton AB 2011-04-28 $1,000
Sandra Simpson Toronto ON 2011-04-28 $1,000
Rick Balbi Calgary AB 2011-04-20 $1,000
Paul Sunnen Chatham ON 2011-04-04 $1,000
John Elias Morden MB 2011-04-01 $1,000
James L. Attwood Toronto ON 2011-03-29 $1,000
Gerald Heffernen Toronto ON 2011-04-28 $1,000
Frans Feyter Fort Macleod AB 2011-04-21 $1,000
Ed Thiessen Strathmore AB 2011-04-20 $1,000
David Jamieson Red Deer AB 2011-03-31 $1,000
Bryan Bennett Mississauga ON 2011-04-08 $1,000
Brent Buchanan Edmonton AB 2011-03-31 $1,000
Bill Nicholls Cambridge ON 2011-04-19 $1,000
Conservative blogger Stephen Taylor, now with the NCC, while posing as a journalist, has strong ties with the Harper government. And in 2008, when the NCC was giving Preston Manning its medal of freedom, a rather dubious honour, it was our man Harper who presented it.
If you are going to try to make the claim that you don't work for the Conservative Party of Canada, you might want to stop working for the Conservative Party of Canada.
The NCC is not a public service organization, but just an extension of our current government. They should pay taxes like everyone else, and stop hiding behind their "watchdog" title.
These groups do not uphold democracy, but undermine it, and its time they were exposed.