Uglier and Uglier - Liberanos Uncovered
Hard as it is to believe, the testimony at the Gomery Commission keeps on getting uglier. I’ve described the Liberal Party as a kleptocracy. When I wrote that I was thinking of a typical political patronage scheme run amok. It think now that it is worse than that. We are not just talking old fashion patronage with a few individuals getting rich off your tax dollars. As bad as that might be, what is emerging from testimony before the commission is much worse.
What is being revealed is a national political party run by a parallel shadowy organization without formal party status, engaging in kickbacks, fraud, looting of the public treasury, buying of influence, threats, intimidation, subverting of the electoral process; all with what may be ties to the mob.
The operational head of the liberal Party in Quebec was not the Director-General of the party, Daniel Dezainde, but a caterer and friend of Alfonso Gagliano (he whose alleged status as a made man with the mob is still unconfirmed as of this writing). Giuseppe (Joe) Morselli, the caterer, ran the Liberal show in Quebec. Dezainde was to have nothing to do with the money.
CTV.ca News Staff (May 12, 2005)Now if you believe that the corruption extends only to the sponsorship scandal, the subject of Judge Gomery's inquiry, you are more naive than Mr. Desainde. This affair is reeking to high heaven.
The sponsorship inquiry heard Wednesday how the head of the Liberal Party's Quebec wing never really felt he was in charge because another man -- dubbed "the real boss" -- was working behind the scenes.
The bombshell came from Daniel Dezainde, who in May 2001 replaced Benoit Corbeil as Director-General of the Quebec wing of the Liberals. He said he wasn't in the job very long when he met Liberal fundraiser, Giuseppe (Joe) Morselli. Dezainde testified he went with Corbeil to meet Morselli at a north-end Montreal restaurant on May 14, 2001. At that meeting, he claims he was told by Corbeil that Morselli was "the real boss" of Liberal affairs in Quebec.
Dezainde also said Corbeil warned him not to antagonize Morselli, a friend of then-public works minister Alfonso Gagliano.He told the commission that, as a result, Morselli ended up running things, but completely off the record.
He also said he was told on another occasion by Gagliano that if he had any "needs" to give Morselli a call, or to call the minister's chief of staff, Jean-Marc Bard.
Dezainde said he understood that to mean financial needs. The question of financing became a pressing one, Dezainde said, because he quickly learned the Quebec wing had amassed a pile of unpaid bills -- as much as $2.8 million was owed. He told the commission that Morselli told him to send the bills to him "so he can determine what can be paid."
Dezainde said that troubled him. "Not only you didn't know where the money came from but you no longer had the ability to manage your organization," Dezainde told the Gomery inquiry. "So what's the point of being there?"
Dezainde said he could not understand how there was a parallel structure for the Liberals in Quebec with people who did not belong to the party, adding that it was as if the party had been taken hostage.
He said he began to question Morselli's tactics, and those of another man -- a fundraiser by the name of Beryl Wasjman. When Wasjman was eventually fired, Dezainde testified that Morselli came to see him in a rage.
"From now on, I declare war on you," Dezainde recalled Morselli saying to him, before breaking down on the stand. When Justice Gomery asked him if he considered that a threat of physical violence, Dezainde replied, "Yes."
Do we have the political process of a whole province run by the mob? What other federal contracts are involved in this scam? The gun registry? Defence contracts? Judicial appointments? All goods and services purchased by the feds in Quebec (Gagliano was federal Minister of Public works)? What about the rest of Canada? Were/are the Liberals running rackets in Ontario? New Brunswick?
I haven't the answers to these questions and Judge Gomery's terms of reference don't cover this territory. But the extent of the corruption so far is breathtaking in magnitude and scope. It is not beyond the realm of possibilities that the corruption goes much further.
Still don't trust Stephen Harper, eh. Well, how much do you trust the mob?