Alberta Liberals Alberta NDP Alberta Tories Campaign Finance Ed Stelmach

flap flap flap.

The adventures of Honest Ed continue…

EDMONTON — Premier Ed Stelmach admitted Monday that “overzealous” organizers for his Conservative leadership bid wrongly solicited a $10,000 cheque from a municipal garbage agency, money his campaign returned after he won the race.

The premier said the donation last summer from Beaver Regional Waste Management Service’s Commission was legal but clearly unethical, though the Tofield-area body’s records show the cheque was only returned a day before Stelmach’s campaign had officially cleared its debt in February.

It’s the second time Stelmach has blamed his campaigners for questionable practices, months after public outcry forced him to cancel a $5,000-a-ticket fundraising reception billed as a chance to have a private audience with Alberta’s top politician.

Liberal Leader Kevin Taft, who made public the $10,000 donation in the legislature Monday, accused Stelmach of developing a “conscience of convenience” once the leader had a campaign surplus and knew his finances faced more public scrutiny.

“It was only after they began to feel they would be watched that they developed a conscience and refunded the money,” Taft told reporters.

And yet some people will tell me that donations to leadership races have no business being public.

I’m of the belief that there should be much more accoutability through involvement by Elections Alberta in internal party financial and fundraising rules similar to those of Elections Canada.

Can you imagine an Alberta where an end would be put to massive secret and loophole backdoor out-of-province political donations?


UPDATE: Calgary Grit’s take on Stelmach’s ““The donation might have been legal, it certainly was not ethical.” comment.

Alberta Liberals Alberta NDP Alberta Tories Campaign Finance

for the love of…

For those of you interested in this sort of thing, here’s a breakdown of the financial statements of the Alberta PC‘s, Alberta Liberals, and Alberta NDP from 2006.

The individual contribution data isn’t yet available on the Elections Alberta Electoral Finance, but hopefully it will be up soon.

Though the individual contribution breakdown will give us a better idea of where the contributions are coming from, looking at the raw numbers shines a light on some interesting trends.

First, the Tories were still dominant in the money section. This is no surprise. The Alberta PC’s form the current government and have a well established fundraising base in corporate Alberta. Being the last year of the Ralph Klein dynasty, 2006 was an exiciting year for the Alberta PC’s with the attention and funds garnered from their leadership race, this is what I’m assuming a large part of the 1374% increase in “other sources” is about (membership sales, leadership candidate deposits, and the aparatus of this activity).

Second, Kevin Taft’s Alberta Liberals raised over a million dollars last year. This is quite significant since I believe the last time the Alberta Liberals raised over a million was in 1993 (twelve years of inflation aside, it is still nearly 20% higher than their 2005 fundraising numbers, which is a significant sign of growth). The Alberta Liberals have also made a significant dent in their debt (a leftover from their disaterous 2001 election campaign) and have suceeded paying off over $350,000 in just two years.

Third, though the Alberta NDP were only able to raise half of what the Alberta Liberals raised, the NDP continue to attract more contributions from less than $375 crowd than both the Alberta Liberals and Tories. I see this as significant for a number of reasons. Most significantly, when the Federal Liberals introduced Campaign Finance reform before Prime Minister Chretien retired, the Conservatives benifited greatly from having a broadly developed base of supporters who contributed smaller amounts of donations in larger amounts. That said, I’m not convinced that Alberta will see any significant campaign finance reforms before the next election (the numbers also show the NDP running a deficit and an increasing debt).

The Alberta Alliance failed to submit their financial contribution data by the deadline. Does this mean they will be deregistered? I’ll have to find my copy of the Alberta Elections Act and read up…

2006 Alberta PC Leadership Race Alberta Tories Campaign Finance Jim Dinning

jim who?

Oh yeah, that guy…

Defeated former Tory Dauphin-child Jim Dinning released a list of the names of individuals and corporations who contributed to his failed Alberta PC leadership bid in Fall 2006.

Though it’s only a partial list that doesn’t specify individual contribution amounts, it’s a huge list that totals over $1.7 million in donations to Team Dinning.

Bill Aberhart Campaign Finance Ed Stelmach

ed’s back to the bible hour?

Not that I have a problem with men of faith, but I couldn’t help but think of Social Credit Premiers “Bible” Bill Aberhart and Ernest Manning’s Back to the Bible Radio Hour when I read about this.

Also, what happened to all those $5,000 donations? Yes, those donations.

Alberta Politics Campaign Finance Elections Alberta

the money of politics in alberta.

Elections Alberta has quietly launched the new online electoral finance website.

Though the website only contains political financial contribution records dating back to 2004, it is quite an interesting read and it will save you from having to go down to the Elections Alberta office and sort through the paper copies…

Campaign Finance Ed Stelmach

stelmach backs off exclusive fundraiser.

That was fast.

Within a matter of hours, Premier Ed Stelmach‘s PC Party both announced and cancelled an exclusive $5,000 a ticket fundraiser that would have allowed those with deep pockets to buy exclusive access to Stelmach and his top Ministers. This obviously clashes with Stelmach’s finely-tuned image as a down-to-earth farmer from the Village of Andrew. Something makes me think that Stelmach’s constituents in Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville would be less than impressed with the idea of an $5,000 exclusive fundraiser…

The morning began with:

For $5,000, Albertans can have exclusive chat with Stelmach
Jason Fekete, CanWest News Service; Calgary Herald
Published: Thursday, January 11, 2007

CALGARY – Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach and two top ministers came under fire Wednesday after revelations that fundraising soirees will be held next week in Calgary and Edmonton allowing Albertans to buy ”exclusive” access to them for a minimum $5,000.

Even Alberta’s ethics commissioner said he’s ”not so sure it’s a good thing to do,” but conceded there’s little that can be done under current legislation.

In an effort to pay off leadership campaign debts, organizers for Stelmach, provincial Health Minister Dave Hancock, provincial Finance Minister Lyle Oberg and former MLA Mark Norris – all of whom sought to succeed former premier Ralph Klein – are holding a $500-a-ticket reception in Calgary on Jan. 18.

However, there’s an opportunity to attend ”a smaller, more exclusive event” with Stelmach and ministers prior to the reception ”for a minimum donation of $5,000,” notes the invitation to shindig.

Cheques are payable to ”True Blue,” which appears to be an entity formed to raise money for the four politicians, who teamed up on the second ballot of the Progressive Conservative leadership election to topple favourites Jim Dinning and Ted Morton. No tax receipts will be issued on the tickets.

and this afternoon ended with:

STELMACH CANCELS $5000 Receptions
EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach has cancelled two receptions where people were offered exclusive access to the new premier and his ministers for a minimum $5,000 donation to help erase Tory leadership campaign debts.

The premier held a news conference to say he was on holidays last week in Mexico and wasn’t fully aware of the details of the fundraising events planned for next week in Edmonton and Calgary.