Liberal candidate outraged he’s being outspent
Now here’s an unexpected turn of the election tables.
With the provincial election only a week away, one downtrodden Liberal candidate is accusing his rival, New Democrat Leader Brian Mason, of launching a "dirty war" that is outspending his grassroots campaign tenfold.
Liberal Brad Smith — running against Mason in Edmonton-Highlands Norwood — says the NDP’s launch of a $140,000 television ad campaign raises suspicions of "big money."
He suspects the federal NDP, which receives annual government grants based on total voters in the last national election, may be involved in financing the Alberta campaign.
"It looks like Canadian taxpayers are subsidizing Brian Mason’s dirty war," Smith said in a release.
When asked to clarify his comments for Metro yesterday, Smith said he has no actual proof of his allegation but said it’s hypocritical for the NDP to target the Liberals for accepting corporate donations while they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising.
"We have very strong suspicions and we want Brian Mason to come clean on this," he said.
When asked about the allegations against him yesterday, Mason appeared taken aback before finally laughing.
"He’s making some wild accusations there that he has no proof of whatsoever," he said, adding he isn’t aware of any NDP campaign funding coming from his federal cousins, or taxpayers. "For now, I’m just going to laugh it off."
While the NDP has come down hard on the Liberals for accepting big oil donations, he said, his party has raised money from individuals the old-fashioned way: One penny at a time.
"We never said that you don’t need money in an election campaign," he said. "Election campaigns are expensive and we’ve been very effective with our fundraising without having to go to big corporations to finance it."