Another fine in UCP 'kamikaze' investigation brings total to $75,500

Another person has been fined by Alberta’s election commissioner for donating money that was not his own to the United Conservative Party leadership campaign of Jeff Callaway.

Christopher Maitland donated $3,000 for the 2017 leadership contest and has been hit with a $4,500 fine.

He’s just the most recent person to be sanctioned. So far, the election commissioner has levied $75,500 in fines tied to the Callaway campaign.

It’s alleged money was funnelled into the campaign from a corporation and distributed by Callaway’s communications manager Cam Davies.

Donations through others

Davies has been fined a total of $12,000 for contributing money to the campaign under the names of other people. 

Hardyal (Happy) Mann detailed to CBC News how his name and the names of two family members were added to donation forms with his consent. 

He said the money never passed through his accounts. 

Callaway’s chief financial officer, Lenore Eaton, has been fined for knowingly making false statements on the candidates financial returns and for failing to advise of a banned corporate donation. 

Eaton, who could face jail time, was also the chief financial officer of that corporation, Energize Alberta, which was controlled by Calgary businessman Robyn Lore. 

‘Kamikaze’ campaign

Callaway ran a “kamikaze” campaign in 2017 on behalf of Jason Kenney, now premier. Kenney won the UCP leadership on Oct. 28, 2017, after the Alberta Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties merged.

Callaway ran for the sole purpose of targeting Kenney’s chief rival, former Wildrose leader Brian Jean, and then dropping out of the race to support Kenney.

Both men deny the allegations, but CBC News has obtained emails showing higher-ups in Kenney’s campaign circle providing resources — strategic political direction, media and debate talking points, speeches, videos and attack advertisements — to the Callaway campaign.

There was a timeline for when Callaway would drop out of the campaign and throw his support behind Kenney.

Kenney’s deputy chief of staff, Matt Wolf, even emailed a resignation speech to Callaway the day he dropped out of the leadership race.

Voter fraud investigation

The investigation into campaign contributions is in addition to an RCMP investigation into allegations of voter fraud in the 2017 UCP leadership race. 

A CBC News investigation has revealed the fraudulent emails were used to cast ballots in that race, but the party has said the contest was clean. 

Recently, the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service said it was appointing an out-of-province prosecutor to oversee the investigation into the voter fraud allegations. 

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