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The Annals of Digital Recording: 'Preston is out of the country and cannot comment'

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Preston Manning

Is somebody going around trying to pull a Mitt Romney on Preston Manning and the boys.

Romney, alert readers will recall, was the U.S. Republican presidential candidate who not so long ago was captured in a digital recording telling a bunch of well-wishers that, oh, about 47 per cent of the American population is made up of lazy bums so dependent on government handouts they're willing to do anything -- even vote for Barack Obama -- to stay that way!

If you enjoy playing Clue, you'll appreciate the irony that it was the Bartender, in the Dining Room, with a Cellphone, who did in Romney.

Now it would seem that some similarly inspired bright spark infiltrated a meeting of Calgary homebuilders last November and made an interesting recording. No doubt bartenders everywhere are praying the culprit of this latest outrage doesn't turn out to be another bartender.

Anyway, here's the exact text of an email sent Thursday by the Manning Centre for Building Democracy (sic), the right-wing boiler room established in Calgary by the former Reform Party leader and Mitt Romney soul mate to assist the spread of neoliberal doctrine into all corners of Canadian life, to some of its supporters:

+ + +

Dear participants,

We were contacted on April 17th by a Global News Calgary reporter who informed us that a meeting of Calgary home builders held last November had been secretly recorded.

We have not yet heard the actual recording, but we were told that a Manning donor is heard saying he had exceeded his maximum legal political contributions, as well as claiming that Calgary home builders hadbought the support of Preston Manning for over $1M in donations.

We understand that the story may run this evening.

Our Response:

- The Manning Centre is indeed involved in the training of political candidates/campaign organizers in the upcoming municipal election – this should not come as a surprise.

- The Municipal Governance Project adheres to the vision, mission, and values of the Centre, and is not directed by our donors.

- Calgary is the pilot project for the Municipal Governance Project. However, the aim is to apply it across the country.

- Preston is out the country and cannot comment.

- Incoming Manning Centre chair Chuck Strahl is prepared to respond to media as needed in Preston's absence.

- If you have any question and would like to discuss this further, please contact Manning Centre Vice-President Dave Quist at 403.255.8100 or [email protected].

- All media enquiries are to be forwarded to Morten Paulsen (403.399.3377 or [email protected]).

Olivier Ballou
Director of Communications
Manning Centre for Building Democracy
514 11 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB  T2R 0C8

t  403.255.8100 x 564
c 613.720.0688
e  [email protected]

+ + +

The story or the video does not appear to have run on Global. I don't know anything about this matter except what I read in the Manning Centre email that found its way into my hands, so if you have any questions, I guess you’ll have to speak with Quist, the former executive director of the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, or Paulsen or Ballou.

This post also appears on David Climenhaga's blog, Alberta Diary.

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