Do politicians really want to play the game of checking to see who has ever donated to everybody? It’s likely that few would emerge from that looking good.
Conservative MP Derek Sloan is under fire from Press Progress, after it was revealed that neo-Nazi Paul Fromm had donated $131 to the Conservative Party, specifically to Derek Sloan’s campaign for party leader.
Of course, nobody should ever be accepting support from a hate-monger like Fromm.
Yet, disappointingly, rather than seek more facts, the Conservative Party immediately responded in a way that seemed to throw Sloan under the bus without a defence:
“This individual donated to Derek Sloan’s leadership campaign in August, not to Mr. O’Toole or the Conservative Party. As per the leadership contest rules, the party merely processed the donations of leadership campaigns. Mr. O’Toole is outraged that anyone would accept donations from this individual and will be looking into the matter.”
It’s disappointing, because it turns out the facts cast things in a very different light.
That was revealed thanks to some great reporting by Justin Ling:
“Really crucial info missing from the story: This very recognizable neo-Nazi didn’t donate as “Paul Fromm” but as “Frederick P. Fromm.”
Putting aside any other issues with Sloan, I don’t think you can expect the party to be on the look out for all of Fromm’s nommes de plume.”
Really crucial info missing from the story: This very recognizable neo-Nazi didn't donate as "Paul Fromm" but as "Frederick P. Fromm."
Putting aside any other issues with Sloan, I don't think you can expect the party to be on the look out for all of Fromm's nommes de plume. https://t.co/z7pctryABU
— Justin Ling (@Justin_Ling) January 18, 2021
With O’Toole trying to move his image closer to the centre, he is likely tempted to use this story as an ‘opportunity’ to boot out Sloan.
However, that would be deeply unfair to Sloan.
It’s not about agreeing with Sloan or disagreeing with him on broader issues, it’s about basic human fairness here.
Sloan and his campaign certainly didn’t know that Paul Fromm was donating to them. To try and link Sloan and Fromm is absurd, and holding a campaign or party accountable for every single donation they get is simply impossible.
There are hundreds of thousands of donations made by people across Canada to parties every year. If we looked through every one, and cross-referenced that with every person in the country, we would certainly find some hateful people who have given to every organization across the political spectrum.
Many Conservatives will be watching to see what happens with this story, because if O’Toole exploits this unfair narrative against Sloan it will lead many Conservatives to feel that anyone and everyone in that party will be thrown under the bus if it seems ‘expedient,’ regardless of the truth.
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