It’s fun finding money you forgot about. Usually it’s only $5 or $20 stuffed in a pocket, but imagine if you found a grand.
A wad of $100 bills in the toe of a shoe in the back of your closet, say, because reports of all those break-ins and robberies led you to be skeptical of the RNC’s regular pronouncements that the crime rate is declining.
You unroll the rediscovered trove and count it — $1,000!
Do you …
(a) put it toward your debts, like almost every lottery winner in history;
(b) take your wife/husband/etc. to the fanciest restaurant in town, just to see what it’s like to eat like Karl Wells;
(c) donate it to your favourite charity, whether or not it is being audited by the Canada Revenue Agency;
(d) attend a fundraiser for Steve Kent.
If you answered (d), you could do everyone else in Newfoundland (and Labrador) a civic service by explaining … why.
This has been a particularly bad year for the reigning Tories, and it keeps getting worse. It’s as if the PCs hired a consultant to come up with a plan that would guarantee their electoral thumping in 2015.
Recommendation No. 37: Get Steve Kent to hold a cocktail-hour fundraiser during his party leadership bid, and charge people $1,000 to attend.
As one Facebook commenter snidely but accurately said, $1K and you don’t even get dinner.
The refreshments on offer are less important than the event. Outlandishly expensive per-plate or per-cocktail fundraisers are a tasteless reminder of the banality and decrepitude of today’s politics.
First lesson: politicians are not in it for you.
Second lesson: if you fork over the hefty admission fee, they might be in it for you; the main course serves up access, and a heap of denial is for dessert.
It is a common method, of course. The provincial Liberals recently hosted a dinner for 500, at $500 per. That brought in $250,000, before deductions, and was a harbinger of what is to come for the Tories — lean years ahead, and likely a decade away from feeding at the government trough.
But back to Steve Kent. If memory serves, it wasn’t too long ago that the Mount Pearl wunderkind apparently spent most of his time combining his two loves — Twitter and Kathy Dunderdale. There may be a thin line between loyalty and sycophancy, but Kent smashed through it willingly and often. His primary job on the backbenches involved using his thumbs to extol Tory triumphs, real and imagined.
In the span of a year, Kent has gone from being merely a social media maestro to having a one-in-three probability of becoming the next premier.
Declaring his candidacy, Kent said he offered the party and the province youth and change.
As a friend said, “He’s the oldest 35-year-old on the planet.”
He’s actually 36, but the observation holds nonetheless.
As for “change,” perhaps “revised spin” would be more accurate.
It’s highly doubtful much substantial change could come from a guy who has spent the last several years giving every Tory policy two thumbs up.
There is no age limit on being forthright.
Will Kent reinstate the axed family violence intervention court? Maybe yes, and maybe no.
Is there co-operation between his camp and the Paul Davis crowd to overcome John Ottenheimer’s perceived lead? No. Maybe. Sort of.
I’m not a kingmaker, quoth the jester. I’m in it to win. Maybe.
On second thought, if you do come across $1,000 that you forgot about, perhaps it would be best to give the Steve Kent cocktail-hour fundraiser a pass, and instead use the cash to go on a selfishly satisfying binge.
Brian Jones is a desk editor at
The Telegram. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and can be found on Facebook.