Take these allegations of campaign overspending in the 2008 election campaign that have dogged Del Mastro of late. Apparently it's totally not *his* fault. No, apparently his campaign manager *accidentally* approved paying $21,000 for services that were never supposedly contracted for or delivered. Happens all the time, I'm sure. You're paying your bills. Hydro, check. Cable, check. $21,000 for something I don't remember ordering, check...
A document filed in court and in his election expenses file indicates Del Mastro's campaign manager approved $21,000 in payments to Holinshed Research Group for 630 hours of election campaign phone calls, as well as get-out-the-vote services on the day Canadians went to the polls.
That cost wasn't included in the list of expenses Del Mastro provided to Elections Canada, which show he spent $90,987.52 or 98.29 per cent of his cap.
Del Mastro says that's because it was a quote, not an invoice, albeit one his campaign manager, John McNutt, signed off on and submitted payment in two instalments. The quote is dated Sept. 14, 2008, with McNutt's signature and a note about the payment dated the next day.
Oops. And then there's the allegations around donations made by employees of a Del Mastro cousin. After avoiding the press for days since the story broke, reporters finally caught-up with the Peterborough MP and asked him about the allegations. Unfortunately, despite being all over the news for days, the story was news to Dean.
Asked about the story on the way in to his party’s weekly caucus meeting Wednesday morning, Del Mastro told reporters, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Oops again. You know, you can't blame Dean for being in the dark. After all, he's been pretty busy not answering questions in the House of Commons, not attending committee meetings, entering Parliament through the back door, and not stepping aside as Stephen Harper's parliamentary secretary. You really have to fault his staff, again, for not bringing these stories to his attention. Maybe they could set up a Google News Alert under his name, so such embarrassing situations don't happen in the future. Or maybe turn on a TV. Or check Twitter. Perhaps the Library of Parliament could set up some kind of clipping service, and deliver it to MPs offices daily.
But don't blame Dean. It's so hard to find good help these days. Something the people of Peterborough are finding out as well... Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers