You can call it tragic, heartbreaking or just wasteful when old friends fall out and become foes and litigants.
Or, if you’re Warren Kinsella, you can call it Wednesday.
Warren, as Adrienne Clarkson once said of Lucien Bouchard, is “a man of successive sincerities,” your bosom buddy one moment, posterior acupuncturist the next.
Just ask John Tory, Adam Radwanski, Michael Ignatieff, Jamie Watt, Robin Sears, Michael Marzolini, Paul Wells, John Tory, Gerard Kennedy, Carl Wilson, Jon Kay, [insert your name here] and on, and interminably, on.
And don’t even get us started on Wornout’s allegiances to his political party du jour. We can’t keep up!
Time was, the aging punk poseur was a dyed in the wool Liberal, a loyal fart catcher for the party, who wouldn’t be caught dead shilling for the Tories.
But it all went sideways when he was spurned by Liberal brass last year, after they heard he’d been sniffing around about the possibility of running as a Grit in Toronto Danforth.
Lord knows he tried his best to slurp his way onto Team Trudeau, even blogging an epic braunnose to Gerald Butts, following a profile of the Justin marionettist in the gutter press:
“Having worked elbow-to-elbow with Gerald on Dalton’s big victories in 2003, 2007 and 2011, I nodded my head at the assessments of his smarts. Gerald’s smart guy, Cons.
“I also laughed when I read the story revealed he didn’t call back. Gerald knows – as smart advisors always do – when they write glowing profiles about you, it never usually ends well.
“Justin is lucky to have him.”
Alas, all that sucking and blowing went for naught. Butts realized all too well that allowing Kinsellout into the Liberal tent would be like inviting Randy Quaid to a wedding to crush beer cans against the metal plate in his head.
Warren wrote off his rejection as testament to his rebelliousness. He’s just too honest, too outspoken to allow himself to be dictated to by party HQ.
“I haven’t ever hesitated to criticize my party when it deserved it,” he blogged last December. “I’m a contrarian. Incapable of being deferential to authority. I’ve never been good at kissing powerful behinds.”
Except where there’s money in them thar cheeks! Then he’ll pucker up for anybody!
Take, for example, Kinsellout’s deal with Bernie Valcourt, erstwhile Tory minister for aboriginal affairs and northern development.
According to Access to Information docs obtained by the satirical press, Wornout was recently contracted by Valcourt’s office as a “special ministerial representative,” working as liaison between Valcourt’s office and First Nations bands.
Kinsella was “appointed June 22 to consult with First Nations and other stakeholders and draft recommended options for the minister’s consideration.”
For that he gets to bill the department up to $208,000.
Of course, Warren has vast expertise in the First Nations negotiation biz:
A few years ago, he worked for the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation in Dryden, to help them get provincial approvals to build a casino.
Wornout charged the Wabigoons $9,000 a month, but the deal went south after the Winnebagos asked how it was possible that Kinsellout could be billing them at the same time he was working on Sandra Pupatello’s ill-fated Liberal leadership campaign.
Kinsellout sued his native brothers for $54,000 and the case bounced between lawyers for years.
He also lobbied on behalf of the Carcross Tagish First Nation in the Yukon to negotiate a financial transfer agreement from the feds.
As luck would have it, Kinsella’s daughter hails from the Carcross Tagish.
“Since my daughter is a citizen of CTFN we felt we needed to help… to shine a light on what the Harper government is doing to this proud First Nation. We intend to help them tell their story to the whole country, and force the Conservative government back to the table.”
Of course, that was before the Tories had become Warren’s new bffs.
Kinsella delisted himself as a lobbyist for CTFN last May, just ahead of his gig with Valcourt’s office, thus putting to rest any mean-spirited and spurious suggestions of conflict of interest.
The Valcourt emolument was much appreciated at Warren’s lobbying firm, Daisy Inc., where business isn’t quite as brisk as when Premier Dalton McWimpy bestrode Queen’s Park.
Back in the day, when he was still married to the last Mrs. Kinsella, Suzanne Amos, court filings pegged his annual income at some $500,000.
Nicely supplementing his take-home were well-deserved contracts from the Liberals’ “caucus appropriations” fund, legislative monies doled out with maximum discretion and the greatest of oversight.
Between 2004-05 and 2008-09, a total of $383,249 made its way into the coffers of SEAK Communications, a company registered to Suzanne.
Starting in 2009-10, as the Kinsella union foundered, the lolly ($262,355 worth) started flowing instead to West Bay Communications, a company registered to Wornout.
But in the years since Premier Dad unexpectedly went out for smokes and left Kathleen Wynne to mop up the mess, Kinsella has found such handouts fewer and farther between.
He’s burned his bridges with Liberals in Ottawa and Queen’s Park, and there’s no love from the NDP, ever since his performance with Olivia Chow’s mayoralty campaign last year.
That leaves the Tories, for whom Wornout has now sold his estimable services for the aforementioned $208K.
So enamoured is Warren with his newfound friends that he’s even running the Tories’ “He’s just not ready!” banner ad on his website.
A loyal Liberal to the end.