Calgary

Total fines tied to UCP 'kamikaze' leadership campaign ticks up another notch to $77,250

Alberta's election commissioner has levied yet another fine in the ongoing investigation into Jeff Callaway's "kamikaze" campaign in the United Conservative Party leadership race, bringing the total to $77,250.

Chris Scace has been fined for donating money to the campaign in the name of Janet Scace

Jeff Callaway ran a 'kamikaze' campaign in the UCP leadership race in 2017. (CBC)

Alberta's election commissioner has levied yet another fine in the ongoing investigation into Jeff Callaway's "kamikaze" campaign in the United Conservative Party leadership race, bringing the total to $77,250.

The fine against Christopher Scace was posted to the commissioner's website on Friday, but was levied against him on June 3. 

The commissioner says Scace "contributed $2,500 to Jeff Callaway, registered UCP leadership contestant, with furnished funds in the name of Janet Scace."

In a September 2017 email released to media in March along with a trove of other messages, Callaway tells his communication manager, Cam Davies, that Janet Scace contributed $2,500 to the campaign and that Chris Scase also contributed $1,000. 

Another fine on Wednesday

Another name that appeared on that September 2017 email is Chris Maitland, who Callaway said contributed $3,000. 

Maitland was hit with a $4,500 fine on Wednesday for his contribution, made with "funds given or furnished by another person." 

So far, eight people have been fined for irregular campaign contributions to Callaway. 

It's alleged money was funnelled into the campaign from a corporation and distributed by Davies.

Donations through others

Davies has been fined a total of $12,000 for contributing money to the campaign under the names of other people. He has also been fined for obstruction of an investigation to the tune of $15,000.

Hardyal (Happy) Mann detailed to CBC News how his name and the names of two family members were added to donation forms with his consent. 

He said the money never passed through his accounts. 

Callaway's chief financial officer, Lenore Eaton, has been fined for knowingly making false statements on the candidates financial returns and for failing to advise of a banned corporate donation. 

Eaton, who could face jail time, was also the chief financial officer of that corporation, Energize Alberta, which was controlled by Calgary businessman Robyn Lore. 

'Kamikaze' campaign

Callaway ran a "kamikaze" campaign in 2017 on behalf of Jason Kenney, now premier. Kenney won the UCP leadership on Oct. 28, 2017, after the Alberta Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties merged.

Callaway ran for the sole purpose of targeting Kenney's chief rival, former Wildrose leader Brian Jean, and then dropping out of the race to support Kenney.

Both men deny the allegations, but CBC News has obtained emails showing higher-ups in Kenney's campaign circle providing resources — strategic political direction, media and debate talking points, speeches, videos and attack advertisements — to the Callaway campaign.

There was a timeline for when Callaway would drop out of the campaign and throw his support behind Kenney.

Kenney's deputy chief of staff, Matt Wolf, even emailed a resignation speech to Callaway the day he dropped out of the leadership race.

Voter fraud investigation

The investigation into campaign contributions is in addition to an RCMP investigation into allegations of voter fraud in the 2017 UCP leadership race. 

A CBC News investigation has revealed the fraudulent emails were used to cast ballots in that race, but the party has said the contest was clean. 

Recently, the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service said it was appointing an out-of-province prosecutor to oversee the investigation into the voter fraud allegations. 

About the Author

Drew Anderson is a web journalist at CBC Calgary. Like almost every journalist working today, he's won a few awards. He's also a third-generation Calgarian. You can follow him on Twitter @drewpanderson. Contact him in confidence at drew.anderson@cbc.ca.

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