Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jason Kenney Says $ 40,000.00 Buys a Lot of Silence

It never surprises me when I learn that Jason Kenney is behind a nefarious act, because the man obviously has no conscience.

But perhaps one of the most blatant was when he and Ezra Levant paid off an aide to keep quiet about a hoax, engineered by former MP Rahim Jaffer.

Jaffer demoted for hoax
CBC News
March 19, 2001

Canadian Alliance MP Rahim Jaffer has been demoted by the party after his executive assistant impersonated him on a national radio show.

Matthew Johnston appeared on a nationally-syndicated phone-in show on Saturday and impersonated the Edmonton-Strathcona MP.

Peter Warren, the show's host, says the hoax was eventually revealed, but not before both Johnston and Jaffer tried to cover it up. Warren says his producer asked Jaffer directly if they had talked to him on the air."She reached him at his cafe in Edmonton and said to him, 'Was that you on the interview with Peter Warren on the Corus Radio Network an hour ago?' and his answer was, 'Yes it was. I was happy to do the interview'.

"Warren says they finally got an admission from Johnston and Jaffer when they asked them to put their version in writing.

John Reynolds, the Alliance whip, says Jaffer has been suspended from his duties as chair of the party's small-business advisory committee."I talked to my leaders and house leaders, and I'm the one that's responsible for discipline as the whip, and I suggested we suspend Mr. Jaffer and we have done that," he says.

Reynolds says the disciplinary measure means Jaffer has been relegated to the back benches. He says Johnston apologized and has since resigned from his position.

All wrapped up in a tidy little bow, but Preston Manning discusses the incident in his book "Think Big. My Adventures in Life and Politics" (Chapter 14, The Downward Spiral, pg 379-80), and presents a slightly different version.

Apparently after realizing that he had set up the radio interview on the day that he would be opening a new coffee shop, Jaffer made arrangements with his aid, Matthew Johnston, to appear in his place. Since it was radio no one would see him, and the Edmonton-Strathcona MP drilled his replacement on potential answers to specific questions.

But while the interview was being aired, a listener recognized Johnston's voice and complained to the station that this was some kind of hoax. "The story as told by Rahim in Ottawa, with the help of his friend Ezra (Levant), was that Matthew had acted entirely on his own."

Preston Manning continues: Chuck Strahl, the House leader, first learned of all this from Jason Kenney at a strategy meeting at Stornoway. Chuck told Jason that Rahim's account had better be the whole truth, because the media would be looking for contradictions, and if they found any Rahim would be in even greater trouble. Jason (Kenney) then said "I wouldn't worry about that. $40,000.00 buys a lot of silence." (Apparently that was the amount of 'severance' given to Matthew Johnston for keeping quiet.)

The reference to $ 40,000.00 was made without elaboration. The next day the same statement about $40,000.00 was repeated by Ezra Levant to both Chuck Cadman and Deborah Grey (who also makes note of it in her book), who at this time demanded an explanation. Ezra then said that it meant nothing, that he was just shooting off his mouth and it was no big deal.

The ease with which they not only bribed Matthew Johnston to lie, but actually bragged about, makes the Cadman affair even more credible.

Recently, Jaffer wanted to return to federal politics, and his wife Helena Guergis began using taxpayer money to promote his bid for re-election. The party didn't want him back though, so her deceit was for nothing.

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