Thursday, 8 March 2012

'Hello? Do You Have Frat Bois in a Can?'

One thing in what may be the new iteration of the In and Out fraud has been bugging me inordinately.

Why did so many RMG invoices -- of varying amounts -- end in '.01'?

Found the answer.
But more than half of the campaigns received the exact same bill from RMG. In total, 49 ridings across the country, all with varying numbers of electors, paid the call centre $15,000 (the 16 Quebec ridings included in the list were charged an extra penny).

I smell conservative frat boi humour of the sort that would find voter suppression school hilarious.
The conversation that followed was deeply disturbing to Fryer. In a question and answer session, attendees discussed voter suppression tactics. They talked about posing as a member of another party, and about making rude calls at inconvenient times as a strategy to get the supporter of another party to not go out and vote for their candidate. The instructors detailed different kinds of suppression calls, and how these tactics are borrowed from the U.S. Republican Party.

According to Fryer, "the mood of the meeting was that this is war and that anything goes."

Including charging Quebecers an extra penny.



Anonymous said...

From the linked Global article, '"RMG was contracted by the campaign to assist the campaign in our voter identification efforts and possibly our 'get-out-the-vote' efforts on election day. I don't remember the exact details," [the campaign manager] said.'

Of course. Who would remember why they paid somebody $15,000? Local campaigns just hand out ~18% of the maximum cash they're allowed to spend all the time!

That level of recollection sounds like it was something somebody else instructed him to pay for rather than the manager seeking out a service on his own. Maybe the instruction came from somewhere down in Ottawa.

Anonymous said...

I had simply assumed that the extra .01$ was used to identify an account or purpose for which the money was intended.

Anonymous said...

Could it be a silly reference to Bill 101?

Quebeckers are hated (no the word is not too strong) by many people. Just read the comments sections in newspapers websites.

I am sure they find it very funny to make Quebeckers pay for service they did not receive, to "even out the score" for the services we supposedly receive without paying for them (demonstrably untrue).

The Pierre Poutine/Separatist Street thingy is also an expression of that hatred.

I cannot prove it, but I am pretty sure that is the reason.

Alison said...

In and out again? It is interesting that there was no record of a payment to RMG from the Guelph campaign who did use them, and records of payments from Quebec ridings who didn't use them. How many other ridings used RMG and didn't pay them directly? Stinks like really old fish.

Beijing York said...

Sheesh, I thought it was only 18 riding campaigns that had invoices from RMG. Forty-nine seems far more like it in terms of what that type of firm would charge for a national campaign ($500k or more). I think I mentioned that RMG has scrubbed the GOTV web page that used to be featured under services.

RMG does campaign and general fundraising for the Conservatives and I imagine that contract/standing offer runs in the millions. I used to work as a copywriter who had such a contract for the LPC back in the day when non-profit fundraising was done by direct mail. RMG would have been a competitor for the charity fundraising $$$ (I think they have the Kidney Foundation and we had the Lung Association). The LPC was our biggest, most lucrative client. My best net donations letter for the Election Readiness Fund had me as Jean Chretien waxing poetically about what politics meant to his grandpere and the whole importance of bringing back integrity to Parliament.

Námo Mandos said...

Anon: I have pretty much zero doubt that that's what it is. Remember that Reform came into its adolescence in reaction to the perception that Quebec was constantly being catered to at their expense, and was ungraciously blocking the dream of a "Triple-E Senate."

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