Watergate anyone? Wildrose Edmonton office burgled, computers stolen, membership data being misused: Brian Jean

Posted on November 27, 2016, 10:59 pm
6 mins

PHOTOS: Brian Jean, leader of Alberta’s Wildrose Opposition Party, says he has no idea how representatives of another party gained possession of Wildrose membership lists and misused them (Wildrose.ca photo). Below: Progressive Conservative front-runner Jason Kenney, and Richard M. Nixon, who was president of the United States from 1969 to 1974.

UPDATED

In an email to supporters sent late Sunday with the bland subject line, “A Wildrose Update,” Opposition Leader Brian Jean drops a bombshell with the revelation someone broke into the party’s Edmonton office several weeks ago, stole two laptop computers and tried unsuccessfully to walk off with the party’s server.

Holy Cow! Watergate, anyone?

Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, January 31, 2011. Kenney's attack on the judicial system suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of how democracy works, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Mr. Jean starts a section of the email headed “I also want to update you on matters related to our party’s data security” with another startling revelation: “Some of you have been receiving unsolicited calls and letters from another political party.”

Mr. Jean doesn’t say whom in the email, or what the calls were about, but sources have confirmed, unsurprisingly, that the caller was the Progressive Conservative Party and the topic was the leadership campaign of Jason Kenney.

“I do not know how parts of our membership data appear to have been obtained by organizers in another party, but I have directed staff to investigate this and take all necessary steps to further protect our lists,” the Opposition leader stated in the email to members. “I want to be very clear that the unauthorized use of Wildrose membership data and the protection of Wildrose information are serious matters for me.”

Mr. Jean then appeared to connect a couple of dots, going on to make the statement the break-in had taken place.

“A number of weeks ago, our party office in Edmonton was targeted in a break-in,” he said. (The party office is the only one in the building.) “Some laptops were stolen and an unsuccessful attempt was made to steal Wildrose’s computer server.”

“We do not believe there was any data released during this incident but we cannot be certain. No credit-card information was contained on any of the missing password-protected laptops. A police investigation is ongoing and since the robbery we have moved our computer server offsite to a high-security location.”

nixon_6Mr. Jean concluded that section of the email with this: “I apologize to any of you who may have received unwanted contact from other political parties and, while Wildrose has always safeguarded our data, we will do even more to ensure the integrity of your information going forward.”

The lengthy email goes on to discuss the Wildrose party’s efforts to unite the right – as opposed to those of Mr. Kenney, the clear front-runner in the race to lead the PCs. Mr. Kenney’s unorthodox plan, as is well, known, is to fold the former governing party and merge it with the Wildrose, a project about which Mr. Jean is known to be unenthusiastic.

“In August I wrote to members and detailed my sit-down with Jason Kenney,” Mr. Jean wrote later in the report to members.

“A few days ago I sat down for a short meeting with another one of the PC leadership candidates,” he went on. “I took the opportunity to listen to him, and I told him about how Wildrose was doing. I told him what I told Jason Kenney and what I will tell every other PC leadership candidate: that I would not be involved in any secret negotiations and that only if a new PC leader has a mandate to reverse that party’s formal position that rejects even talking to Wildrose will I sit down with them. But as always I commit to you that the ultimate decision will rest with Wildrose members.” (Emphasis added.)

Describing the Progressive Conservatives as “going through a divisive fight right now,” Mr. Jean then revealed another interesting tidbit: “I’ve heard some concerning reports from some of you that you’ve received unsolicited calls claiming that I am encouraging Wildrose members to buy memberships and influence the leadership vote in the PC party. This claim is absolutely false. I would NEVER ask our members to interfere in the activities of another party.”

A Wildrose member not associated with the party leadership has confirmed he will ask Elections Alberta and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta today to investigate the information breach.

Just to be perfectly clear, as Richard M. Nixon might have said, let me say this about that Watergate reference above. The chain of events that brought down the Republican president, who resigned in August 1974, began with what Mr. Nixon called “a two-bit burglary” of the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., on June 17, 1972. The FBI investigated and discovered a connection between the burglars, who had bungled the job and were caught, and the Nixon campaign. The rest, including those thousands of subsequent –gate references, is history.

This post also appears on Rabble.ca.

14 Comments to: Watergate anyone? Wildrose Edmonton office burgled, computers stolen, membership data being misused: Brian Jean

  1. Deep Throat

    November 28th, 2016

    Wait a second – this information was not released until now, but the events happened several weeks ago. We do not hear about this until after the news of the phone calls comes out. What a convenient possible excuse, we could not release it until after a use is found? I smell something worse than what we see and hear on the face of this. So who is Haldeman and Erlichman in this modern Watergate. Cue up old Congressman William Hungate song from years past.

    Reply
    • David Climenhaga

      November 28th, 2016

      Dear Deep: This is correct. This will be a good assignment for the mainstream media to work on in the morning … why did the party wait so long before informing their members, and why was the information released at 5:30 on a Sunday afternoon? Another good question might be when the police were informed, and when they started their investigation. I just break the scoops, though. I will leave that to the professionals. DJC

      Reply
  2. November 28th, 2016

    Why was the info released on Grey Cup Sunday?

    Happened a while ago in BC too – Spiderman did it.

    Reply
  3. Athabascan

    November 28th, 2016

    Brown shirts would be my primary suspects. Look to motive, and ask who would have the most to gain from this latest dirty trick?

    Or, it could simply be an tweaked out teenager with no political agenda at all – yeah, right.

    Reply
  4. J.E. Molnar

    November 28th, 2016

    If they look for 18 ½ minutes of missing tape between Kenney and Jean’s meeting, the mystery may be solved. In addition, if reporters, “follow the money”, tangible information could be forthcoming. I know it served Woodward and Bernstein well.

    Reply
  5. November 28th, 2016

    I think Brian Jean would run naked though the streets if it would bring him a line of print! Any posts he does make are in papers that do not allow comment on the subject matter. That is because I have been posting their historical lies that built the party. The pen is truly more powerful than the sword!

    The wild rose started off with their most effective lie, we will stop the transfer payments to Ottawa, we will keep the millions of dollars paid Ottawa into Alberta. We pay these millions and get nothing back. People, especially in southern Alberta where it was authored ate it up. They embossed this story explaining in detail how it was the Chase Manhattan bank that saved Alberta in the early years, Canada would not come to our aid.

    This stems from the fact that a couple farmers approached the Chase Manhattan and got loans for their farms. Hardly a landslide.

    The truth: Secondly, there’s federal transfer payments and equalization. NOT ONE THIN DIME OF ALBERTA PROVINCIAL TAXES GOES TO OTTAWA OR THE OTHER PROVINCES!!! This is a myth perpetuated by Western isolationists and separatists. It’s our federal tax dollars, just like those of all Canadians, that are pooled together and shared with the provinces and territories. And Alberta is scheduled to get about $5.5 billion dollars from Ottawa in this way in the next fiscal year, or $1,600 Per Capita (the same Per Capita as BC & Saskatchewan, BTW). So this is an important shape of the part.

    And;
    Alberta received equalization payments until 1947 and again from 1957 to 1965. We got our share of the program when we needed it! It is a Canadian solution so both Harper and the WRP want to end it.

    These lies are what their party was built on. In truth they are an extension (by membership) of the US republican party who has been supported with millions of dollars from the LDS church.

    Reply
    • Audrey

      November 29th, 2016

      Do you have supporting evidence of this information? Links to the sites where you found this info? It is all well and good to post clear info, but unless it is supported, it is just rumour. I wasn’t born until 1972, so anything before then or tbh, before 1990 is irrelevant to me. To be clear, I am not attacking your post, but viscous rumours get started in just this way. If I am to believe what you say, I can’t just take you at your word.

      Reply
      • Hana Razga

        November 29th, 2016

        Then google it….

        Reply
    • November 30th, 2016

      Sorry man but the LDS church does not support any political party. Individual members support who they want but the church does not take a stand on politics!!!

      Reply
  6. Filostrato

    November 28th, 2016

    Sounds like they’re up to their old tricks but on the provincial stage in Alberta this time.

    “According to the ruling, Campaign Research’s Nick Kouvalis said that his company, and its sub-division, Campaign Support (which carries out voter identification projects) was retained by the Conservative party to “make voter identification calls into the federal electoral district of Mount Royal” in Montreal — the seat held for over a decade by Liberal Irwin Cotler.The calls sought to ascertain whether residents of the riding would consider supporting Stephen Harper and the Conservative party “in the upcoming election.” If the respondent asked what the election was for the callers were instructed to say that “some people are suggesting that the current MP MAY (emphasis theirs) retire,” and that the Conservative party was seeking support should there be a byelection.

    https://ipolitics.ca/2012/11/28/campaign-research-reprimanded-for-misleading-calls-to-liberal-riding/

    The “suggestion” by the Cons was a complete lie, of course.

    “Cotler has expressed concern that Saulie Zajdel — the Tory candidate he beat in last May’s election — has been working on the taxpayer’s dime to undermine him in his Montreal riding.”

    http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/69621-conservatives-dismiss-claims-shadow-mp

    Ah – and the name in the first quote, Nick Kouvalis. Isn’t he running the campaign for Kellie Leitch now? No tactics are scuzzy enough, I suppose, when winning is the only thing.

    Wildrose Gate…sounds almost like a country inn, doesn’t it?

    Reply
    • David Climenhaga

      November 28th, 2016

      Rosiegate sounds better, in my opinion, although Torygate would be more accurate.

      Reply
      • Pogo

        November 28th, 2016

        Our interloping overlord will likely pull off his “plan”, so my recommendation is to focus on the Devine like corruption that Brad Wall and his real estate vulnerabilities bring to the post modern (Con)servative brand, along with Kelly Leitch et al and their whole hog stampede to whatever remains of the “Trump” strategy. If you ever wanted to define what separates us from our neighbours to the south, now’s your chance. Let Jason revel in his dystopian, anti-democratic portraiture. He’ll be tarred tarred by the brush that paints them. When his election fight comes, the lake of fire will melt enough tar for two Jason Kenny puppets.

        Reply
      • Filostrato

        November 29th, 2016

        You’re right. Rosiegate or Torygate is much better. Shame to attach the provincial flower of Alberta to such a shameful manoeuvre.

        Almost forgot – apart from running Kellie Leitch’s campaign, Nick Kouvalis also helped get Rob Ford, the world-famous mayor of Toronto, elected.

        Reply
  7. Bill Brown

    November 30th, 2016

    LOL Only an asshat like Cimenhaga would spew such dribble Jason Kenney has lists of every voter of every stripe already and especially every conservative voter brain dead!

    Reply

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