Tories doubled Liberals' spending in byelection

Rob Antle
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Politics Cost of PC worker travel matches total Liberal campaign spending

The Tories outspent the victorious Liberals nearly two-to-one in last fall's The Straits-White Bay North byelection.

In fact, the PCs spent almost as much on travel costs for their campaign workers as the Liberals did to run their entire campaign.

The Tories outspent the victorious Liberals nearly two-to-one in last fall's the Straits-White Bay North byelection.

In fact, the PCs spent almost as much on travel costs for their campaign workers as the Liberals did to run their entire campaign.

The hard-fought byelection saw a battalion of Tory cabinet heavyweights head to the Northern Peninsula.

A minimum of nine ministers made an appearance in the district during the campaign. At least eight of them descended on the region in the final week before voting day.

Premier Danny Williams made four separate trips to the Northern Peninsula after Tory MHA Trevor Taylor announced his resignation in September.

At the time, the premier's office said taxpayers would not be on the hook for Williams' travel. And other departments indicated that the PC Party was picking up the tab for visits by their ministers.

A review of ministerial expense claims posted on the government's website would appear to back up those statements. The expense summaries show that none of the ministers filed claims for travel to the Northern Peninsula during the byelection period.

According to documents recently filed with Elections Newfoundland and Labrador, the Tories spent $26,298 on campaign worker travel.

There is no breakdown of how that travel money was spent.

The Liberal candidate spent slightly more than that total - $26,667 in expenses subject to the limit - on his entire campaign effort.

Liberal Marshall Dean earned an upset victory over Tory Rick Pelley, winning by just 88 votes.

Combined, Pelley's campaign and the PC Party claimed $48,383 in byelection spending subject to the cap, including the workers' travel costs.

The spending limit for the byelection was $27,139. By law, both the candidate and the party can spend that amount, effectively doubling the cap to $54,278.

The Liberal Party did not report any expenditures, leaving Dean's campaign expenses subject to the cap at $26,667.

During the campaign, Liberal Leader Yvonne Jones said the sudden swirl of ministerial interest in the district was purely political.

"We've had people and groups and organizations and doctors and everyone who've been trying for the last year to get meetings with these cabinet ministers and have not been able to get a meeting," Jones said during the campaign's final days.

But Innovation Minister Shawn Skinner defended the visits, calling them the result of a "special situation" - namely, the byelection.

"The people who are voting need to know that government understands their concerns and supports them," Skinner said at the time. "The best way to do that is for us to be here and say that - show that by our presence and talk to the people about their issues."

In a 12-month period before the byelection, only four ministers managed to make it to The Straits-White Bay North - half as many as the number who were there campaigning during one 24-hour period in the days before the vote.

rantle@thetelegram.com

Organizations: PC Party, Liberal Party

Geographic location: Northern Peninsula

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Recent comments

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    It boils down to simple math.

    The amount spend by the Tories - 48,383 (dollars) times 9 (cabinet ministers + premier visits) = 0 (additional seats in the House)

    So I guess 93% is a minority in the Straits-White Bay.

  • Nasty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Hahaha, and they still are losers. What a pack of obnoxious buffoons.

  • Stop the Racket
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    I hope the good people of Topsail will send Dictator Dan the same message he got from the Straits White Bay North. He treated Elizabeth Marshall like a piece of crap because she had the guts to stand up to him. Get out and vote on March 16th. Vote A B C D . Anyone But Crazy Danny.

  • DB
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    I don 't care how much they spend as long as it's not my money.

  • bewildered
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    I guess people do forget very quickly...when the Liberals went to the same district for the bi election in 2001 they were giving away money like it was going out of style. And ministers were brought in there in droves...thats just the nature of bi elections!!

    Also the member for the district now should know all about money that was put in the district...he availed of over 1/2 million dollar grant from the govt. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!!
    Speaking about the new MHA for the Straits...people are wondering where he is these days. Councils and different groups have been trying to get meetings with him, no reply!! I guess thats a great voice we elected.

    130 million dollars invested in the area doesn't seem to bad to me...people should really look at what has been done over the past 6 years.
    Thanks to Trevor Taylor and the Williams Government. Lets see what Mr Dean can do now...oh yeah if we can find him!!

  • W
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    DB from NL writes: I don 't care how much they spend as long as it's not my money.

    = = =

    Did you start not caring before, or after, the 2001 by-election in St. Barbe?

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Nice to see the market value of a seat going up.

    Just like residential house prices, it must be good for the economy right?

  • W
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Lets start a fund raiser to give the liberal candidate is election desposit back.

    = = =

    Uh-oh, Bert, you dropped an ''h''. Watch out, or the Eighth Floor will start making fun of your accent.

  • S
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    DB. . . it *is* your money because every dollar is subsidized by govt to the tune of 75 cents on the dollar (more or less).

  • Disapora
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    And CABINET MINISTER Kevin O'Brien didn't even know he was in North America let alone The Straights.

  • Bert
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    TO Stop the racket, I too have confidence in the nice people in Topsail that they will do the right thing in the By-election. They will think it through and I'm sure will make the correct decision for their district. Lets start a fund raiser to give the liberal candidate is election desposit back.

  • Coppy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    people who are voting need to know that government understands their concerns and supports them, Skinner said at the time.

    I have to say from what I see here on the Northern Peninsula is beached seal pups and convenient government promises as far as the eye can see. For the past ten years here our lives have declined. Many small businesses are trying to sell and go now too. Unless your big or rich your small and poor.

    The working class are hardest hit in this area, whoever's left. There's no genuine concern by anyone in government, please dont even say it.

  • Notta chance
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    people who are voting need to know that government understands......The only thing that Government understands is a #14 boot buried deep into their collective 'gluteus maximus'....It's been that way for ever!

  • DB
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    What part of I don't give a S@it don't you understand they don't get any donations from me except the tax I pay and that leaves allot to be desired.

  • member of the 20%
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Has Little Man Dan or any of the other Tory bobbleheads been back since the by-election? Reminds me of a joke. Dictator Dan took his cabinet out to a restaurant. The waitor explained the specials, including baked chicken or prime rib roast; and a choice of mashed potato and buttered corn, or steamed carrots and turnip. Little Man Dan said, I'll have the prime rib. The waiter asked, and the vegetables? Dan said, oh, they'll have the same.

  • Bert
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    Hey Mclean, sorry about dropping the H I will have to pick it up on the Heighth floor!!! Also you should tell Disapora that Straights in this text is spelled Straits.

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    It boils down to simple math.

    The amount spend by the Tories - 48,383 (dollars) times 9 (cabinet ministers + premier visits) = 0 (additional seats in the House)

    So I guess 93% is a minority in the Straits-White Bay.

  • Nasty
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Hahaha, and they still are losers. What a pack of obnoxious buffoons.

  • Stop the Racket
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    I hope the good people of Topsail will send Dictator Dan the same message he got from the Straits White Bay North. He treated Elizabeth Marshall like a piece of crap because she had the guts to stand up to him. Get out and vote on March 16th. Vote A B C D . Anyone But Crazy Danny.

  • DB
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    I don 't care how much they spend as long as it's not my money.

  • bewildered
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    I guess people do forget very quickly...when the Liberals went to the same district for the bi election in 2001 they were giving away money like it was going out of style. And ministers were brought in there in droves...thats just the nature of bi elections!!

    Also the member for the district now should know all about money that was put in the district...he availed of over 1/2 million dollar grant from the govt. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!!
    Speaking about the new MHA for the Straits...people are wondering where he is these days. Councils and different groups have been trying to get meetings with him, no reply!! I guess thats a great voice we elected.

    130 million dollars invested in the area doesn't seem to bad to me...people should really look at what has been done over the past 6 years.
    Thanks to Trevor Taylor and the Williams Government. Lets see what Mr Dean can do now...oh yeah if we can find him!!

  • W
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    DB from NL writes: I don 't care how much they spend as long as it's not my money.

    = = =

    Did you start not caring before, or after, the 2001 by-election in St. Barbe?

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Nice to see the market value of a seat going up.

    Just like residential house prices, it must be good for the economy right?

  • W
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    Lets start a fund raiser to give the liberal candidate is election desposit back.

    = = =

    Uh-oh, Bert, you dropped an ''h''. Watch out, or the Eighth Floor will start making fun of your accent.

  • S
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    DB. . . it *is* your money because every dollar is subsidized by govt to the tune of 75 cents on the dollar (more or less).

  • Disapora
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    And CABINET MINISTER Kevin O'Brien didn't even know he was in North America let alone The Straights.

  • Bert
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    TO Stop the racket, I too have confidence in the nice people in Topsail that they will do the right thing in the By-election. They will think it through and I'm sure will make the correct decision for their district. Lets start a fund raiser to give the liberal candidate is election desposit back.

  • Coppy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    people who are voting need to know that government understands their concerns and supports them, Skinner said at the time.

    I have to say from what I see here on the Northern Peninsula is beached seal pups and convenient government promises as far as the eye can see. For the past ten years here our lives have declined. Many small businesses are trying to sell and go now too. Unless your big or rich your small and poor.

    The working class are hardest hit in this area, whoever's left. There's no genuine concern by anyone in government, please dont even say it.

  • Notta chance
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    people who are voting need to know that government understands......The only thing that Government understands is a #14 boot buried deep into their collective 'gluteus maximus'....It's been that way for ever!

  • DB
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    What part of I don't give a S@it don't you understand they don't get any donations from me except the tax I pay and that leaves allot to be desired.

  • member of the 20%
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Has Little Man Dan or any of the other Tory bobbleheads been back since the by-election? Reminds me of a joke. Dictator Dan took his cabinet out to a restaurant. The waitor explained the specials, including baked chicken or prime rib roast; and a choice of mashed potato and buttered corn, or steamed carrots and turnip. Little Man Dan said, I'll have the prime rib. The waiter asked, and the vegetables? Dan said, oh, they'll have the same.

  • Bert
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    Hey Mclean, sorry about dropping the H I will have to pick it up on the Heighth floor!!! Also you should tell Disapora that Straights in this text is spelled Straits.