Wednesday, March 29, 2006

They just can’t help themselves: Cherniak starts Liblog slush fund

I briefly checked out some of the Liberal blogs today and noticed that Jason Cherniak is trying to start a non-profit corporation for Liberal bloggers:

Today I will obtain the final signature on the application to incorporate the list of Liberal Bloggers as an Ontario non-profit company. We have now approached the moment of no return, where I will begin paying the government to make this all official.

For those who do not know yet, this new organization has been created for two reasons. The first is to protect me from liability for what others might post on sites that the Liberal Blogs list will link to. The second is to create an organization that can receive donations and then spend excess money to help the Liberal Party. The main idea is to become a third party advertiser during elections. The other and less certain idea is to create a Liberal Blogger Scholarship. If we go ahead with the second option. We will have to create some sort of board of notable bloggers and possibly other Liberals to judge a contest. That, however, is just a thought at the moment. The main goal is to raise money to pay for startup and hosting.

Wow. I wonder how they’ll decide how the third-party advertising money gets spent. I’d love to hear that conference call. Thirty-seven bloggers arguing over how to spend $187.63 (“Mom! Don’t turn the dryer on! I’m on a conference call!”) Or, as someone once described the Jerry Springer show: two women fighting over a man with one tooth.

But then again, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Liberals will donate thousands of dollars to Cherniak’s endeavour – out their own pockets. Cherniak used the phrase "paying the government" so I guess anything's possible. Only time will tell. I posted this comment on Cherniak’s blog:

You just can't help yourselves, can you?

Riddle me this: what's a Liberal without a slush fund? A New Democrat!

Finally, Cherniak’s comment about “the moment of no return” reminds me of this quote from Macbeth:

I am in blood
Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er.
--Macbeth, 3. 4.


Jason Cherniak said...

I don't understand your complaint. I am incorporating a company to run Liblogs - the list of Liberal Bloggers. If we are able to raise enough money to do anything else, then I would think that we are only following the advice of Adam Daifallah to Conservatives.

ferrethouse said...

I'm interested in understanding the third party election spending implications. I'm also interested in the liability implications of such a move. We are considering accepting donations for the Blogging Tories and people might feel more comfortable donating to an entity rather than individuals but we never have and never will be associated with the CPC.

I will be an interested observer of this development :)

Toronto Tory said...

The funny thing is, The Liberals tried to paint the Blogging Tories as being some official third party during the election.

Now, Liblogs is looking to become just that.

Would this go against the Liberals' own third party financing rules?

Dark Blue Tory said...

Excellent post.

After having read this, I'm somewhat bothered by the whole idea.

Toronto Tory hit the nail on the head. The Liberal party accused the Blogging Tories of doing the exact same thing.

In my opinion, it isn't right and is almost the equivalent to a slap in the face.

What hypocrites.

Robert McClelland said...

The funny thing is, The Liberals tried to paint the Blogging Tories as being some official third party during the election.

Wrong, that was your own disgruntled people. Carol Jamieson is not a Liberal.

As for this, Joan, I fail to see why it's such a problem when conservatives have a whole host of payola factories for rewarding the party faithful. Organizations like the Fraser Institute and the CTF exist primarily to put money into the hands of those who work to promote conservatism. So why is it wrong for Jason to do the same for liberalism?

VW said...

Because the FI and the CTF are nominally non-partisan, whereas Liblogs suggests a nominal affiliation with the LPC.

Also, both think tanks produce product (research reports, seminars, etc.) which justifies their budget. I'm not entirely certain that weblog entries qualify as a saleable product.

And the difference between Liblogs and the Blogging Tories is that the former is going to be a actual corporate entity for liability (and possibly taxation) purposes, while the latter is just an aggregator.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I am confused; doesn't the current Elections Act forbid 3rd party advertising during elections, and contributions either in money or in kind from anything other than individuals or registered parties?