Election campaigns make for strange bedfellows


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Picking up from last week’s accounting of who spent what in last October’s vote to occupy the mayor’s seat read here , the aldermanic race reveals Mark Cosens joined Al Riddell (unsuccessful in his bid) in the big spender category.

In total, Cosens coughed up $12,792,38 to wage his campaign — $4,500 more than any other candidate.

That amount included some interesting purchases, including $500 for buttons, donated in kind, from Patrick van Bommel of Belmont. He received $9,318.23 in contributions, with another $3,250 in supplemental filings after Dec. 31.

Key backers included MPP Steve Peters ($750), Don Cosens ($750), Lynda Cosens ($750), Bob McCaig ($750), Suzanne van Bommel($750) and Triple M Metal, Brampton ($500).

Newcomer Sam Yusuf spent $8,166.21 on his election bid, the same amount received in contributions.

He contributed $4,860.21 of his own money and received financial support from McCaig ($250), Bill Fehr ($300), Wes Robinson of London ($575) and Triple M Metal ($500).

Returning to council set Jeff Kohler back $5,645.35. In total he received $4,650 in contributions.

Key backers: McCaig ($750), Geri Preston (wife of MP Joe Preston, $500), Triple M Metal ($500), Shmuel Farhi ($250) and Suzanne van Bommel ($250).

Now why would Liberal strategist Suzanne van Bommel, via Bentham & Assoc., contribute funds to a die-hard Conservative?

Will wonders never cease.

Veteran Dave Warden expended $4,603.02 on his latest campaign, and took in $4,550 in contributions, $500 of that from his own pocket.

Supporting him financially were Walter Ostojic ($750), Farhi ($250), Tara Hall Residential Care Home ($300) and those two London firms mentioned last week — Provincial Glass & Mirror ($500) and Parkside Landscaping ($500).

As noted in this corner, those London operations undertake business with London developer Shmuel Farhi.

Gord Campbell incurred $4,497.90 in expenses while receiving $4,950.20 in contributions.

Money flowing in from London included contributions from Provincial Glass & Mirror ($750), Parkside Landscaping ($500), MyCon Construction ($750) and Farhi ($250).

Other supporters: 1330452 Ont. Ltd. (D. Ryckman, $700) and Tara Hall ($500).

Tom Johnston spent $2,621.56 campaigning, while receiving financial support to the tune of $3,636.95.

The London connection contributed as follows: Parkside Landscaping ($250), Provincial Glass ($375), Air Tech Systems ($300) and Farhi ($250).

Locally, Johnston received $750 from CHLI Distribution and $700 from 1330452 Ont. Ltd. (D. Ryckman).

Leading the thrift parade was Lori Baldwin-Sands, who spent a miniscule $1,830.76 while taking in $1,850 in contributions.

She garnered $700 from fundraising while receiving $300 from Wendy Gunn and $300 from Gunn & Associates.

KNUCKLES RAPPED

Still with municipal candidates, two who were unsuccessful, Joe Docherty and Shawn Claridge, failed to file campaign expenses by the March 25 deadline, as per the Municipal Election Act, and have been served with notices of default.

As a result, the pair are ineligible to run for any office in Ontario until after the 2014 municipal election.

The same penalty applies to Riddell, who failed to file the expense information in proper fashion.

ALL SYSTEMS WORKING?

The full story is on page 3 of today’s T-J, which documents what led Cynthia St. John, executive director at Elgin St. Thomas Public Health, to call in city police to further investigate the actions of a dismissed inspector.

Cynthia St. John

If you read between the lines, the health unit’s internal investigation appears to have become a little too hot to handle and legal counsel advised turning the matter over to police.

The question St. John so far has not answered — what information in the internal investigation prompted counsel to throw up a red flag?

And, you have to challenge board chairman Bill Walters who, in a media statement advised, “Our internal systems worked.”

Uh Bill, if the systems worked, the inspector would have been performing his duties as per normal and there would be no cause for an internal investigation.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Saturday will show the Liberals are committed to strong leadership . . . I believe I can take that torch from him (MPP Steve Peters) and hold that torch high.”

Ald. Lori Baldwin-Sands, who is to be acclaimed as the Liberal candidate in Elgin-Middlesex-London for the October provincial vote at a nomination meeting scheduled for 2 p.m. today at the Elgin Labour Temple.

City Scope appears every Saturday in the Times-Journal. Questions and comments may be emailed to: mccallum@stthomastimesjournal.com.

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