About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Prescott Knows Pierre?

Just when everyone seemed content with the idea that Michael Sona had been run over by the bus enough times, we get breaking news yesterday that the so-called Christian Conservative Independent Andrew Prescott has reached an immunity deal for his alleged involvement in the Pierre Poutine/robocall scandal. According to CBC, Prescott has received notice that "the Crown has no intention" of charging him in connection with misleading phone calls in Guelph on the last Federal Election Day that directed voters to illegitimate polling stations. But if Prescott is getting protection from the law, does that mean he's turning in evidence on someone else? And of course we mean someone bigger than Sona.

You'll remember that Prescott, once Marty Burke's deputy campaign manager in the local 2011 race, said in a statement last year that, "I respect the voters and democracy far too much to participate in any disgusting dirty tricks like this." You'll also remember that it was revealed that Prescott has sought out advice from current Stephen Harper deputy chief of staff Jenni Byrne who said “Please hold off doing anything [talking to Elections Canada investigator Al Matthews] until I consult with a lawyer.” Well, I guess after being "Byrned," Prescott has decided to co-operate as the deal reached in December will see Prescott act as witness for the prosecution, not one of the accused, according to the CBC.
Prescott himself has repeatedly denied involvement in the conspiracy to defraud Guelphites of the vote, which itself seems to have been a part of a nation-wide coalition of people with the same goal. Still, Prescott was the Burke campaign's legitimate contact with RackNine, Inc., the company that made the Pierre Poutine robocalls, and both Prescott's personal account and Poutine's were accessed from the same computer within minutes of each other. Prescott himself, like many of his confederates on the Burke campaign, went to ground when the robocall scandal blew up nearly two years ago. So far, Sona's the only one that's been charged in relation to the case, he'll be back in court on June 2.
So what is Prescott giving up? Or more to the point, who is he giving up? Prescott left the province, but his boss Ken Morgan left the country (Kuwait to be precise). Several other members of the inner circle on the Burke campaign refused to be interviewed as well. Prescott wouldn't have surely sought legal protection from the long arm of the law if he didn't know something, or had the ability to lower the boom on someone else. It seems rather unlikely that it would be Sona he'd need protection from, and after all, Prescott said in 2012 that he was getting support from Sona "who knows I was not involved." Still, Prescott seems now not so innocent (if he ever did), and it will be very interesting to see if this cold scandal heats up again.

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