Friday, February 01, 2008

What do deputy press secretaries do?

Having never been one, I can’t really say for sure. If I had to guess, I’d say being a deputy press secretary would probably involve talking to the media, responding to media requests, maybe doing the odd briefing, helping craft the government’s communications strategy, monitoring coverage, stuff like that.

Apparently, though, I have it all wrong:

The Globe and Mail and Radio-Canada revealed this week that the PMO's deputy press secretary, Dimitri Soudas, intervened in 2006 in a long-standing legal dispute between real estate firm Rosdev Group and the government.

Mr. Soudas raised the possibility of dropping the litigation and going to mediation with the Rosdev Group during a meeting with senior officials at Public Works. Mr. Soudas was echoing a call from his friend and Conservative fundraiser Leo Housakos, who had made the same proposition to Public Works a few months earlier.

In addition, it was revealed that Mr. Soudas and Mr. Housakos attended an informal meeting last year with officials from a military company that was interested in selling hardware to National Defence.

Intervening in legal disputes, arranging meetings between developers and bureaucrats with party fundraisers, is this really the job of a deputy press secretary?
During Question Period, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that Mr. Soudas simply "did his job."
And here I thought his job had something to do with communicating with the press. My bad. But given this government’s relationship with the media, it really does explain a lot, doesn't it?

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