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Friday, 11 July 2014

Dean Del Mastro’s death by a thousand cuts

Dean Del Mastro, MP for Peterborough, took the stand again today during a trial in which he and the former agent for his 2008 campaign, Richard McCarthy, are charged with overspending and then covering up the misdeed. Central to the Crown’s case is a $21,000 personal cheque paid by Del Mastro to Holinshed, a now-defunct Ottawa-based polling firm.
 
Defence counsel does not look worried
The day started with Tom Lemon, counsel for the Crown, showing Del Mastro spreadsheets of potential voters sent to him by Holinshed. Lemon tried to pin down Del Mastro to indicate that this was evidence of voter ID on the part of Holinshed, and not simply for getting out the vote on election day.

“I’ve been on a lot of campaigns, Mr. Lemon,” said Del Mastro. “That entire list would have been for contacts on election day...Your assumption is totally incorrect.”

As in previous examination by Lemon, Del Mastro proved himself to be a skilled navigator of court proceedings. Clearly knowledgeable of election processes, at times Del Mastro appeared to out-match Lemon.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Perjury a near certainty at Del Mastro trial

At the Dean Del Mastro trial someone is almost certainly lying. And those lies are real doozers.

Del Mastro took the stand again today in his defence against charges that he and his former electoral agent, Richard McCarthy, overspent on Del Mastro’s 2008 campaign. Central to the Crown’s evidence is a $21,000 personal cheque: Del Mastro says it was intended for a software package not used during the writ period; the Crown says it paid for some election expenses, putting Del Mastro over both his personal and his campaign limit.
 
Outside the Simcoe St. court house
During his testimony Del Mastro categorically denied much of the alleged email correspondence with former pollster Frank Hall that has been entered as evidence in the case.

In reference to a September 14, 2008 email allegedly from Del Mastro to Frank Hall that says, “Hi, Frank, it is crucial that you call me,” Del Mastro said, “I never wrote that.”

The subject at the beginning of the email chain was “ASAP”, and was changed in the chain to “Re: quote”. Del Mastro said that ‘someone’ had deliberately amended the subject line.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Dean Del Mastro walks down memory lane: “It was hard for a 23-year-old white guy to get a job.”

We are into week three of the Dean Del Mastro trial, and have finally arrived at the moment many have been waiting for: Mr. Del Mastro, MP for Peterborough, has taken the stand in his own defence.
 
Dean Del Mastro
Under examination from his lawyer, Jeff Ayotte, Del Mastro took a walk down memory lane, explaining that he had to return to Peterborough from his studies at the University of Windsor after his father died in the winter months of 1994.

“I would have graduated that spring, but was called back,” he said. “Those were Rae Days. It was hard for a 23-year-old white guy to get a job.”

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Note to Del Mastro defence: attacking this witness was bad math

The Dean Del Mastro trial resumed on Wednesday, July 2, with the defence team firing salvos at Frank Hall, the prosecution’s star witness.
 
Del Mastro outside court in Peterborough
Wearing a dark suit and white shirt, Hall parried questions from Del Mastro’s lawyer, Jeff Ayotte, as well as Dave McFadden, counsel for Richard McCarthy, Del Mastro’s official agent for his 2008 campaign. Both McCarthy and Del Mastro are charged with overspending on the campaign, and then covering it up.

Hall, along with his brother Colin and wife Jennifer, ran the Ottawa-based polling firm Holinshed, which Del Mastro used during his 2008 election campaign.