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Monday, December 10, 2007

better uses for $105,000?

The Murray Smith patronage scandal continues as Ed Stelmach has shown his true fiscal conservative credentials.

After refusing to make the contract public, it has been revealed that as Tory Intergovernmental Affairs Minister, Ed Stelmach put his signature on the 2004 sweetheart contract that gave Murray Smith (the former Tory MLA for Calgary-Varsity) a $210,500 annual salary, his car, his Washington apartment and other benefits, and $105,000 after he quit his job as Alberta's Washington Ambassador five months early.

I wonder if Gary Mar is going to get the same deal.

Tax dollars at work, folks.

Also, Tory Finance Minister Lyle Oberg will be packing it in after the next election after apparent clash with Ed Stelmach's elusive 'leadership.' Good riddance?


Anonymous said...

Methinks your notes have more than a whiff of desperation lately. Scandal... hardly. Severance pay is not unknown in the private sector, even if it is a voluntary departure. More like cover for the absence of positive ALP news in the media... and the slooow nomination process. It seems as though even if the ALP stages so-called "nominations" so that there is no one to contest a candidate, that you still have problems getting people to run to be part of "Team Taft". According to another blogger, it would appear that a lot of ALP constituency presidents are doing double-duty as nominated candidates. I didn't think re-use/recycling lended itself well to politics. Maybe you will have more success with "Team McLellan".

The Smith employment deal was negotiated by Klein and his staff. Stelmach signed it, but could he really have done otherwise? Resign over a clause in an employment agreement for a diplomatic posting. Right... that would be worth about 15 seconds in the media, and then where would you be?

Re: Oberg. You might want to update your post. Unnamed "insiders" suggested that Oberg's departure reflects differences between him and the Premier [funny how these "insiders" are usually anonymous... what is the definition of insider anyway? Anyone who has been inside the Legislature?]. In Oberg's statement, he says nothing about clashes with Stelmach as a reason for going. And based on his past preferences for speaking his mind, if that was a major reason one would think he would not fail to mention it.

chuck said...

"constituency presidents are doing double-duty as nominated candidates"

Heather Klimchuk, Wendy Andrews...

Anonymous said...

It is the number and the lack of competition that I am drawing attention to. I just don't how a party can expect its candidates to be successful when they rarely have to compete for the nomination. At the very least it is an excellent practice ground.

chuck said...

It's a symptom of a larger problem. The majority of candidates running for all the parties have been uncontested and acclaimed. Though Stelmach and Taft are good people and decent leaders, neither of them are extremely charismatic, leaving a vacuum and the potential for some unexpected victories/loses in the next election. Nothing is sewn up.

Anonymous said...

I respect your comment, but I think it is a different thing to say:

"The majority of candidates running for all the parties have been uncontested and acclaimed", and to note that:

"with respect to the Alberta PCs, the great majority of unfilled seats have seen their nominations contested", if you define unfilled as a seat where the incumbent MLA is retiring, or where the incumbent is a non-PC.

I would like to be able to say something similar about the Alberta Liberals, but I haven't seen any information that would suggest even a significant minority of unfilled seats have been contested. Even if we look at proportions (to recognize the fact that the Alberta Liberals have to find more "new" candidates to run due to less incumbents) I don't think the ALP is anywhere near the AB PC's.

chuck said...

The AB PCs are the establishment party and have been in power for 36 years, of course the ALP isn't anywhere near them. I'd bet that half of the same people who run for the AB PCs would be running for the ALP or any other party that has been in power for the same amount of time. It's the advantage of being in government. That said, it should be noted that the ALP has fielded some impressive candidates in Calgary where they have been traditionally weak (Cathie Williams, Mike Robinson, Kent Hehr, Carole Oliver, Laura Shutiak).

Anonymous said...

Ed Stelmach is as ussless as Stephane Dion.