Tuesday, March 30, 2010

LEE RICHARDSON AND HIS 'COME FLY WITH ME' DESIGNATED TRAVELER

LEE RICHARDSON MP




His fetching Designated Traveler



Lee Richardson MP for Calgary Center is in deep doo-doo. I feel sorry for the bloke because if there was a Conservative MP that I like it is Richardson. He is from that kinder and gentler ancestor of the Harperites, the now defunct federal Progressive Conservative Party. I’m sure you remember the old federal PCs. You know - the ones that gave us Dief, Joe Clark, Karlheinz Schreiber’s pal Brian Mulroney, and the asterisk Kim Campbell. The old federal PC party had a proud and noble history to be sure, and I still have respect for many of the old red Tories that ran it. They didn’t come any better than Alvin Hamilton, Flora Macdonald and Bob Stanfield. Because Richardson comes from that old red Tory strain and doesn’t hide his pedigree his chances of making the cabinet of Stephen Harper or even getting a decent sinecure for services rendered rate from zero to none.


Now, as a result of recently disclosed information Richardson’s bleak chances of a Harper-inspired reward have become much, much worse. And it’s all over an awe-inspiring blonde and one of the great babes on Canadian television these days – CBC-TV national political reporter Krista Erickson. See:
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/9015821.html


Richardson, a widower and a warm and cuddly guy, has admitted to being linked to the delectable newshound for a couple of years, and it’s something about which he is justly proud. After all, although he is reasonably well preserved and not quite ready for the glue factory or the Royal Tyrell Museum (for those of you from outside of Alberta, the Royal Tyrell is one of the finest Dinosaur museums in the world), he is several generations older than the dazzling Miss Erickson.


Richardson’s trouble arises as a result of Erickson being registered as the designated traveler for Richardson in his capacity as an MP. This qualifies her to fly on Canada’s airlines courtesy of guess who? Richardson? Nope. The Canadian taxpayer? Yep.


As a result, the pesky Canadian Taxpayers Federation is mightily pissed with Richardson. Not only does it want to find out just how much of the $143,850 worth of travel expenses he charged up during 2008-2009 was for his ravishing gal pal, its spokesman is convinced that this will be a problem for everybody including the Tories. Not surprisingly, both Richardson and his exquisite designated traveler claim they have no knowledge of she being on any tax payer sponsored trip.


While the dashing and debonair Richardson has the sumptuous Erickson as his designated traveler, it should be noted that defence minister Peter McKay – he who was unceremoniously dumped by the equally resplendent Belinda Stronach – has named his mother as his designated traveler. No surprise there.




But if Richardson is in the soup over this one, his gorgeous fellow traveler is in even deeper. The Canadian Association of Journalists is pissed with both Erickson and the CBC. According to the Association’s president Mary Agnes Welch, the Association’s Code of Ethics [the Canadian Association of Journalists’ Code of Ethics, now there’s an oxymoron for you!] says that journalists should not have a personal relationship with the people they report on. What’s even worse, she says, is flying free because of the relationship. Welch puts it this way: “It is one thing to have a personal relationship. It’s another thing entirely to be benefiting from that relationship. Actually being able to fly for free because of that relationship kind of brings it to a new level. A reporter who covers national politics in any way who is in a relationship with an MP is clearly in conflict.”


This is the second time that the ravishing Erickson has been accused of running afoul of the code of ethics. In 2007 during the Commons committee hearings looking into the sordid Mulroney – Schreiber affair she planted a few written questions with some Liberals to ask Mulroney. The Harperites screamed blue murder about the affair to the CBC which resulted in her being banished to the boring gulag of Toronto for almost two years.


What will happen to Erickson next is anybody’s guess. However, if the CBC gives her the pink slip she can always seek employment with the Calgary Herald whose conflict of interest rules for journalists are applied with much less rigor and severity - that is, if they are applied at all. For example, Tom Olsen happily continued writing his Herald column and reporting on the government of Ralph Klein even though his brother Gordon (with whom Tom obviously had a relationship) at the same time held various positions in Klein’s office including executive director of the premier’s south office, executive assistant to the premier, and the premier’s caucus liaison.

So, for Erickson, even if worse comes to worse – hell, it’s not the end of the world.

11 comments:

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John Prince said...

Darryl, I hope you are sucking up some rays in some far off exotic place, and haven't just given up on us here in the blogging world? :-) Miss your posts, buddy!

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