We appear to be in the mudslinging phase of the provincial election.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  September 29, 2011  You know someone is running a little on the scared side when they start slinging mud.  However, with every story there is often a grain of truth – and truth be told, political parties do have to fund their campaigns and when they need money it usually calls for a trip to the bank.

And banks don’t give money away – so when you need a loan and you don’t have much in the way of assets – what do you do?  You have to get someone to co-sign the loan, which appears to be what the New Democrats did recently.

Nothing wrong with that.  Every one of us has kids that need a helping hand and we put our “John Henry” on the line for them.

If there is a financial understanding between an organization and a political party it is usually wiser to get the story out before someone else puts it out on you with their spin and not yours.

There was a time when the federal Liberals always had a Senator who was also a Director of one of the largest banks close at hand, so that when an overdraft had to be approved all it took was a phone call.

The NDP has never formed a government and has never been able to give goodies to the banks – and so they have to look to other friends for support.  Nothing wrong with that – just come clean fast.

Here’s the story the provincial Liberals have out on the

 New documents reveal that Andrea Horwath misled reporters and failed to disclose the true relationship between the Ontario Cornerstone Leadership Corporation and the Ontario NDP.

 Asked this morning if Cornerstone plays any financial role in the NDP campaign, Horwath said “None whatsoever.  None whatsoever.  It’s a separate corporation, separate board of directors, no role whatsoever in our campaign, no financial, you know, no financial connection whatsoever.  It’s completely separate.” (Andrea Horwath Media Scrum, September 29, 2011)

 And she continues to duck questions on the whereabouts of $100,425 of taxpayer money and another $100,000 in union funds granted to Cornerstone for accessibility.

 But that’s not the whole story.  Horwath was in a position to know how her party raises money.

 Documents obtained by the Liberals reveal that links between Cornerstone and the NDP are far greater than previously believed.  Not only are all 8 members of the Cornerstone board current or former board members of the NDP, but the corporation is actually bankrolling the NDP’s campaign.

 Land registry documents show:

•           Cornerstone served as collateral for a $4,350,000 loan that is currently financing Horwath’s 2011 campaign

•           Cornerstone served as collateral for a $3,450,000 loan that financed the 2007 NDP campaign

 And contrary to Andrea Horwath’s claim that Cornerstone “has nothing to do” with her, new documents also reveal that Andrea Horwath sat as an ONDP Vice President when the Cornerstone fundraising scheme was hatched, and served as the 2007 NDP Campaign Co-Chair. (OntarioNDP.com)

The Cornerstone campaign’s sole goal was to purchase a property that would finance NDP election campaigns:

•           “The Cornerstone Campaign is a 3-year capital campaign aimed at purchasing a permanent party headquarters in order to finance future election campaigns…purchasing a building will allow the Ontario NDP to continue to qualify for election campaign loans.” (NDP Cornerstone Campaign, The Business Case, pg. 1)

 It’s time Andrea Horwath told reporters and Ontarians the truth on the NDPs intricate relationship with Cornerstone.  It’s time she said what the NDP did with the $100,425 they received from the federal government and provided assurances that money was not funneled to the NDP campaign.  It’s time she returned the money.

When you need money for a project - and an election is a project - you pay a visit to a friendly banker, and if that banker isn't really friendly, you take a freind along who can co-sign for you. All the politicalparties do it - the Liberals want you to know how the NDP is doing it. Why?

What’s interesting about the comments the Liberal’s released about Cornerstone is that they never say what the company does, who owns it and how long it has been around.  Cornerstone is a marketing company that deals primarily in the creating and marketing of lists of names.  Everyone uses lists of names.  When you get an offer from a credit card company mailed to you they bought your name from a broker who developed the list and kept it active.  Good list brokers develop and maintain very sophisticated lists and market them.  It’s all part of the way products are brought to people’s attention and sold.  If you live in an apartment you don’t want an offering for a lawn mower and a good mailing list will not have apartment dwellers on lawn mower lists.

The really good list development people can put together a list that is very tightly targeted.  That’s what Cornerstone does and if they have enough money in the bank and are able to help a political party obtain the loan they need – nothing wrong with that. Just be clear and up front about it.  Play it straight.

Could all this “new” news from the Liberals be because Andrea Horwath did quite a bit better than the Liberals expected in the all candidates debate earlier this week – and that her position in the polls has risen a bit more than the Liberals are comfortable with and they need to knock her down a point or two?  Just asking.

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