Back here I told the story of a frustrating bit of research where I ended up finding a small bouquet of strange connections between the Harper Conservatives and the BC Liberal party of Christy Clark. The problem was, I felt there had to be something more or, at the very least, something substantive.
The other problem is that connections like this don't exist in a vacuum. There had to be some form of political courtship and there had to be an event when it all came together.
I was pretty much knackered at that point but thought that rather than just leave it dangling I should offer up the connections I had and see if the finest people in the world, our readers, could see something significant. Cookies were offered.
Now, rather than give the entire synopsis, I'll link to the connections that were found in the order they were gathered. You go to each one because they each have extensive research for you to gather in.
First to jump into the swamp was RossK, our inimitable Gazetteer. Assisted by one of the only people who can dig a cockroach out of a database full of rats, North Van Grumps, he came up with a new name: Nina Chiarelli.
Next to wade into the illustrious pond of castor canadensis was the most excellent Alison, who, being something of a beach watcher in her own right, gave us a newer arrival: Dimitri Pantazopoulos. She also makes the point that Ken Boessenkool was a lobbyist for Enbridge ... our Northern Gateway crowd.
Once again NVG pulls some files from his wicked archive and RossK finds another angle that cannot be ignored.
Beijing York, in the comments section waved an idea around. Were the Harperites infiltrating beyond their precincts?
It turns out our intrepid BY had something. We found Harperite connections in the Ontario PCs, the Alberta Wild Rose party and, (it should go without saying), spilling over a chair in the Toronto mayor's office.
So ... what else?
Well, there is just what we've got. Alison's connection is significant. Pantazopoulos appeared to be on the public payroll on 4 April 2011, after working on Christy Clark's leadership bid. And, as RossK points out there was public knowledge of Pantazopoulos' hiring on 17 March 2011, just 3 days after Christy Clark was sworn in as Gordon Campbell's replacement.
Add this. Harper's operatives were here during the BC Liberal leadership campaign, as we have already seen.
Were they here by request? Were they here to secure an HST friendly premier, no matter what he or she looked like?
Gordon Campbell was squeezed out by his own caucus over the plummeting fortunes of the BC Liberals over the HST. To this day, you would have to root deep into a badger hole to find anybody who doesn't believe that Campbell and his cabal didn't have the whole idea planned before the 2009 provincial election. And an FOI request proved it.
Campbell was in the Harper boat.
Did Gordon Campbell drop a Harper bomb on BC?