Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The ADQ drag

Interesting goings on in Quebec. The ADQ is falling apart as the brand new leader resigns amidst fleeing caucus members. This story is of interest to observers of the federal scene given Harper's choice to ally Conservatives with the ADQ over the past few years and his choice to elevate Leo Housakos, an ADQ activist, to the Senate. CP has details of the additional potential trouble on the horizon:
Tory Senator Leo Housakos and Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office deflected comment Tuesday on new allegations of wrongdoing at the Action Democratique du Quebec (ADQ), where Housakos was the longtime financing director.

ADQ Leader Gilles Taillon resigned as leader on Tuesday, after only three weeks on the job, citing concerns about problems with the party's books as well as in-fighting.

"I found some troubling things in the party's financing practices since 2003 and I've asked the Surete du Quebec to investigate," Taillon said, without going into detail about what he says he has found.

There have been no formal charges nor any comment from the police on the matter.

Housakos, who was head of the ADQ's fundraising arm between 2001 to 2008, responded through his Senate assistant in Ottawa.

"Mr. Taillon is the leader of the ADQ, and as leader of that party, he's responsible to do as he sees fit," Housakos said in the statement.

"If he does have concerns about any matter, he can contact the proper authorities."

Dimitri Soudas, a spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, directed all questions about the matter back to the ADQ. Soudas is also a longtime supporter of the provincial party and friend of Housakos.
The Harper party is cutting its ties of late to the ADQ. But as recently as the spring, at that fundraiser in Montreal that spawned an ethics investigation of Housakos, the head of the ADQ attended and was said to have "distributed tickets to the fundraiser according to some of the guests at the event." If there's a split between the two, it's a recent thing.

So how's all that Quebec mojo workin' for them one day after that fantabulous by-election win?