Liberal deadbeats


Walter
#1
Would-be Liberal leaders miss 2006 debt deadline

Campaign loan extensions for six MPs expired New Year's Eve

By Glen McGregor, The Ottawa CitizenJanuary 5, 2010

Six MPs who ran for the Liberal leadership in 2006 -- including eventual winner Stéphane Dion -- have missed the year-end deadline to repay loans made to their campaigns, the party says.
Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand in 2008 granted the candidates 18-month extensions to pay off debts, but the party admits tough economic times and the recurring possibility of another election meant they couldn't meet the date.
Dion and MPs Gerard Kennedy, Martha Hall-Findlay, Maurizio Bevilacqua, Joe Volpe and Hedy Fry were all given extensions that expired on New Year's Eve.
 
Francis2004
#2
God Bless your heart for leaving out so much of the important part and not providing the link Walter..

Quote:

Six MPs who ran for the Liberal leadership in 2006 -- including eventual winner Stéphane Dion -- have missed the year-end deadline to repay loans made to their campaigns, the party says.

Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand in 2008 granted the candidates 18-month extensions to pay off debts, but the party admits tough economic times and the recurring possibility of another election meant they couldn't meet the date.

Dion and MPs Gerard Kennedy, Martha Hall-Findlay, Maurizio Bevilacqua, Joe Volpe and Hedy Fry were all given extensions that expired on New Year's Eve.

"Due to a difficult fund-raising environment, including a recession, a general election and constant election speculation, some of the campaigns have indicated they will require more time to repay their debt," wrote Liberal director of communications Daniel Lauzon in an e-mail.

As Mayrand is not allowed to grant further extensions, the candidates are left in a difficult position. If they can raise the money, they must get permission from a judge to pay off their loans. Otherwise, the outstanding debts will be treated as campaign contributions under the law.

Because most of the loans were in five or six figures, the amounts that are converted to "deemed contributions" could be in violation of the Canada Elections Act, which caps donations at $1,100 per contributor per campaign.

That would prove awkward for a party that has repeatedly hammered the ruling Conservative party for alleged violations of the elections law through "in and out" advertising purchases in the 2006 campaign.

"The party will assist the campaigns in co-ordinating the next steps to ensure full compliance with the act," Lauzon wrote. "'Next steps' include legal counsel."

The exact amount of the outstanding debts are not known. The candidates have until the end of January to report payments made before the end of 2009, Elections Canada says.

Lauzon said he didn't know exactly how much is at play and referred questions back to the candidates' campaigns.

According to an interim report Dion filed in July, his campaign had taken loans of $905,000 and by the end of June had made loan payments of $825,000 -- leaving $80,000 outstanding, not including the six per cent interest. The campaign was also facing a $14,000 shortfall between spending and income.

Anthony Cherwenka, the official agent for Dion, declined to say how much the campaign still owed by the end of the year and referred questions back to the party.

The late payments reflect the challenge of raising money for unsuccessful leadership campaigns from three years ago and, in the case of Dion, a winning bid followed by a moribund stint in the top Liberal job.

The fundraising task is compounded by election finance reforms brought in by the Tories' Federal Accountability Act, which eliminated corporate and union donations and capped contributions from a single donor at $1,100.

That means a few benefactors cannot step in to erase the debts. They must be paid down through a series of smaller contributions from many contributors.

Hall Findlay said she wasn't sure exactly how much her campaign still owed, but said she had been bringing the total debt down steadily.

"For everybody, having all this happening in minority governments, when we're having to fight elections or be prepared, in combination with the much tougher rules, has made it more difficult."

It is harder still, she said, because contributions are limited to $1,100 per campaign, not per year, so the amount a contributor can give doesn't reset with a new year.

"The pool of people inclined to donate to a leadership campaign, you can imagine, has been pretty much mined."

Some candidates for the leadership did manage to pay off their campaign debts. Current leader Michael Ignatieff, and MPs Bob Rae, Carolyn Bennett and Scott Brison have all closed the books on their 2006 leadership bids. MP Ken Dryden has until the end of June to repay his loans.

Brison made his final loan payments to Nova Scotia businessmen Donald Sobey and David Hennigar on Dec. 5. Brison said the $1,100 limit imposed by the Tories made fundraising difficult.

"It was heavy lifting," he said.

Would-be Liberal leaders miss 2006 debt deadline
 
Tonington
#3
So garnish their salary until they pay it off.
 

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