Frank is surprised and chagrined to hear Barry McLoughlin, image consultant to a generation of elflords, politicos and corporate weasels, is himself facing a bit of a PR contretemps.
It seems like only yesterday that Tory troughers were jealously complaining about how the bow-tied backslapper was eating their collective lunch, making a sole-sourced killing supplying pre-packaged media events to Harper ministers.
Barry and his wife-cum-collaborator, Laura Peck, have schmoozing down to a science, racking up near-perfect attendance on the Ottawa cocktail circuit and never missing an opportunity to stroke President Steve and First Lady Laureen, with whom Laura is extremely tight.
Alas, an unplanned interruption in cash flow, appears to have left the Rockcliffe power couple momentarily embarrassed.
WE Travel, the York Street travel emporium, was obliged to drag Barry into small claims court in November over airline tickets he bought for himself and Laura this past spring, two on April 28, 2014 ($3237.14) and two more on April 30 ($3,983.34), for a total of $7,220.48.
“Both cheques have been returned by the bank. Mr. McLoughlin has written us many emails that payment is coming…this has been going on since end of April,” branch manager Patrick Amiel complains in his filings.
For his part, Barry proposes to pay $601.07 a month starting Dec. 15, which, barring any further NSF incidents, would cover the bill by the end of next year.
Included in the court file are photocopies of McLoughlin’s bounced cheques, and this Oct. 14 knee-bender from the Great Communicator himself:
I received your letter with the invoice including your proposed action of going to Small Claims Court to recover the funds owing WE Travel. That is completely unnecessary, and costly in terms of time and money for both parties. There is no dispute over the fact that we owe you the money. I have made considerable efforts to try to bring in enough money to pay these outstanding bills, and I am continuing to do so. We have a full – court press underway to generate the revenue necessary.
When I told you that the bill is a top priority for us, I meant it. just to illustrate the the reality of that, we have not been able to pay health insurance premiums (5 months overdue) which should give you an idea of the impact of this on us and my family.
I have taken several steps to receive additional financing in recent months, and am still awaiting information from two firms who might be in a position to provide us with that source of funding, in order to pay off your debt and several others. I would ask you to continue to be patient and I think you know that we would never leave a bill unpaid. We will of course be adding interest to our debt to WE Travel.
Rather than trying to pick a date out of the air, or make a specific commitment that I can’t be 100% of meeting, I will do my absolute best to begin payments as soon as our revenue picks up the Fall.
Thank you again for all your work for us in the past. I know how frustrated you are, but rest assured that we will fix this problem with all our energies as soon as possible.