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 Stelmachand this afternoon ended with:
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.
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.