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Sunday, September 19, 2010

What do Smitherman, Rossi and Thompson not want you to know about their donors?

Since the forced amalgamation of Toronto by Mike Harris' government, the major mayoral candidates have all released their donor's lists prior to the election.

They are not legally required to do so; they have until 5 months after the election, but transparency has traditionally been an issue about which a responsible candidate would be conscious.

Rob Ford and Joe Pantalone are going to comply with tradition and release their donors list prior to the October 25 election.

George Smitherman, Rocco Rossi, and Sarah Thompson, the big-business and political establishment candidates, are not.

It's no surprise they don't want these lists made public. Then the electorate would see who has a vested interest in these candidates, and they might not like it.

Rob Ford is the only mayoral candidate with a history of standing up to developers to serve his constituents' interests.

But one thing I'll say for the non-disclosure trio; they've come up with some funny excuses:

Thompson's is the least plausible. According to the Globe and Mail:
Ms. Thomson said voluntary disclosure would be tantamount to using her donors to “promote myself.”  “I think people should be voting on policy and whether they think the candidate can do the job,” she said. “It’s not about who’s most popular.”

Rossi's is pretty dodgy.

Bernie Morton, the veteran Conservative operative who took over Mr. Rossi’s campaign in August, said it wouldn’t be fair to donors to release their names without having warned them before they contributed.

“Honesty, openness and integrity would have [required] me to say to people originally, ‘when you donate to this campaign, your name will be released by the campaign to the media as a donor,’” he said. “In the absence of giving full disclosure about that from the onset, you can’t do it. I wouldn’t do that now.”
I'd have a few things to say about that dubious excuse, but Kelly Grant in the Globe covered it well with:

Mr. Rossi would have been well aware of the issue before he registered in January and started raking in donations – he was campaign manager for Mr. Tory in 2003, when the former Rogers chief executive released a roster of 2,265 individual contributors and 462 corporate donors one week before the election.

And Smitherman? 

"We are going to comply with the law on disclosing our donors,” Erika Mozes said in an e-mail. “I know some of the other candidates may have told you that they are going to release donors and make a big deal of it ... at this time this is all I have to say on it.”

In other words, a long-winded "no comment"

1 comment:

Blazingcatfur said...

You know this says everything we need to know about our craven political class, well this and the fact that faux conservatives have signed on to both Rossi's and Smitherman's campaign. Worthless careerists at best.