Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro blames reporters for election spending controversy
Dean Del Mastro is blaming the media for the controversy that has arisen from the fact the Conservative MP for Peterborough is the subject of a reported Elections Canada investigation.
Dean Del Mastro is blaming the media for the controversy that has arisen from the Conservative MP for Peterborough being the subject of a reported Elections Canada investigation.
On June 6, Postmedia’s Stephen Maher and Glen McGregor – the two reporters responsible for breaking the Robocalls scandal that resonated across the country this spring – reported that Del Mastro was under investigation by Elections Canada for “alleged election-law violations related to voter-contact calls made by his campaign in 2008.”
When contacted by the reporters at that time, Del Mastro claimed to have no idea what they were talking about and that it was the first he had heard of an Electons Canada investigation.
He made an unscheduled appearance on CBC’s Power & Politics that night to address the allegations. Though he answered few of host Evan Soloman’s questions pertaining to a $21,000 cheque to consulting firm Holinshed that is at the heart of the issue, he said he wanted to defend himself.
"The reason why I'm here is things like this eat you up inside," he said on the show. "I've got a family back in Peterborough. I've got a lot of friends there. I've got a family in business. And it has my name on the sign."[node:ad]
Now, nearly a month after the story broke, there are still no answers as to what that cheque to Holinshed paid for. The payment was never recorded in Del Mastro’s campaign-expense disclosures or the annual report for the Conservative electoral district according to MacGregor and Maher.
According to the Peterborough Examiner, Del Mastro maintains that his campaign filings were in order and told reporters in Peterborough yesterday that the media was to blame for the controversy. The Examiner reports that Del Mastro said “the fuss stems from ‘two reporters’ and the media has made more out of it than it’s worth.”
This narrative was picked up by Postmedia as well. “I know there are a couple of reporters that seem to have a heads-up over everyone else, including everything that goes on at Elections Canada. Why don’t you talk to them?” McGregor reported Del Mastro as saying in reference to Elections Canada leaking inside information to journalists. (The reporters Del Mastro speaks of are apparently McGregor and Maher.)
For more on this story, the allegations and the Del Mastro’s response, check out McGregor’s article today in The Ottawa Citizen.