More misery coming down the pipe for Andrew Leslie, as National Defence sluggos scramble to comply with a flurry of new Access to Information requests for emails and other communications involving the good general in his final months in the hero biz.
There can be little doubt as to who’s stirring the muck on poor Leslie.
Documents showing that the Liberal star candidate had pissed away $72,000 in his post-retirement shuffle of Rockcliffe homes were served up to CTV by Conservative operative Jason Plotz, with an assist from the inside.
It’s become standard operating procedure for the Harperites – obedient government and exempt sluggos locate dirt on the enemy, and then party shiv artistes submit a suspiciously targeted ATIP to scoop up the docs for dissemination to sympathetic media. Whatever it is the Tories are looking for on Leslie, they already have it. The ATIP just provides cover.
The outrageous down-the-street moving bill was rightly considered a rather good kick to Leslie’s goolies, so it went to CTV and a bigger bang for the buck. Plotz’s onetime employers at Sun Media, the Tory propaganda arm with barely visible ratings, get leftovers.
It seems that, absent any signal from the electorate, both the Liberals and Conservatives have decided Leslie is worth the effort.
Justine Trudeau earlier this month introduced rules changes barring candidates with outstanding leadership campaign debts from contesting nominations, effectively taking 2011 candidate David Bertschi out of contention for another run in Ottawa-Orleans, thus smoothing the way for Leslie.
Open nominations, after all, are all well and good as long as the right people win them.
The Tories also found Leslie a good deuxième banane, a presentable and well-pedigreed wingman in uniform, unburdened by excessive charisma.
Back in 2007, Peter MacKay was shopping for a new Chief of Defence Staff who, unlike Gen. Rick Hillier, wasn’t more popular with the troops and the public than he was.
He started floating – and then officially denying – rumours that Hellyeah would soon be out on his rearguard. Then he hopped off to Afghanistan and a NATO shindig in Brussels with Leslie in tow.
The test drive went fine, but when it came time to award the prize, the Tories went with an even paler shade of beige in Gen. Wallie Natynczyk.
When the other combat boot drops for Leslie, look for him to drag out his macho “I’ve been shot at by real bullets” schtick once again.
Also watch for his former comrades in arms to again quietly wonder, er, when was that exactly?