Saturday, June 01, 2013

What Does Mike Duffy Know?

That's a legitimate question, Michael Harris writes. It's curious:

Mike Duffy is still a senator, but Nigel Wright is no longer the prime minister’s chief-of-staff.
One man tried to put out the fire; the other, who allegedly set it, is still toasting publicly-provided weenies in the flames.

In the past, when Harper wanted to dump someone, he did it quickly. Remember Rahim Jafer, Helena Geurgis and Garth Turner?  And there are mechanisms Harper could use to dump the Old Duffer:

If there is a finding of fraud, that is grounds for getting the boot from the Red Chamber.
The national police force’s own reputation rides on this crucially important investigation, likely to be conducted under Section 122 of the Criminal Code dealing with Breach of Trust.

And, as the Senate audit revealed, Duffy is not a resident of Prince Edward Island:

The rules don’t say you get appointed from the place where your heart is, or your summer cottage, or where your dog is buried. It is where you live, vote, pay your taxes, get your driver’s license and health card. For both Duffy and Wallin, it was rotten fish from the get-go. Even Patrick Brazeau was better qualified, under the criteria of appointment, for his calamitous Senate appointment.

Still Duffy remains in his seat. You have to wonder if Duffy is the J. Edgar Hoover of Canadian politics. It was Lyndon Johnson who once said of Hoover that it was better to have him "inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in."

Harper's record on appointments does not show a high regard for the law:

Bruce Carson, hired as a convicted man. Arthur Porter, put in front of the country’s deepest secrets as head of SIRC, now under arrest for fraud. Nathan Jacobson, photographed between Harper and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, awaiting extradition to the U.S. for $43 million worth of admitted money laundering. The PM’s parliamentary secretary under investigation by Elections Canada and under no obligation to step aside. Harper Senate appointee Patrick Brazeau up on assault and sexual assault charges. Duffy back in the news with more expense problems as outlined by Tim Naumetz in the Hill Times — and the ever-present odour of corruption from the ‘in-and-out’ affair, mingling with the deeper stench of the robocalls scandal. Through it all, one man has been at the helm — Stephen Harper.

You have to wonder what Duffy has on the man at the helm.


Lorne said...

It is something I have wondered about as well, Owen. But I suppose the alternative and more mundane explanation is that because the Puffster was so valuable as a fundraiser for the Conservatives, they arrogantly thought they could preserve his 'brand' by throwing money at the problem of his fraudulent claims to make it go away, without, of course, a thought to the ethical or legal implications of their bailout. I would also think they assumed that their misbehaviour would remain hidden from public view.

Owen Gray said...

They must have assumed that Duffy would keep his mouth shut, Lorne. After all, Duffy has claimed that he has kept his mouth shut about a lot of things.

Perhaps it was merely an attempt to keep their best fund raiser in business. But, given who Harper is, one can't escape the feeling that there were other considerations at stake.

ck said...

What I don't get is what is the difference between Pam Wallen and Duffy? She, too, is under investigation and owes money for her funny accounting tricks. Yes, she paid back a portion of it, but did anyone check to see if she also had a benefactor? or did she pay that on her own? If the latter, how come she didn't have a benefactor? She too, was as partisan as Duffy and helped with fundraising for the Cons.

Owen Gray said...

From where I sit, ck, it looks like Wallin and Duffy are passengers in the same boat.

Word is that the Harperites are going to try and keep Wallin's proceedings in camera. They would have kept Duffy under wraps, were it not for his loose lips.

They want to keep these two folks silent. They have access to national media. If they start lobbing bombs into the Conservative tent, the jig is up.

e.a.f. said...

that is a big list of people who have charges against them, under the Con. tent.

I suspect the Hell's Angels in B.C. have fewer charges agains them than the cons.

Owen Gray said...

The list of abuses keeps piling up, e.a.f.

This isn't a party which came into town to clean things up. It's more like a new mob taking over the same old rackets.