Calgary

Fines tied to UCP 'kamikaze' campaign now total $71,000

Cameron Davies and Lenore Eaton both face fresh fines for a scheme that involved funnelling corporate cash into the "kamikaze" UCP leadership campaign of Jeff Callaway.

Cam Davies and Lenore Eaton both hit with new fines Monday for roles in funnelling cash into campaign

Jeff Callaway, left, ran a 'kamikaze' campaign in the UCP leadership race in order to support the election of Jason Kenney. (Jason Kenney campaign)

Alberta's election commissioner has levied more fines in the ongoing investigation into the "kamikaze" campaign of United Conservative Party leadership candidate Jeff Callaway. 

Cameron Davies, who was Callaway's communications manager, faces a total of $12,000 in new fines for providing money to other individuals that was then used to donate to the campaign. 

He was previously fined $15,000.

The fines are tied to a total of $33,500 in donations that the commissioner says funnelled through Davies.

All of those named as people Davies provided funds to have already been fined themselves for donating money that was not their own. 

In total, the election commissioner has now levied $71,000 in fines against seven people. The latest fines were posted on the commissioner's website on Monday, but issued on May 22. 

Energize Alberta Corp. 

Previously, the election commissioner determined that a corporation controlled by Calgary businessman Robyn Lore — Energize Alberta — donated $60,000 to the Callaway campaign through Davies. 

Also fined on May 22 was Lenore Eaton, Callaway's former chief financial officer, who could face jail time for her actions during the campaign. She was also the CFO for Energize Alberta. 

She faces one fine of $5,000 for knowingly making false statements on Callaway's financial statement and failing to advise of a $7,600 "prohibited contribution accepted from Energize Alberta Corp."

Jeffrey Park, another political actor who was earlier fined for his role in the campaign, has said he was paid through Energize Alberta, which he says he thought was a political action committee. 

'Kamikaze campaign'

Callaway ran a "kamikaze" campaign in 2017 on behalf of current premier Jason Kenney, who won the party leadership on Oct. 28, 2017.

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.

Happy Mann

One of the new fines levelled against Davies says he furnished $9,000 to Callaway's former campaign manager Lenore Eaton for the purpose of donating money in the name of Hardyal (Happy) Mann and two of his family members. 

Mann has admitted to allowing his name and the name of his family members to be used on blank donation forms in order to funnel money into the Callaway campaign.

He also alleged voter fraud took place in the UCP leadership vote.

CBC News has revealed some fraudulent emails were used to cast ballots in that race

NDP reaction

The opposition NDP issued a statement on the new fines. 

"The election commissioner has issued another $22,000 in fines related to a scandal that Jason Kenney once referred to as 'Twitter gossip,'" Heather Sweet, MLA for Edmonton-Manning and NDP democracy and ethics critic, said in the release.

"Jason Kenney and the UCP have continually failed to be accountable about their involvement in this scandal, and with the total now over $71,000, that silence is unacceptable."

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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