Thursday, June 28, 2012


The political storm surrounding Prime Minister Stephen Harper's  embattled parliamentary secretary MP Dean Del Mastro’s 2008 election campaign, is showing no signs of abating.

Del Mastro and the official agent on his 2008 campaign are currently under investigation for allegedly spending more than their legal limit. The investigation relates to $21,000 paid to Holinshed Research Group, a now-defunct voter-contact company, allegedly for 630 hours of voter-identification and get-out-the-vote calls during the 2008 campaign.

Frank Hall, president of Holinshed, complained to Elections Canada that Del Mastro's election return didn't reflect the work he had done . Hall was paid $21,000 — $20,000 plus GST — via a personal cheque from Del Mastro.

Hall allegedly had a falling out in 2009 with Del Mastro, and filed a suit in small claims court.

It appears that Del Mastro has lots more explaining to do about an alleged  in-out scheme in his own riding of Peterborough

The former point man for the Conservatives on the Robocall scandal appears to be in political quicksand. Is it a question of ethics? or a breach of the Elections Act? ,  which makes it an offense to conceal the real source of donations to an election campaign.

Two donors to his 2008 campaign have provided copies of cheques that they claim are proof of reimbursements paid to them by a company owned by Del Mastro's cousin. They also submitted copies of their donations to the  Del Mastro’s electoral district association. The personal cheques were issued two days after the pair received money from Del Mastro’s cousins business.

Holinshed has a Newfoundland connection.

The Ottawa-based research and polling company, whose operational status is unknown,  did work for at least 10 federal Conservative candidates in the 2008 election, and has worked for Ontario Progressive Conservatives as well. Frank Hall and his brother Colin Hall were the principals

Frank ran as the former Conservative Alliance candidate in St. John’s West in 2000.

Avalon Liberal MP,  Scott Andrews has been leading the charge in the House of Commons. He has demanded that Del Mastro step down as parliamentary secretary to the prime minister.

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