"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Royal Newfoundland Constabutory (III)

A strange, belated, and — for the amount of real estate it took up — rather thin analysis of recent provincial party financing figures appeared in the Telegram on Saturday under Steve Bartlett's byline.

Bondpapers summarizes many of the real stories that Bartlett missed.

Among other weaknesses in the article is the face value at which he redeems the Royal Newfoundland Constabulatory's excuses for contributing to any party — let alone the incredible favouritism shown towards the blue team:
Aiding the political process was a familiar refrain among donors questioned, including some of the other contributors that piqued our attention, like the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Association. It gave $2,000 to the PCs.

"The RNC Association supports the political process," president Tim Buckle said.

"Fundraising by political parties is an aspect of politics, and we have supported both (the Tories and the Liberals)."

Buckle explained the association's most common type of donation is sponsoring a team in a party's golf tournament, but he noted the organization also backs the campaigns of current or former RNC officers, like Topsail MHA Paul Davis.
This paints a picture of an even-handed organization participant in the party financing progress.

A false picture.

Even assuming, for argument's sake, that it is proper for the RNC Association to be donating at all — and that may not be a safe assumption, in light of the regulations — the RNC have very clearly favoured the Tories since their first reportable contribution shows up on the books in 1999. The RNC has, up to 2010, made $16,450 in reportable contributions to the PC Party or PC candidates, and only $700 to the Liberals, in two contributions in 1999 and 2007.

Here is the abstract of all the RNC's high-minded political donations, taken directly from Elections Newfoundland and Labrador's own reports (which date back to 1996). The table is colour-coded by party affliation. Each donation is also classed according to whether it was an Annual (A) or Election-period (E) contribution.

Year   Type  Contributor Name                              Party or Candidate (District)        Amount
1999 (E) Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Association Ottenheimer, John (St. John's East) $200
1999 (A) Coppers (RNCA Mess) PC Party 200
1999 (E) Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Association Buckle, Paula (Waterford Valley) 200
2001 (A) RNC Association PC Party 1250
2002 (A) RNC Association PC Party 1250
2003 (E) Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Assoc. PC Party 1000
2003 (A) Royal Nfld Constabulary Association PC Party 1750
2004 (A) RNC Association PC Party 2000
2004 (A) RNC Association PC Party 1000
2005 (A) RNC Association PC Party 1000
2005 (A) RNC Association PC Party 800
2007 (E) Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Assoc. Liberal Party 500
2008 (A) RNC Association PC Party 2000
2009 (A) RNC Association PC Party 2000
2010 (A) Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Association PC Party 2000

This list does not include any contributions from any by-election since that in Terra Nova in 2009.

More to the point, it does not include the Topsail by-election of March 16, 2010, in which RNC officer Paul Davis was the successful PC Party candidate. With only days to go in 2011, the contribution reports from this, and two other provincial by-elections, are still rather conspicuously missing from the electoral office's website.


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