Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tory Financial Affairs Update

Ok the rumble is coming soon, first was Financial Affairs Update of the Conservative Party by Irving Gerstein! (the banker Irving referred to earlier in the opening night ceremonies that was supposedly referenced in Dion's resignation speech).

Here's a rundown on his report:

– Since Diefenbaker there have been the ‘best of times, and the worst times’, for the party, sometimes they needed an umbrella.

-but currently the party is ‘very solvent and in pretty good financial shape’. The bottom line is that the party is in compliance with its banking arrangements

-they spent the max on a $20 million campaign, not including the pre-writ spending they did. They’ll get approximately $10 million back for writ expenditures, and then they will have cash in the bank and have no debt.

-This is good news and the fact that the Liberals have been stifled with a large debt makes this even better news he says.

-In the Conservative party, they’ll be debt free but will do so without asking for transfers from local campaigns. In fact, the nat’l party has given minimum $4 million to local campaigns.

-The Tory’s must grow their grassroots donation base, as the Liberal leadership race will be a temporary quick fix for their fundraising efforts.

-The Conservatives have paid off $4 million in initial debt and have funded 3 elections, paid for daily operating expenses and invested in party infrastructure and have conducted pre writ advertising campaigns which even Liberal Dion has said are effective (much to the applause and snickers of delegates ) and have given $4 million to local debt, all with cash in the bank, are debt free and are ready for the next election.

-they raised $14.8 million vs. the $3.6 million the Liberals did in the first 3 quarters which not “just a small difference, but gigantic”

-Irving says yes they spent quite a bit of money, but it was worth it as they were “successful” during the election and won it (not as successful as they hoped, obviously)

- Irving complained that Elections Canada counted their paid fundraising efforts as campaign expenses. This was followed by boos and Irving says "yes boo Elections Canada!" Wonderful, they are back to form I see. Obviously still touchy that Elections Canada could rule at any time they broke the law in the 2006 election.

-Their campaign tools: they use direct voter identification pools to help get donors and members, they conduct “data mining”, segmentation, and data manage to move supports up the Conservative ladder to members, to donors.

-They received 175 000 donations with each at an avg of $150.

-They use a 2 pocket concept – a donation to the party and another to the riding (sounds similar to the Victory Fund)

-The Conservative Fund helps riding associations by:
-membership sales via phones, direct mail, internet where 50% of sale goes to the local riding assoc
-direct contributions via canvassers, which have exceeded 2 mill
-credit card processing for associations, which have had a very huge significant impact
-a revenue sharing program which has resulted in $4 million cash fundraised from fund to local association
-if riding associations wish, the fund will share their nat’l list of active and lapsed donors with them

The top three riding associations which fundraised the most this past year where:

-Calgary centre north
-Calgary south west

(Really I thought the top one would be in Quebec? Apparently they didn’t do so well there…)

What also helps is the fact that funds go to a war chest, not to pay down debt.

Laureen Harper then comes on stage to hand out volunteer and achievement awards. She says she that volunteering is the ultimate exercise of democracy, for when you volunteer, you say daily what kind of community you want to live in. She adds “the Titanic was built by professionals, the Ark by volunteers, and of course, they’d all want to be on the Ark.” Various people accepted awards and then to break….

Constitutional sessions coming up….

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Mark Francis said...

"Irving complained that Elections Canada counted their paid fundraising efforts as campaign expenses."

Well sure EC should. If you don't, every phone call the Party makes will be a campaign call veiled as fundraising.

“the Titanic was built by professionals, the Ark by volunteers, and of course, they’d all want to be on the Ark.”

...But the Ark never existed...

Note how the Conservatives are all thrilled about high-tech, professionally built war machines...