Sunday, June 24, 2007

Con$ervative FundRaising...On The Back of Taxpayers

There are few things that make me angry faster than seeing politicians being blatant hypocrites. Stephen Harper's CON$ ran on a platform of honesty, accountability in government, and then they turn around and pull crap like this.

A friend of mine runs a small business here in Calgary. Last week, they received two sets of envelopes in the mail. The first envelope came from the desk of MP Lee Richardson extolling the virtues of Harper's do-nothing environmental policy.

The second envelope came from the Calgary Center CPoC constituency organization, seeking donations for the expected election campaign to re-elect Richardson.

Now, one might think at first that this was a mere coincidence of timing. I'm less credulous here. First of all, my friend's company isn't even located in Calgary Center. The second part of this is the irony that not one set, but two sets, were delivered, one addressed to a prior owner of one of the companies she owns.

Both sets contained precisely the same typos in the addresses - suggesting that the mailing list was purchased and shared by the two offices.

While the "Dear Constituent" letter came from Richardson's Parliament Hill office (paid for by the taxpayer), and the actual funding solicitation came from the CPoC (ostensibly funded by "donations"), it's rather peculiar that the CPoC is soliciting donations not from their membership and the residents of the riding, but from businesses that aren't even remotely related to that riding. In fact, I'd go as far as to suggest that private residents of Richardson's riding have never even seen this letter.

Not only is Richardson's timing suspect, but the blathering content of his letter reads like a classic political fundraising screed - crying out "look how much wonderful stuff I've done for you". Meanwhile, it contains the requisite attempt to slag the Liberals as well (what else is news ... when the Government is still acting as though it is the opposition - and doing nothing constructive at the same time - all that they have to work with is sniping). All that Richardson's letter lacks is the classic "close line" to get people to pony up money.

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