The Harper Index

Anders, Rob – Battle to fix nomination contradicts Harper's Reform roots

Party spends hundreds of thousands to fix nomination of Calgary MP CNN called a "professional heckler".

Conservatives have spent heavily for Rob AndersCALGARY, June 1, 2007: The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in a legal battle to ensure the nomination of one of its most controversial MPs.

The party's national council chose to deny voting rights to new members in Calgary West to prevent Rob Anders from facing a second nomination battle.

Eleven disgruntled Conservatives have waged an expensive legal battle that has gone on since last August. Under the party's new rules, only those who were party members last August get ballots, which made it impossible for many members to contest a nomination battle with incumbent Anders. Elsewhere, any Conservative who has held a membership for three weeks can vote at a party nomination. As a result, Anders will probably be acclaimed.

Anders' history is full of controversy. Before being elected in 1997 he had worked in the United States for the Republican Party for in the 1994 senate campaign of Jim Inhofe in Oklahoma. According to a CBC website, "he spent two months as a professional heckler for a Republican in the 1994 Oklahoma senatorial race and was labelled a 'foreign political saboteur' by CNN. From 1995-1996, he was director of Canadians Against Forced Unionism, a project of the National Citizens' Coalition in Calgary."

The organizations that Anders supports comprise a list of the Canadian far-right-wing organizations, including the Fraser Institute, the Alberta Taxpayers' Association, the Progressive Group for Independent Business, the Canadian Property Rights Research Institute, the National Firearms Association, Responsible Firearms Owners of Alberta, National Right to Work Committee, Focus on the Family and the Canada Family Action Coalition.

In June 2006, federal Liberals called on the RCMP to investigate claims of a former assistant that Anders defrauded taxpayers. A lawsuit was filed against Anders by James Istvanffy, who alleges he was fired from his job with the MP after questioning Anders' financial accounting.

Istvanffy alleges Anders borrowed thousands of dollars from him for expenses and used salary increases, false travel expenses and even bookshelves purchased for his office to pay Istvanffy back.

Related individuals, organizations and significant events
Reform Party

Harper Conservative vs. Public Values Frame
  Direct democracy / Old-style politics, cronyism, favouritism
  Economic conservatism / Far right-wing lobby groups, facade

Links and sources
  Canada Votes, 2006: Rob Anders, CBC
  Liberals call for police probe of Tory MP over fraud allegation, Canadian Press, Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Posted: June 01, 2007

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