Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The Harper government's new Adams family starring Eve Adams and Dimitr! Soudas!

Dimitri Soudas had early involvement in Eve Adams' campaign, notes suggest

Notes that appear to document a first meeting of MP Eve Adams' campaign for the riding of Oakville say her fiance, Dimitri Soudas, was part of a small group organizing her bid

By Tonda MacCharles
Ottawa Bureau Reporter
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Dimitri Soudas was part of a small group organizing Eve Adams campaign bid from the very beginning, suggest notes obtained by The Star. (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star)

OTTAWA - Notes that appear to document a first meeting of MP Eve Adams’ campaign for the new federal riding of Oakville say her fiancé, Dimitri Soudas, was part of a small group organizing her bid from the get-go.

The notes, obtained by The Star, indicate 10 people attended a small gathering early on January 18, called the “start-up meeting” of Adams’ “nomination planning committee,” to lay out her campaign strategy - one that would increase her visibility in a new riding that is not the seat she currently represents in Parliament.

The attendees included Adams, Soudas (the recently dismissed head of the Conservative Party of Canada), Adams’ local campaign chairman Stephen Sparling and seven others, the notes say.

In separate comments to The Star Tuesday, Sparling and Soudas denied Soudas was at the meeting, and blamed her rivals for spreading false stories about her campaign. Sparling suggested the document was either “in error” or was altered by someone.

However, Sparling did not respond to requests to produce an unaltered or unrevised version of the document.

Instead, Soudas pointed the finger directly at John Mykytyshyn, a supporter of Natalia Lishchyna, who intends to run against Adams for the Oakville nomination, saying he is “shopping around” a document that is false.

The Star could not verify the authenticity of the meeting minutes.

Mykytyshyn in an interview said he had also seen a copy of the document at issue. “I got mine from a credible source inside Eve’s team,” said Mykytyshyn.

“I’m not surprised that a campaign that’s specialized in misleading, falsification and outright lying to the prime minister is saying this, given that it shows that they’ve been caught red-handed.”

The minutes allude to other campaign activity by Soudas: “The brochure Eve and Dimitri had printed up was discussed. There will be a second brochure done,” the notes say.

It says Adams “promised more Cabinet Minister endorsements in upcoming brochures.” And the notes say the meeting discussed a suggestion that “someone approach Pinball Clements (sic) to support Eve.” (Michael “Pinball” Clemons is the popular former Toronto Argonauts football player.)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper had Soudas fired last week as Executive Director of the Conservative Party of Canada for meddling in the nomination campaign of Adams, his girlfriend, contrary to his job contract.

Soudas had agreed to stay out of Adams’ race because the party has promised fair and open contests for the right to carry the Conservative flag in 338 seats in the 2015 election, meaning incumbent MPs get no protection from challenges. Adams has changed ridings, moving from Mississauga to Oakville, where she now lives with Soudas.

Soudas has told reporters he acted out of love to help Adams after she fell February 27 and suffered a bad concussion.

Soudas denied he attended the January 18 meeting, saying in a written reply to The Star that he “checked my schedule and . . . dropped off Eve and left for a meeting. I can 100000% (sic) confirm I did not participate in this meeting.”

Sparling told The Star last week, and again Tuesday that “at no time was Dimitri involved” in Adams’ campaign, or “in any planning meeting prior to his resignation.” He insists that Soudas stepped down and was not fired by Harper.

“He hasn’t participated in any of our meetings, he wasn’t involved in any of our planning meetings in any way shape or form,” said Sparling. “Something has either been sent in error or altered.”

He conceded Soudas is now involved in Adams’ campaign “now that he’s resigned, a little more directly involved.”

The minutes suggest campaign strategy was discussed at length. The team’s goal was specific: turn out 350 people at a nomination meeting for the new riding by setting a target of at least 1,000 new members. They discussed seeking support through “meet and greet parties,” and approaching church groups, community groups and residents associations.

The strategy included producing editorials for local newspapers to “promote Eve as a person who has chosen to move to Oakville and raise her family here”; and outlines an early start on social media promotion for her campaign. “Contact info for Eve is set up and cleared by the Ethics Commission,” the notes state.

Beyond the attendance of Soudas, the minutes say the Conservative party’s political operation director Fred DeLorey had contact with Sparling, Adam’s campaign chair, to clarify questions about her supporters’ right to attend riding board meetings.

“The EDA (riding association) was informed by the Party that paid up members are allowed to observe meetings of the EDA board. The board cannot hold the entire meeting in-camera.”

Neither DeLorey nor the party responded to requests for comment. Another participant at the January 18 meeting emailed The Star late Tuesday to back Soudas. Phyllis Keen said Soudas “did drop Eve Adams off, but was not present for any of the planning discussions.”


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