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May 7, 2005
Corriveau Spread The Wealth (Off The Books, Natch)

In the excitement of the banned Guit testimony coming to light, I missed another significant piece of testimony in the Gomery Inquiry. Serge Gosselin, a Liberal Party pollster, testified that Chrtien crony Jacques Corriveau paid him directly for his work on behalf of the party and had no idea that Corriveau kept the payments off the books:

A federal Liberal pollster and researcher was paid more than $60,000 by a friend of Jean Chretien for partisan activities, including work during the 2000 election campaign, the sponsorship inquiry was told Thursday.

Serge Gosselin, one-time aide to unity minister Stephane Dion, said he vetted campaign billboards and other material on behalf of Jacques Corriveau.

Gosselin was told by inquiry counsel Guy Cournoyer there's no evidence Pluri Design, Corriveau's company, ever passed the bill on to the Liberals for the work.

"Are you surprised to find that for services of an essentially political nature for the Quebec wing of the Liberal party, your services were not billed to the party?" asked the lawyer.

Gosselin said: "It's the first time I've seen this and I am completely surprised."

If Gosselin has paid attention to the Adscam hearings up to now, he can't have been too surprised. Corriveau has emerged as a central financing point for the extensive money-laundering and electoral-fraud scheme, collecting wads of cash from contractors like Jean Brault and stuffing the pockets of like-minded Grits or funding Liberal Party activities outside of campaign-finance regulation. Corriveau was well-placed for such a key role; his design firm got $7 million in Sponsorship contracts but did very little of the actual work, if any at all. The dual influence of being a prime contractor and a close friend of the Prime Minister allowed Corriveau to twist arms for generous 'contributions' from people like Jean Brault.

In proximity to Guit's testimony, Gosselin almost appears as a footnote, but don't be fooled. He substantiates an important part of the case for electoral fraud. If Corriveau indeed paid off Liberal Party contractors with kickback cash kept off the books, then he and everyone associated with the effort would be guilty of electoral fraud. Gosselin's testimony explicitly shows that Corriveau himself acted as bagman, and without any related entry on Liberal Party budgets, that crime becomes crystal clear.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 7, 2005 9:39 AM

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Tracked on May 7, 2005 3:46 PM

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