06 August 2009

Pork appointment at PUB

Another one of the Tory faithful has gone to his reward as a full-time commissioner of public utilities.

Jim Oxford will start work on September 9th.

Regular readers will note that just before the last provincial election the governing Conservatives announced a public competition for both the chair and commissioners jobs.  They collected a few resumes but then scrapped the whole idea shortly afterward.

The Public Service Commission, the crowd that supposedly ran the competition, refused to provide any substantive information to your humble e-scribbler when he inquired about the whole mess last year. They would confirm a competition had started but beyond that, there was nothing but stony silence.

The absence of a genuinely impartial process for selecting commissioners might be the reason why the minister making Oxford’s appointment had to go to the lengths of pointing out that the public utilities board is an independent body.

Either that or Tom Marshall was sensitive to the fact that Oxford was not only a career public servant in Mount Pearl but the guy who managed the Tory party finances since the year A.D. Naught. 

Oxford joins Andy Wells, the chairman appointed last year.



Anonymous said...

Just wondering Ed, were there any of these appointments when you served under Wells? Or did they just come about since the PC's took over?



Edward G. Hollett said...

The appointment of the party treasurer and former party president to a position where the PSC competition had been called and then cancelled for no apparent reason?

The answer to that would be: "no".

What was your point, BTW?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't he Ed Byrne's treasurer?


Edward G. Hollett said...

Not exactly, Anon 1809. Oxford was treasurer of the PC parety while Ed Byrne was financing chunks of the party through some obviously dodgy means.

Now the question that has never been explored (or perhaps just wasn't included in the Byrne statement of facts) is how some of these people doing party work (as they've told police) got paid. Was it by personal cheque from Byrne? Was it from the party?

It's one of many questions that will likely never be answered of course since the former Tory party president who conveniently happens to be the chief electoral officer has already ruled that the party treasurer at the time will never have to explain anything that went on in the 2001 by-election finance reports.

Lots of questions but not any answers. Not any answers of course unless some future government appoints a public inquiry.

Not madame justice cameron said...

Not any answers of course unless some future government appoints a public inquiry.

Now there's a damn fine idee.

Anonymous said...

You wouldn't even have these questions if the current government kept the AG out like the Liberals. This was solely the Liberal governments fault for kicking the AG out. So don’t even try pinning this on the current government.

Edward G. Hollett said...

So when the leader of the PC party commits criminal offenses that's because of the Liberals.

Yes, of course. Why can't everyone see the world from your blind partisan eyes? It's all so much easier.

Just to give you the facts, the Ag had access to the House accounts for all but three years. That's it. Three years. The pilfering, overspending and other forms of corruption carried on even after the AG was given approval to audit from April 1 2004 onward (not retrospectively). It began before the AG was blocked from conducting an audit.

You reallyt should see if MCP will cover the surgery required to get your head out of wherever it is stuck, Anonyplant 0840.

Anonymous said...

Yes it's because of the Liberals, nothing partisan about it. They set the stage for any criminal on any side to commit these acts by removing the AG. If a store gets robbed because the security guard left the doors wide open and invited the criminals in than shouldn't the security guard also have to also wear the crime???

Time to take of those Liberal Red glasses Ed.. You may have to do it surgically under MCP.


Edward G. Hollett said...

Well, BB, if it isn't partisan it is just plain old stunned.

According to you, Byrne is blameless. The fault lies with people who supposedly created the circumstances for him to be a crook.


And when a crook breaks into your house, the fault is with the police who were supposed to catch him or with you for failing to prevent him from breaking in.

Of course, you missed the point I made earlier - the AG was neither the cause of the problem nor the cure for it.

That was merely the self-serving political line invented by someone after the whole scheme was exposed.

You simply repeat it without question. It may not be partisan, but it is blind.

Anonymous said...

No Ed, It's you missing the point and intentionally being or acting stupid to my comments.

I did not say Byrne was blameless, just like the crook I my analogy isn't blameless. Just to let you know, two people or even more can be held accountable for a crime.

I think that it was the fault of the crook Politicians and the Government at the time for setting the system up so that crooks could take advantage, NO MATTER WHAT THE COLOR. The government at the time was your beloved Liberals. So they should wear this as well.

The only one being partisan here sir is you.


Anonymous said...

One other point. You keep spinning about it had nothing to do with the AG. Well it’s very clear to me and most of the public what happened. Former AG Liz Marshall was kicked out when she started to find questionable spending. The Liberal government at the time stopped her from looking and swept everything under the rug. Danny Williams brought back the AG knowing that there were obvious things going on like most of us knew at the time. The AG was given the FULL opportunity to investigate and what happened, The Spending Scandal. Very simple Ed, no need for your nonsense Spin here. You just spin and spin until you confuse people enough to blame the PC’s for it all.


Edward G. Hollett said...

Sorry BB, but you made the issue partisan when you lumped the blame on one side and one side only. You continue to do so and you are way off base on every aspect.

Let me state right off the bat that the only comments at Bond which accuse me of being partisan come from one source: Tory partisans.

They've employed it from the start, they continue to trot it out when they run smack up against a stone wall of fact and it simply doesn't hold up. The only thing it does is identify them as Tory partisans.

As a second point, whether you are Anonyplant 840 or just chimed in to support the argument doesn't matter. The endpoint is the same.

Third, it is noticeable that the accusations of partisanship AND the claim the issue is entirely to be laid on one party only emegred when I reminded people that there are huge questions which have not been answerred and likely won't be answered at leats until some future government appoints a public inquiry.

Fourth, the AG issue is a red herring. The House spending scandal is not a partisan issue on any level.

Members from all parties participated in shifting the system from what was there before 1996 and they all engaged in the dubious spending practices to one extent or another. Senior members of both Liberal and PC caucuses knew of problems. At least one, as we discovered, was aware of criminal activity.

But make no mistake: the system in the House of Assembly was set up, run, managed and controlled by senior memebrs of both the Liberal and PC partys. One of the great myths spread on this from the beginning is that IEC was some sort of secret society and the second greatest myth is the one you have tried to rely on.

There is no evidence anywhere to support your contention. Not a single lick of evidence.

There was no missing the point on my end. Your point was plain as day.

The point that you've missed is that the auditor general is not the key to the whole enterprise.

In fact, the AG's access is a pretty big red herring. It is also incorrect to say that any decision taken in 2000/01 created a system. The problems started before that and persisted after 2003/2004 when the AG supposedly came back.

Improper started before 2000 and improper spending continued long after DW and his crew took power and supposed "fixed" things. In fact some of the people charged with "fixing" the mess proudly boasted of misspending public money even though they were elected first in October 2003.

The House scandal isn't a partisan issue. It cuts much more boradly than that and there is no way that - based on the facts and solid evidence - one can try and make this a partisan issue (as you continue to do)

I didn't miss a thing but, in presenting partisan Tory nonsense, you quite clearly are missing a great deal. of course the fact you only post anonymously also says much about the substance of your comments.

Edward G. Hollett said...

BB, I'd strongly suggest you read the Green report. That lays the whole thing out pretty clearly and none of what you just wrote conforms to actual events.

What you've offered up is the Tory talking points version. If that's what you think most people believe, I'd suggest you need to speak to more people than your Tory friends.

The Liberal government didn't do anything just as DW didn't ride in on his white pony and save the universe.

As Green lays out, the whole mess in the House grew over time. At the heart of it was the IEC, a committee comprising both senior Liberal and PC members. They knew what they were doing as they set allowances and all the rest. They did not know of criminal activity but they sure as hell knew about all the other misspending.

As for the AG, here's what we know: Marshall was hunting for Paul Dicks and only Paul Dicks. She said nothing at the time and has said nothing since about other issues despite evidence we have now of substantive problems in the way the House accounts were managed.

She either missed them (as Noseworthy missed crap loads of stuff later on) or she didn't care about them.

All we know is that she was looking at one narrow issue.

But that is largely irrelevent since the action to change from AG to contract auditor was done with the full knowledge AND support of the two senior Tories as well asd the Grits.

To make it worse, when the issue came up again after 2001, the Tories sided with the Grits again. (Check and see who was Tory leader at the time).

Fast forward to 2003/04. The IEC motion gave the AG permission to audit from 01 Apr 04 onward. DW didn't do it.

If he directed it to be done, then we have to wonder why he did so little. If DW knew or had reason to believe and also had the magical powers you claim, then he didn't do very much of anything.

He didn't change any of the rules about how money got spent and inf act he knew about the secret bonus payment but did nothing to stop it. His magical powers - which are at the heart of your version of events - apparently stopped short of actually doing something like stopping secret bonus payments.

It is not a partisan issue. Objective investigation like that of Chief Justice Green blow the partisan crap (like your version of events) out of the water.

Now you might not be a partisan. You might just be someone who was duped by the early stories, but there is so much evidence now that makes it plain just exactly how wrong those partisan stories are, the only ones who seem to keep pushing the partisan bullshit are...well...partisans.