Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Conservative allegedly tried to buy Chuck Cadman off

Holy shit! I mean, if this is true, this is amazing:

The widow of former B.C. MP Chuck Cadman says two Conservative Party officials offered her husband a million-dollar life insurance policy in exchange for his vote to bring down the Liberal government in May of 2005.

If these allegations aren't true the Conservatives will be calling his widow Dona Cadman, their own Conservative candidate in Surrey-North, a liar:

Dona Cadman, who is now running for the Conservatives in the Vancouver-area riding of Surrey North, was not in the office at the time. But she says her husband was furious when he returned to their apartment. "Chuck was really insulted," she said in a telephone interview with The Globe Wednesday. "He was quite mad about it, thinking they could bribe him with that."

Stephen Harper, of course, is running away and professing to have seen nothing, know nothing. As if some random party hacks would have cooked this up on their own?

Sandra Buckler, a spokeswoman for Mr. Harper, said Wednesday that her boss never directed any party official to make any kind of financial arrangement with Mr. Cadman.

Of course not. Stephen Harper always seems to manage not to get his hands dirty. It's always someone else's fault. He did't do anything. Liberals bad!

If proven, these allegations are damning. And given the modus operandi of the Conservative/Alliance party, it's not hard to believe. They've bought-off people before, even if some of them have had to go to court to get the deals upheld. Harper denied there was a deal with Alan Riddell until the party finally admited it in court.

I don't know the legalities of this, I'll leave that to the lawyers. But allegedly offering monatery consideration in exchange for the vote of a Member of Parliament? Clearly this needs to be investigated.

And whatever the legalities, morally its just plain repugnant. Going to a dying man and allegedly offering him a $1 million insurance policy in exchange for his vote? It's beyond repugnant. It's goulish.

Just when you think you've seen it all. If anyone in the Conservative Party of Canada actually believed their rhetoric about cleaning up politics, they have to be looking in the mirror tonight.

*Steve, Dan, Robert and Garth also have thoughts.

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17 comments:

janfromthebruce said...

Which makes one wonder why Dona is running for the party in this first place, now that is bizzare in itself, don't yah think???

Maybe she is going to bring integrity, honesty and transparency to the Harper Con party - LOL

Mushroom said...

Jan,

I gave my postulations in Steve V's blog. Having Dona running against Penny Priddy is bizarre, since they are very good friends.

Frank Frink said...

And if I'm not mistaken, Mushroom, Dona Cadman solidly endorsed Priddy as Chuck's succesor saying it's what Chuck would have wanted.

Kingston said...

This is not good at all if it is true, Jan, raises an excellent point though, why the hell would his wife run for the CPC if this is true, with the following the Chuck had she could get elected in any party one would think.

Mushroom said...

"why the hell would his wife run for the CPC if this is true"

Kingston,

It is true. The event did occurred.

What this showed are the character of the Cadmans in Surrey politics. They remained true to their Reform Party roots, unlike many others in the CPC who were willing to sell their grandmothers to form government.

wilson said...

Garth post today:

'...The Liberals also admit to having lobbying Cadman for his support, which is to be expected, but there is no evidence in the book they offered him any material advantage in return.
The Conservatives, in addition to the life insurance policy (Cadman would soon succumb to cancer), are reported to have offered several other incentives, including immediate reinstatement into the party which had turned its back on him...'

So, big scandal.
but, of course, no evidence (YET) of what the Libs offered.
If Dona is 'forced' to justify running for the Cons, maybe we will have the evidence of what the Libs offered.

Jamie said...

"but, of course, no evidence (YET) of what the Libs offered."

you forgot the end of your sentence...let me help

...as they might have not been so dumb as to crudely offer money. Geez just because the Tories have a proclivity for being ham-handed and dumb doesn't make it the industry standard.

A BCer in Toronto said...

jan,

makes one wonder why Dona is running for the party in this first place

It does indeed boggle the mind. And yet, she is, and she confirms the story. Hopefully someone asks her that question.

wilson,

Lobbying is far different from offering a one million dollar insurance policy, and you know that.

If the Liberals offered something like that, Dona would know. And she would have said something. Are you really suggesting the Conservative candidate would reveal an alleged Conservative inducement and conceal a Liberal one? Unlikely.

The Rat said...

"...as they might have not been so dumb as to crudely offer money. Geez just because the Tories have a proclivity for being ham-handed and dumb doesn't make it the industry standard.

Yeah, the Liberals are much more discreet in their offers of "comfy fur". All one need do is look at the Blonde Bimbo becoming the Minister of "complex files".

What was offered to Cadman is utterly disgusting but I think we Conservatives can handle it without too much advice from the party of Shawinigate and Adscam. In fact, I am kind of tickled that such skullduggery is so foreign to us new Conservatives that we don't have the skill to do it with Liberal finesse and nuance. I am also very proud that a Reformer stuck to his ethics in the face of his own death and told the bastards to get the hell out. That's the kind of party I supported in Reform, something I don't thing many Liberal MPs would have had the balls to do. If we need to clean up some of the old guard, we will. We've done it once already.

Jason Hickman said...

If it's true, then it's awful, and no bones about that. But there are some questions raised by this.

I too am curious not as to why Mrs Cadman is running for the Tories, in light of all this, if what has been reported is accurate.

But I'm also wondering why Mr Cadman said the following back in '05, according at least to this story:

During an appearance on CTV's COUNTDOWN in May 2005, Cadman told Mike Duffy that rumours he had been offered an unopposed nomination in his B.C. riding by Conservative officials, were true.

"The discussions did come up," he admitted on the show. "The talk did come up, yeah."

Cadman said he declined the offer, however.

"That was the only offer on anything that I had from anybody," he added, rebuffing suggestions he made a deal to throw his support behind the Liberals.

"There were no offers on that table up to that point, on anything from anybody."


He had no reason to lie at that point, any more than his wife has now. He wasn't a part of the Tory caucus at the time, and I don't think he had any intention of running for the nomination even if his health had not declined. If anything, he could've taken an almighty bash at the Party that, from his point of view, allowed his seat to be taken away by repeating the allegation, and yet, I don't think he ever reported anything of the sort.

It's also worth asking how anyone could have offered someone in his condition a $1M policy. What insurance co. would underwrite/issue it, I wonder?

But at the end of the day, if Cadman was offered an inducement and told the people offering it to get stuffed, more power to him.

I met him when I was in BC before he even got into elected politics (he was raising awareness re: crime and the loss of his son). I liked him then and I was sorry to see him lose the Tory nomination in '04. We could use more like him.

Kingston said...

I have a question I cannot find an answer too, Hopefully someone can help me, A political party runs much like a company, do the parties offer life insurance plans too the senior members or is all the insurance they have is what is purchased privately and what the Fed Govt provides.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Jason, it appears there were two meets between Conseervative reps and Cadman, one in Ottawa and one in the riding. I think that's bringing some confusion into the accounts.

I'm sure the RCMP will be able to sort it all out. I doubt the media will be able to.

Kingston, I don't know. As an MP Cadman would be paid and have his pension from parliament, not the party, along with other benefits too, maybe life insurance but I don't know. Do the Cons top that up for their members? I don't know.

Jason Hickman said...

Jeff, Cadman's words, as quoted above, were "That [a free pass to a Tory nomination] was the only offer on anything that I had from anybody."

That's pretty definitive, no? Especially if this interview ran on the day of Cadman's vote in the HofC - which is what Kady O'Malley's blog at Macleans.ca says.

If the Mounties want to run this one down, that's up to them, naturally.

But unless someone in the room when the "offer" was allegedly made had a tape recorder going, or perhaps if that piece of paper that allegedly had all the offers written on it resurfaces & can be verified, I can't see - based on what has been reported thus far - how anyone gets convicted of anything over this.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Well yes Jason, until there's an investigation, suponeas are served, people are questioned, there's not going to be any convictions. That's why we have investigations.

Kady also went on to say it's unclear which meeting Harper has been refering to, and that the Cons have been parsing their language very closely today.

I haven't seen a transcript for context, but let's say we accept Chuck's statement at face value. How to square the two accounts? Maybe he tells his wife things he doesn't tell the public. Maybe he just wanted to be left alone, was tired of the attention, and didn't want to spend the last months of his life at the centre of a major political shitstorm.

If that's not the case though, if there absolutely indeed was no offer, then you have to ask why Dona Cadman would now be lying. Because that's what Stephen Harper and the Cons are now saying. That Dona Cadman, the Conservative candidate for Surrey North, is making up a story that her own party tried to bribe her dying husband. Why in the hell would she possibly do that?

Jason Hickman said...

Obviously re: your first point. But you have a situation where there were, apparently, 3 people in the room (and a 4th who may or may not have been there). One of those people is deceased. Like I said, based on what we see before us now, I can't see how somebody gets convicted.

But as I also said, if the RCMP feels that this should be investigated, then they should investigate it.

You ask why Donna C. would lie. Excellent question, and one I can't answer, any more than I could answer you why she is running for the CPC, as I alluded to in my 1st post, if that is what she was told by her husband.

But *that* question, as good as it is, doesn't explain why Chuck C. would lie, or would be less than forthcoming.

All the theories that you've thrown out there have as to why he said what he said in his interview have one thing in common - they can't be verified, because Mr Cadman has passed away. We can take his words at face value, or we can choose not to. Perhaps if & when CTV re-posts the video of his remarks, some sort of new "context" may arise, but what he said seems pretty clear.

Personally, I wish that the "representatives" hadn't even offered Mr Cadman a free go at a nomination - that in itself, is poor enough judgment, in my view.

But when it comes to criminal conduct, as much as some Liberals may wish that this is some sort of karma/payback for the Mounties announcing an investigation mid-way through the last campaign - well, we'll see if it goes that far. That'll be up to the folks in the red tunics.

Jason Hickman said...

As a follow-up (I only saw it after my last post), maybe this helps. I'll leave that up to you.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Re the link interesting Jason, and very open to interpetation. I'm working on another post and am struggling to somehow summarize everything and make some sense, we can continue the debate over there.