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Bugs





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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 11:20 am    Post subject: New report alleges foreigners influenced 2015 election Reply with quote

Quote:
New report alleges outside influence in Canada's 2015 federal election
Licia Corbella, Calgary HeraldLICIA CORBELLA, CALGARY HERALD

Foreign money funnelled towards Canadian political advocacy groups affected the outcome of the 2015 federal election, according to a document filed last week with Elections Canada and obtained in part by the Herald.

The 36-page report entitled: Elections Canada Complaint Regarding Foreign Influence in the 2015 Canadian Election, alleges third parties worked with each other, which may have bypassed election spending limits — all of which appears to be in contravention of the Canada Elections Act.

The Canada Elections Act states that “a third party shall not circumvent, or attempt to circumvent, a limit set out . . . in any manner, including by splitting itself into two or more third parties for the purpose of circumventing the limit or acting in collusion with another third party so that their combined election advertising expenses exceed the limit.”

“Electoral outcomes were influenced,” alleges the report.

The Canada Elections Act also states: “No person who does not reside in Canada shall, during an election period, in any way induce electors to vote or refrain from voting or vote or refrain from voting for a particular candidate” unless the person is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.

“Yet the outcome of the 2015 election was skewed by money from wealthy foreigners,” alleges the complaint, submitted by Canada Decides, a registered society with three listed directors — including Joan Crockatt, a former Conservative MP for Calgary Centre, who lost her seat to Liberal Kent Hehr, now the MP for the once long-held Tory riding and the Minister of Veterans Affairs. The other two directors include Chad Hallman, a University of Toronto political science student.

The number of third parties registered during the 2015 general election more than doubled, to 114 compared with 55, in the 2011 election.

In total, the 114 third parties spent $6 million and many of those third parties were funded by California-and New York-based Tides Foundation — which is known in Canada for holding numerous anti-Canadian oil campaigns.

In 2015, Tides Foundation donated $1.5 million of U.S. money to Canadian third parties in the election year, according to the report.

Crockatt’s seat was one of the 29 targeted by an organization called Leadnow through its “largest ever campaign” called Vote Together. The complaint by Canada Decides alleges that foreign money “spawned” Leadnow and helped fund an elaborate campaign to oust the ruling Conservative Party.

Mount Royal University political science professor Duane Bratt says Canadians should be concerned about any kind of foreign involvement in our elections.

“The whole concept and idea of foreign influence in an election is an important issue and is something that Canadians should not tolerate,” Bratt said Monday.

Tides Foundation and Leadnow representatives did not return repeated phone calls and emails from the Herald to respond to concerns raised by Canada Decides.

A December 2015 Leadnow report, Defeating Harper, discusses how effective its campaign was in the 2015 general election. “The Conservatives were defeated in 25 out of 29 ridings, and . . . in the seats the Conservatives lost, our recommended candidate was the winner 96 per cent of the time.”

Leadnow’s Defeat Harper report also states: “We selected target ridings with field teams run by paid Leadnow organizers . . .”

Crockatt lost her Calgary Centre seat by 750 votes. Conservative MP Lawrence Toet lost his Manitoba seat of Elmwood-Transcona to the NDP’s Daniel Blaikie by just 61 votes. Former Conservative Finance Minister Joe Oliver lost his seat to Liberal Marco Mendicino with a margin of 5,800 votes. Only six per cent of voters in that riding voted for the NDP candidate, who complained of Leadnow’s tactics on Twitter.

Leadnow staff members flew around the country on numerous occasions, as Facebook postings and photographs show, to distribute flyers and put up signs. Also, 57 local polls were commissioned across 37 ridings urging citizens to strategically vote for the most winnable, left-of-centre candidate in order to defeat the Conservative candidate.

There is an $8,788 spending limit per riding for the election. NDP candidates and even CUPE complained about Leadnow’s activities being anti-democratic.

“This is not a partisan issue or a case of sour grapes by Conservatives,” insists Hallman, 20.

“This is a Canadian issue. This affects all Canadians whether you’re an NDP, Green, Liberal or Conservative. You should be very concerned about foreign money being spent in Canada during an election campaign.”

Crockatt, who prior to becoming a Member of Parliament was a journalist, including a stint as an editor with the Calgary Herald, said researchers from Fredericton to Nanaimo worked for 18 months gathering information on this issue.

“Foreign money meddled in a big way in our election and that’s not right,” she added. “Americans are rightly concerned about Russia hacking into U.S. government emails. Well, this appears to be much worse — foreign money, in many cases by very wealthy people — was donated and arguably changed the outcome of our Canadian election. It needs to be taken seriously and investigated.”

In the 2015 annual report of the California-based Online Progressive Engagement Network (OPEN) where Ben Brandzel, one of Leadnow’s founders, currently works, he said: “We ended the year with . . . a Canadian campaign that moved the needle during the national election, contributing greatly to the ousting of the conservative Harper government.”

Just how greatly these foreign organizations and money contributed to interfering in the Canadian election needs to be investigated by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, states Canada Decides.

“The threat to Canadian election sovereignty is real and must be eliminated by the Commissioner as quickly and decisively as possible,” adds the report.

It appears as though Yves Cote, commissioner of Elections Canada, is considering doing just that.

Cote admitted during an April 13 Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee that an investigation needs to be launched following questions by Conservative Senators Linda Frum and Bob Runciman.

“Issues of significance have been raised . . .” said Cote, during the senate committee hearing, “which in my view deserves Parliament taking the time to looking at the situation, trying to understand what has happened, what is likely to happen and then taking measures . . . to make sure there is compliance.”

Cote added that “the Supreme Court of Canada said the objective of maintaining a level playing field is, for them, a very important objective.”

Senator Frum is planning to introduce a private member’s bill updating the Canada Elections Act to prohibit third parties from accepting foreign funding for domestic political activity.

Canadians can only donate $1,550 to political parties and candidates. Union and corporate donations have been banned completely, and yet in the Senate hearing, Commissioner Cote said that as long as foreign money is donated to a third party six months prior to the election writ being dropped, the amount that can be donated is endless.

Frum made the following observation during the April 13 senate hearing: “I could take a cheque for $10 million from Saudi Arabia, from Iran, from China — I could take any amount of money from a foreign contributor so long as I, a Canadian citizen, am receiving it?”

Cote said as long as funds are received six months before an election “the third party is free to use that money.”

“Most Canadians would be very alarmed by this,” added Frum. “This happened in the 2015 election.”
http://calgaryherald.com/news/.....l-election
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conservative MP wants investigation of 'foreign influence' in 2015 election

Michael Cooper wants Commissioner of Canada elections to investigate eight groups that received foreign money


BJ Siekierski

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017




Conservative MP Michael Cooper is calling on the commissioner of Canada Elections to investigate eight groups that were active in the 2015 federal election campaign while receiving nearly $700,000 from the U.S.-based Tides Foundation.

“The Canada Elections Act expressly prohibits foreign influence and money in Canadian elections. The third parties were registered to participate in the 2015 election and incurred election advertising expenses to influence voters,” Cooper said in a Tuesday afternoon media release.

The release came with an attached letter of complaint to Elections Canada that he wanted passed on to the commissioner.

“The fact that eight third parties that...


http://ipolitics.ca/2017/05/23.....-election/
Bugs





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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do we know about the Tides Foundation?

Quote:
Tides is a donor-advised fund that directs money to politically liberal causes.[5] Founded in 1976 in San Francisco, Tides provides money to organizations working to advance progressive policy in the areas of the environment, health care, labor issues, immigrant rights, gay rights, women's rights and human rights.[1][5] Tides oversees the Tides Center, which serves as an incubator for fledgling progressive organizations.

[....]

In 2011, Tides received about $90 million in funding, and awarded about $96 million to various individuals and organizations.[10]

Tides has received at least $3.5 million from financier and political activist George Soros.[11]

From 2003 to 2012, Tides gave around $4.4 million to media advocacy organization Media Matters for America.[12] It has stated that it supports the Occupy Wall Street movement. The CEO of Tides, Melissa L. Bradley, stated in a blog post on October 2011 that the movement "represents the best of American ideals and ingenuity."[13]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tides_(organization)


Soros is a bogey man to the American right. He contributes, and in some cases funds, groups like Black Lives Matter, or major publisher of fake news, Buzzfeed.

This is the hard left, in 21st century form.
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think its clear there was significant outside influence during the 2015 election , there was an unheard of amount of 3rd party groups all of which seemed to be anti conservative . all seemingly fixated of beating Harper for whatever reasons they had .


I don't think there is much doubt these groups didn't get all there funding from Canadian donors and some of it clearly came from wealthy liberals from other places , Soros is a clear example of that
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do we know who the recipients were? Why not? As I understand it, what they did was perfectly legal if it happened before the official campaign started, and did not go to political parties themselves. It is described as a 'loophole'. So, why don't we know who got the money?

The Tides Foundation provides some funding for Media Matters, which is the outfit that is right now leading an attack on Hannity by going after his advertisers. Hannity was a big Trump supporter from early on in the campaign and made no secret of it. Media Matters is felt to be Soros-funded. This will link you to a list of 'progressive' and Moslem groups he gives money to. He's the right's equivalent to the Koch Brothers.

This is a list of the organizations that he supports with significant donations. http://www.discoverthenetworks.....sp?id=1237

Soros gives 100's of $millions away annually to progressive groups, often helping found them. It gives him influence across a web of such organizations in the Democratic party. In part, one of the things he does is put organizational wheels under groups like Black Lives Matter, giving them a professionalism behind their 'volunteer-run, donation-dependent' public faces. And they are connected. Soros can play the puppet-master as a result. In fact, one of the things these groups do is provide 'astroturf' crowds, or picket lines, at certain Republican events.

Is Soros simply the new embodiment of evil, or a saviour, giving back to mankind? You decide!
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember how insane the media went over "Harper-Pac"?
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is laughable -- from Vice, which used to be a practical, on-the-ground issuer of videos, reflecting a young perspective. Now it's branch of HBO, the cable company, who find the image useful for a new package of 'news'. Kind of like the Huffington Post with pictures.

Quote:
No, Foreign Interference Did Not Swing the 2015 Election for Trudeau
DREW BROWN
May 24 2017, 1:04pm

Having your electoral process subverted by a shifty foreign power is a hot political trend around the world, but Canada has felt left out. But not anymore. A "bombshell" report submitted to Elections Canada alleges that buckets of unaccountable foreign cash were funneled into Canada through third party organizations like the Tides Foundation and Leadnow, who in turn tipped the results of the 2015 federal election in favour of the Justin Trudeau Liberals.

Huge if true, as we say in the biz. But it's probably not. Here's why.

Unsurprisingly, Canada Decides—the group behind the "bombshell" report—is run by three people with significant connections to the Tories: former Conservative MP Joan Crockatt, who narrowly lost her seat in 2015 to Liberal Kent Hehr; Brent Chapman, the husband of former Conservative MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay; and Chad Hallman, a 20 year-old political science undergraduate and conservative campus activist at the University of Toronto.

Allegations of foreign money influencing Canadian politics goes back quite a way in Conservative circles. In 2012, then-Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver warned that radical environmentalists, funded by foreign special interest groups, were seeking to undermine Canada's petroleum sector. (Environmentalist charities and advocacy groups who opposed the Conservative government were later disproportionately targeted for auditing by the Canada Revenue Agency, a practice that the Liberal government has since rolled back.)

Claims about foreign financing in the 2015 election in particular were first floated by right-wing activist Ezra Levant during the campaign, and by other Rebel commentators in the immediate aftermath. The story also occasionally resurfaced in other right-leaning outlets. The specific claims here, echoed by the Canada Decides report, is that rich liberal activists in the United States, including Illuminati puppet-master (((George Soros))), supplied anti-Conservative organizations as a way of circumventing laws limiting or prohibiting direct political donations. [....]
https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/no-foreign-interference-did-not-swing-the-2015-election-for-trudeau


In other words, the facts don't arouse the least bit of curiosity, it's enough that the report was done by 'Conservatives' to dismiss it ... how much stupider than that can it get?
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Editorial

Globe editorial: Close the loophole for foreign money in Canadian elections


19 hours ago

May 24, 2017

3 min read• Send to myself



The United States is in a high clamour over alleged foreign tampering in its election last November. Here in Canada, a small but important foreign-influence debate is just getting going.

Joan Crockatt, a former Conservative MP, has alleged in a complaint to Elections Canada that "the outcome of the 2015 election was skewed by money from wealthy foreigners" donated to a third-party group called Leadnow.

Ms. Crockatt was one of 25 Tory MPs who lost their seats in ridings targeted by Leadnow's strategic-voting campaign. Others are also speaking up about foreign donations to registered third-party groups. They may have a point.


Conservative MP Michael Cooper, the party's deputy justice critic, has sent a letter to Yves Côté, the commissioner of Canada Elections, asking him to investigate eight groups that were registered as third-party organizations in the 2015 election, and which received a total of $693,023 from an American organization called the Tides Foundation during the election year.

Mr. Cooper points out that federal law prohibits third-party groups from spending foreign donations on election advertising.



Jean-Pierre Kingsley, who served as chief electoral officer for 17 years until 2007, weighed in on Wednesday when he said that loopholes in the Canada Elections Act allowing third-party groups to accept foreign donations are a real problem.

"This back door whereby foreign money came into Canada must be shut," he said.

And Mr. Côté is on the record as being concerned about a law that allows third-party groups to legally accept unlimited donations from foreign sources, as long as the money is donated outside of the six-month period before an election writ is dropped, and is not spent on election advertising.

Did groups that received foreign donations use that money on advertising during the 2015 election? Such a claim would be almost impossible to prove.

Take Leadnow. A left-wing group, it wanted to see former prime minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives defeated. To further that goal, it spent a fortune on polls to identify ridings where the combined Liberal and NDP votes were enough to unseat the Tory incumbents. It then told like-minded voters in those ridings how to cast their ballot in order to unseat their Tory MP.


Leadnow says that 17 per cent of its funding comes from foreign donors, but it says the other 83 per cent comes from Canadians. Figuring out which dollars Leadnow – or groups like the Council of Canadians and Greenpeace Canada that got grants from the Tides Foundation – spent on election advertising is an unsolvable puzzle.

Besides, most of Leadnow's 2015 campaign isn't considered "election advertising" under the Canada Elections Act. The act says that advertising does not include polling, or calling electors, or canvassing door-to-door, or sending an e-mail to someone who has donated to your group or is a member of your organization. Leadnow and other third-parties were legally allowed to spend as much as they wanted – so long as they spent it on something other than advertising.

This is the same part of the law that exempts a newspaper's coverage from being considered "election advertising." It also protects unions that recommend candidates to their members, and individuals posting their political opinions on Facebook.

Democracies want people to be able to say what they think, and to organize to do so. So if like-minded people band together and use polling, digital technology and door knocking to promote a party, or to promote the defeat of a party, there are strong reasons against limiting them. Way back when Mr. Harper was running the National Citizens Coalition, he argued as much.

But at the same time, there is something problematic about an elections law that lets third parties accept unlimited cash from corporate and union donors, and even foreign donors, as long as the money doesn't arrive in the six months before the writ is dropped, and isn't spent on election advertising. Canada has strengthened political party fundraising and spending rules, but the barn door is wide open when it comes to third parties.

And in at least one province – Ontario – the governing party for years used the loophole of non-existent third-party rules to get around restrictions on party fundraising and spending. The danger is of this spreading to federal politics.

To prevent it, Parliament should consider extending the current election spending limits on third parties to all campaign expenses, not just advertising. It should also consider limits, or a ban, on foreign donations to groups that want to be registered as third parties during elections.

Both these actions would help close off a potential back channel for foreign influence on Canadian elections. The trick is how to do that without unduly limiting the rights of Canadians.

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/globe-editorial-close-the-loophole-for-foreign-money-in-canadian-elections/article35107782
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:

Quote:
The story also occasionally resurfaced in other right-leaning outlets. The specific claims here, echoed by the Canada Decides report, is that rich liberal activists in the United States, including Illuminati puppet-master (((George Soros))), supplied anti-Conservative organizations as a way of circumventing laws limiting or prohibiting direct political donations. [....]
https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/no-foreign-interference-did-not-swing-the-2015-election-for-trudeau



Its interesting a outlet like Vice is thumbing their nose at the legitimacy of other news sources, ultimately where it was reported is moot if there is actually some truth to it.

We have spent the better part of the last six months completely ignoring any reason for a Clinton loss that doesn't have to do with the Soviets;

Evil Foreigners have stolen democracy away and the Democrats losing have nothing to do with things like this released just before the election:

http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/2.....-premiums/

Or even tossing aside the fact that the emails were from campaign and the things in them which were damning where actually said.

Yet when something similar occurs on the other end of the spectrum, the condescension from the same outlets who have been screaming about "hacked polling stations" and evil Soviets is staggering.


Last edited by cosmostein on Fri May 26, 2017 10:32 am; edited 1 time in total
Bugs





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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find it especially disturbing because in a bizarre way that they are insisting on their version of events. It's as if they can change 'reality' by flexing as much social muscle as is required. The New York Times and the Washington Post have blacked out news about the Seth Rich case, which if true, throws the Russian collusion angle into the waste bin. But the Democrats have so much invested in that other 'narrative' that they can't give it up. It's much easier to deny reality.

Nobody wants to be 'first' to puncture the bubble. The Democrats should be going back to the drawing board. But what choice do they have? How do the Democrats escape the Clinton-Obama grip? And all the monkey business this implies?

The truth is that they lost control of so many of the state legislatures and state governorships over the last eight years that they no longer have much talent coming up. I don't follow this closely enough to know, but it seems like there's no new messiah, no alternative leadership that's very attractive. So they are stuck with the existing leadership.

It isn't easy to find the kind of people who would be representatives of their community, and are willing to do it. And then train them. It takes a 'farm system' in the state houses to produce cadres of future leaders -- which is what you need, a pool of qualified people from which to choose.

The Democrats now control only a scattering of state houses right now, maybe a dozen, and that number has been in serious decline for the past eight years. Look at the talent on the ground, after Elizabeth Warren, who? Cory What's-his-name? Not many names come to mind. The reason that a 70-something old Jewish socialist is such a fetish among the Democrats is precisely because their 'bench is so thin. Bernie looks like a giant because his rivals in the party are midgets. (He has all the heart in the world.)

The Democrats have to get rid of their present leadership.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:

The truth is that they lost control of so many of the state legislatures and state governorships over the last eight years that they no longer have much talent coming up. I don't follow this closely enough to know, but it seems like there's no new messiah, no alternative leadership that's very attractive. So they are stuck with the existing leadership


There is certainly time for the Democrats to develop the next leader of the party,
But the point you raise is still apt.

Of the folks "making the rounds" early you have a 74 year old Joe Biden, 79 year old Jerry Brown, 64 year old Lincoln Chafee, 65 year old John Hickenlooper, and the spring chicken of the bunch a 54 year old Martin O'Malley.

Then of course you always have 75 year old Bernie Sanders and 69 year old Hillary Clinton as options in the background.

If the Democrats want a younger option, than folks like Kamala Harris, John Bel Edwards, Julian Castro, maybe O'Malley, etc need to start raising their profiles now.

It will be telling next year when safe democrat seats are vacated to make room for potential candidates who will want to be referred to as "Senator" during Primary debates leading up to 2020.

Bugs wrote:

The Democrats have to get rid of their present leadership.


I think the Democrats will ride with the current "resist" approach till the midterms.

If the don't win the house and they end up losing Senate seats despite all the efforts they have made to paint themselves to the true alternative to the President I would imagine the direction will change quickly and swiftly.
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New report alleges foreigners influenced 2015 election

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