Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First Duffy, Then Wright, Now Tkachuk and Stewart-Olsen. Is Harper Losing to a Tory Insurgency?

I wondered whether Harper would track down and silence the insurgents in the Tory ranks who began by leaking e-mails that sparked the Duffy-Wright scandal in May.  The word I got was that there was a dissident faction that was fed up with Stephen Harper's unique blend of greasy authoritarianism.

That Duffy e-mail was devastating because it was corroborated by undeniable facts.   When the senate scandal erupted, Duffy was brought in-house, inside the PMO, where the chief-of-staff no less put him in funds to the tune of 90-large to settle his tab with the Senate.   The money was given on condition that Duffy cease all cooperation with the Senate-appointed auditors, Deloittes.  That too happened.  As part of the deal Duffy was promised that the Senate audit report would "go easy on" him.  That likewise happened.  The two top Tories on the Senate audit committee laundered the draft report to pointedly go easy on Duffy and, of the four senators involved, only Duffy.

The Three Prophecies set out in Duffy's e-mail all came to pass.  Caught out, Tory senators Tkachuk and Stewart-Olsen ducked for cover, claiming they chose to amend the draft report on Duffy because he had repaid the expenses wrongly claimed.  They did it, just the two of them.  Really?  Just straight out of the blue they laundered the Duffy report.  It has nothing to do, nothing whatever, with the promise Duffy had been given by the PMO.  Nope, sheer coincidence, real parallel universe stuff.

A critical part of Steve Harper's political life support system is the summer recess.  For him, it's like a trip to Lourdes.  When Parliament takes its summer break he's up to his eyeballs in scandal and nefarious deeds.  When Parliament returns in September, the public has forgotten all about it and Steve comes back rejuvenated and cleansed.

The Tory dissidents on Harper's heels might have had this in mind when they allowed the scandal to ferment for three months before leaking further e-mails to CTV's Bob Fife.

Those emails show that Duffy had initially refused to go along with the plan to repay the taxpayer-funded living allowance and other expenses using Wright’s money.
The embattled senator was then threatened with the loss of his seat in the upper chamber.
In the emails, Duffy claimed that Tkachuk, who until recently was the chair of the Senate internal economy committee, told him he didn’t meet the Senate’s residency requirements because he lived in Ottawa.

Tkachuk allegedly told Duffy that if he went along with Wright’s bailout offer, the Senate committee would throw out the residency issue and go easy on him in the audit of his expenses.
Harper’s former director of communications, Angelo Persichilli, was also putting pressure on Duffy amid the growing Senate spending scandal.

While Persichilli was awaiting his appointment as a citizenship judge in Toronto, he called Duffy to tell him that the Conservative Party would turn against him if he didn’t repay the money.
Persichilli insisted he acted alone and as a friend when he made that call.

Harper plans to prorogue Parliament, to extend the summer break into October at least.  No reasonable explanation has been given for that.  Makes a person wonder if Steve decided to lock down Parliament after getting word that more leaks were coming.


Kirbycairo said...

It is strange that few people have comment on the leaks nor have I heard anyone from the MSM speculate on who might be behind the leaks. So little has been said about the leaks as leaks (rather than what they reveal) that much of the public is unaware that there is an insider leaking this stuff. If the MSM ever gets off its A** and talks about this part of the story it would make the situation much worse because it would confirm the picture of a deteriorating government rather than one that is simply in the midst of scandal.

|What say you Mound?

The Mound of Sound said...

Although I left Ottawa more than 30-years ago I have kept a few close friendships alive to this day. Two of those are with veteran Tory insiders, one going back to the Bob Stanfield era. All of us knew Duffy quite well back in the 70's before I left town.

We were talking about Duffy's looming problems before Bob Fife broke the first e-mail story in May. I had been aware for a couple of years that there existed a group of dissident Tories displeased at Harper's authoritarian ways and his favouratism. It was suggested that it was this dissident faction that leaked the e-mail to Fife not to get Duffy but to get at Harper.

I wrote about this disaffected group back in May. Ottawa being the town that it is I was pretty sure Harper would have no great trouble tracking them down and neutralizing them by now.

I knew they were acting quite skilfully. This was intricately choreographed from the outset. Rumours followed by documents followed by more leaks and then it seemed to be left to ferment over the summer.

I was told the dissidents had other information to leak but I wondered whether they would be subdued first. The latest leaks to Bob Fife suggest they're still very much in business. I don't know for sure but I'm guessing the release was carefully timed.

We don't know what remains to be leaked or to surface through the investigations. We know that the dissidents know and so, presumably, does Harper & Co.

And that's what I say, Kirby.

Owen Gray said...

Which leads to the $64,000 question: What do they have on Harper? Is it just a beef about Harper's lack of people skills?

Or are there skeletons in the closet?

Anonymous said...

Interesting Mound. It appears that Harper pissed off a lot of people on his climb up the ladder, and is beginning to meet them again on his climb down.

The Mound of Sound said...

I'm thinking, Owen, they may have Harper on the Duffy under-the-table payment for starters. Nobody has yet answered why Duffy and only Duffy was brought in-house, behind the closed doors of the PMO, for special treatment. If the initial e-mail hadn't been leaked the Tories would have closed ranks and with the hapless national media we have today the scandal would have been nipped in the bud.

@ Anon - Harper has never made many friends. He demands loyalty but, as Duffy and others have learned, everyone is expendable to Steve.

the salamander said...

.. a ways back, I suggested on several indy blogs, that the 'black swans' would fly .. The feeling I had was the election fraud in 2011 in particular, could not be a 'perfect crime'. A Black Swan event was inevitable.. deserved.. and needed.

That someone with the capacity to stomach Stephen Harpers vicious brand, could just as easily turn on him. That far too many had to know about or be active in committing the fraud. Blackmail, anonymous leaks, change of heart, slip of tongue, boasts ..

In particular, the PMO, Conservative staff, techno dweebs, jilted lovers or un-promoted egotists or data miners and those at the bottom of the food chain.. the MP's or jilted riding candidates .. any of these could decide to end Stephen Harper's desperate ride and turn contrived legacy into conceited infamy.

The Black Swans are flying ..

The Mound of Sound said...

That's a fascinating scenario, Sal. Control freaks like Harper often have more to fear from within than without. It's no secret that power doesn't devolve far from Harper. He trusts only a few evident from the gopher who now serves as chief of staff.

When you suck all the power out of the room, you leave the supporting cast without the very thing that drew them into politics. Imagine what it must be like when, year after year, nobody wants your input, you don't get to make a contribution to policy, you're just there to vote as you're told.

If you're just a placeholder like my Tory MP, the salary, benefits and pension are probably enough but if you're not a total dud living under The Leader must be grating.

the salamander said...

.. and what if dozens and dozens and dozens of miscreants across the land, received their share of a data base & launched their live and robo attacks as agreed.. and other cels or cadres enacted their faux scrutineer frauds at hundreds of ridings .. and other cels did their 'vote moving' thing .. while others arrived late to vote.. and only speaking certain dialects, were 'handled' by appropriate riding reps .. and who really oversaw the vote counts.. tabulations.. ???

And do we really think.. knowing what we do.. that out of this concerted coordinated stage managed extravaganza.. that we as a failed scammed misled fleeced grifted nation.. should be advising other nations ? Re any notion of democratic elections ?

Foes anyone really believe that Michael Sona.. executed this ? All by his lonesome ? 200 plus ridings.. and not just the live and robo calls.. but all the other layered sophisticated malice and aforethought go for broke majority chicanery or Harper gets fired.. tactics ?? Of course Harper gets fired for another lame minority government ..

So .. who's not happy now... not getting what they were promised.. or feel they deserve.. ? Who feels they got screwed over ?

Anonymous said...

Is this your homework, Steve?

Purple library guy said...

Another problem with Steve's style of rule is that as soon as he looks weak, he's gone. It's not like anybody's going to be genuinely loyal, or in there swinging for him because they like him. He's in complete control or he's nothing.

I suspect whoever it is may have simply gone slow over the summer because it's the summer, and they figured there's no point until people start paying attention again.

The Mound of Sound said...

I have the same take on the mid-August e-mail leak, PLG. The May round was carefully choreographed, fixing the parties to untenable stories and then dumping the first Duffy e-mail that torpedoed Nigel Wright and brought in the RCMP.

We don't know yet how Fife was groomed this time but I think the e-mail he reported was just part of the package. Somebody very, very good at this is pulling Fife's strings. I haven't a clue who they are but I know someone who almost certainly does.

I'm just speculating but I think rumour of another leak might have been circulating around Ottawa about the time Harper began looking to prorogue Parliament again. I'll bet Steve is sparing no effort to smoke out the dissidents right now.

the salamander said...

.. ah yes.. good to hear the word 'groomed' enter the arena.. Some poetic justice pipelined at our priss PM and equally priss PMO .. the media 'groomed' .. just like the Conservatives 'groomed' the 2011 electorate .. And kind of a 'reverse Mormon' moment is now occurring .. ie who's f'ing who here ? Now ?

Questions arise.. rumor flies at the speed of twitter and the dirty backdoor government email backchannels are all aflap .. Calamity Stevie/Ray .. mmm .. Its all falling apart, scandal after scandal.. and he never had a toke either.. so no bump in his popularity poll's there.. He's seen as a sickly eastern priss

Someone is gradually but violently pulling Steve and Ray into their cage.. and savaging them..

What's a rogue PM to do.. ? Wail in the bathroom, shuffle recycled reptiles upward in his inner circle ? Call the RCMP ? And tell them what ? ? ?

Those Black Swans have been simmering up in the Arctic, the boreal and on the coast .. in the central woodlands, and the Maritime reaches .. on every river and lake.. every wetland.. near all our farmland .. but now they are flying, circling.. and Stevie can't get away.. or hide.. though he's trying desperately.

And that sucking toilet noise that's building in the background is the whirling sound of truth, fact and freedom of information beginning to pull the Harper Legacy of The Damned into its righteous septic tank place

We'll be pounding wooden stakes and silver nails into that contrived poisonous legacy carcass for years to come..
chasing down the quislings that contributed as well.. and trying to identify the scope of the damage to Canada and Canadians, then trying to repair, save or accept the grave destroyed realities and losses

There is nothing to stop us from achieving or undertaking this.. Anyone with normal courage, concern and intelligence can see that every defensive maneuver, every denial, flawed legislation, every propaganda piece, despicable litigation is pinning Stephen Harper down

The Mound of Sound said...

Sal, I truly enjoy your incomparable imagery.