Legal eagle, copyright expert, blogger and Star contributor Michael Geist asks some very good questions about donations to the campaign of Liberal MP Sarmite (Sam) Bulte (Parkdale-High Park). See here, here and here. Geist is particularly concerned with Bulte's connection to copyright reform legislation and the sources of these contributions: lobby groups that work on behalf of the film, TV, music and publishing industries.
What makes the thousands of dollars raised from these groups particularly noteworthy is that Bulte's riding association was the only one to receive such contributions. In other words, at a time when the publishing, music, movie, and photographer industries and collectives were concerned with copyright reform, they chose to provide campaign contributions to just one Member of Parliament - Sam Bulte (or at least only one chose to accept such contributions).
Judging from the list of contributors, and the backers of her $250 a pop fundraiser just four days before the election, bets are that Bulte lands the Heritage Minister's post should the Liberals get re-elected and Liza Frulla gets torpedoed in Quebec as Liberals are expected to be.
The Globe's Jack Kapica connects the dots.
The fund-raiser is sponsored by Doug Frith (president of Canadian Motion Pictures Distributors Association, which represents U.S. branch-plant organizations in Canada), Danielle LaBoisserre (executive director of the Entertainment Software Alliance, which has a couple of major Canadian members but is dominated by U.S. and Japanese game-makers and their branch plants), Graham Henderson (president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, which represents U.S. and other foreign interests through their branch-plant organizations), Mr. Henderson's former law partner Stephen Stohn (whom the Copyright Board describes as one of "the engineers of the Canadian Private Copying Collective valuation model," which applies the levies on compact discs), and Jackie Hushion (executive director of the Canadian Publishers Council, which represents many branch-plant book publishers in Canada).
Margo Timmins will provide the entertainment. She is not only the sexy lead singer of the Cowboy Junkies but is also known as Graham Henderson's wife.
So, while none of this is illegal, there's at least an appearance of ... oh ... hmmm ... ahh ... what would Cole Porter call it? Oh yeah. Love for sale.