How dismaying to see my old compadre Jamie Carroll drawing RCMP attention for alleged violations of the Lobbying Act.
The Horsemen claim the former Liberal Party national director and Stephane Dion leadership sluggo was remiss in his paperwork, entering into an “undertaking to communicate with public office holders for payment” with an unnamed Ottawa health care centre in 2012, but failing to duly register as their arse-creeper with the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying.
In the thoroughly unlikely event of a conviction, our Jamie could, worst case, be looking at a $200,000 fine and/or two years in pokey.
Jamie took to Facebook this week to deny the allegations and the alligator: “In 2012, I was an employee of Tactix Government Relations & Public Affairs. My role at Tactix was focused on business development. At no time did I ever lobby anyone in government on behalf of the client in question.”
“I vigorously deny this charge and while I will not be litigating this matter in public (and therefore will have no further comment) I hope that those who know me and know how hard I have worked to build my reputation over many years in Ottawa know I would never be so foolish as to risk it on a matter like this.”
That’s good enough for Frank. To be fair, though, Jamie’s labours in a series of fartcatching gigs in the Martin interregnum, (behind Veronique de Passile in the Martin PMO, then Fishmin Geoff Regan, and then Backpack Boy at Environment), left him with few admirers in Ottawa, especially in his stint at Environment, where committee members marvelled at both his prickish oeuvre and his cranial impermeability on almost any file.
Nonetheless, Jamie demonstrated his loyalty and utility as financial agent to Team Dion, personally loaning $30,000 to the campaign’s war chest.
Where had the 28-year-old shineboy found that kind of scratch? Some suggested galpal Megan Meltzer (now Jamie’s delightful spouse), a fellow Dionista and former Laurier Club bag girl, might have been of some assistance in this matter.
Or, more specifically, her moneybags mater and pater in Montreal, who were in the habit of furnishing the young couple with, among other amenities, restorative holidays at the palatial family spread in West Palm Beach.
Whatever its ultimate source, Jamie’s generosity was compounded by a leisurely repayment schedule; Dion’s leadership campaign debt long outlived his, er, leadership, with the last creditors paid off sometime in 2012.
By that time, Jamie was long gone from his reward gig as national director, obliged to walk the plank in ’07 after too many public feuds with Iggy’s stooges and some tragically misunderstood remarks about francophones and Chinese Canadians in the party.
Ottawa can be a cold-ass town for those on the political outs and Jamie, with Megan pregnant, severance running down and employment elusive, could no doubt have used his $30K about then.
Ma and Pa Meltzer’s chequebook of course, was never far away, as will no doubt be the case if Jamie’s quest to clear his name of these ill-conceived charges proves an excessive financial burden.