Mike Duffy: Senate Ninja
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net (digitalart)
I'm not an expert but I do know a thing or two about political fundraising.
Back in the 80s, after my journalism career imploded, I took a job as a writer at 102 Bank Street, the rickety old office space rented by the Liberal Party of Canada.
My job was to sell the Trudeau government to the Liberal masses through a tabloid magazine and direct mail fundraising letters.
The best part for me, because I wasn't really political, was answering the mail from what the Party called its "militants", the people who forked over money to keep the Party operating. This was near the end of the Trudeau era and Pierre had pissed off a lot of people including many of the Party's own supporters.
So most of the mail came from people who were pretty mad.
It always amazed me how much time people spent crafting these letters. I guess they actually thought that Pierre read all his fan mail.
One day, I opened up a letter and there was a black and white photo in it of a man's naked body, waist down, and he was jacking off.
"Here's my contribution," was all he wrote.
Another letter came into the Party shortly after Pierre had given the bird to the people of Salmon Arm. It was written in beautiful calligraphy.
"I'd like to thank the Prime Minister for his letter asking for money to support the Party," the author wrote.
When I opened it up, a middle finger popped up.
God, that was great. I felt like a Third Grader with her first pop-up book.
Over my years at the Party, then in PMO correspondence during Turner's short tenure, I was privy to the thoughts of many Canadians about bum patting and political patronage. The most angry of letters came into the PMO about Trudeau's decision to pad the Senate with his cronies after he took his walk in one particularly fine Canadian blizzard. Canadians, and particularly Liberals, hated the Senate in 1984, the year when John Turner admitted he "had no option".
They were so mad that the Liberal Party was left with only enough MPs to fill a corner table in the West Block cafeteria.
Canadians get grumpy about freeloaders who spend their money on limos, condos and big steaks at Hy's.
I can just imagine the letters and emails coming into the Prime Minister's Office and the Conservative Party now that that crafty little nugget Mike Duffy has revealed, or at least intimated that the Conservative "base" paid for his legal expenses after his deal with the Devil blew up.
I'm sure at least some of the mail involved a giant Puffster stomping on the buildings on Parliament Hill. That one I'd like to see.
What ever the mail, it won't be good.
Though it certainly can't beat the time the Tories were FedExed a bodypart.
You have to hand it to Luca Magnotta, that was pretty original.
If Stephen Harper was worried about the impact Mike Duffy had on his fundraising before, I'm sure he's apoplectic now.
The Puffster has just invented a new game.
It's called Tory base jumping and he's taking the PM with him on the ride.