Campaigns are not allowed to accept corporate or union donations. “I have been in business for 20 years and have been a city councilor for four years. It is unacceptable to just turn around and bullshit about my integrity and my ethics, ”Davison said at a press conference his campaign hosted on Wednesday.
“I can tell you that this complaint is based on the actions of an over-enthusiastic volunteer. We obviously take these actions seriously and have taken steps to ensure this does not happen again. “
Davison said all volunteers must now sign a code of conduct. He said the volunteer in question is still with the campaign.
But he also denied that anything bad happened and reiterated his campaign and the third-party advertiser in question are separate entities.
When asked, Davison agreed that campaigns should not promote a third-party advertiser.
” Exact. And that is why we have taken steps to ensure that this does not happen again, ”he said.
Allegations and Complaints
Earlier this month, a Davison campaign official sent emails to supporters promoting a golf tournament with proceeds going to the campaign. Sponsorship options included naming rights as well as logo or signage locations, all of which are common rewards offered to corporate sponsors at fundraising events.
A subsequent, nearly identical email promoting the tournament was sent by third-party advertiser Calgary Tomorrow.
According to the Law on Local Authority Elections, candidates cannot solicit contributions from prohibited organizations such as corporations or trade unions. Third-party advertisers are also not allowed to circumvent the contribution rules by agreeing with a candidate, or vice versa.
The emails gave rise to multiple complaints to Elections Alberta.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi on Monday called the allegations “extremely disturbing.”
“It’s simple: corporate and union donations are not allowed in the countryside,” he said.
“You can’t use a third-party advertiser to launder corporate donations so that they end up in your campaign. It’s really, really bad. It is deeply problematic if that is what is actually happening. “
Nenshi said the legislation governing APTs was flawed. Changes made by the province last year removed spending limits for PTAs.
Davison said his campaign would follow the rules, but said they were “messy and too complex” and that he would work with the province to revise them if elected mayor.
“As a candidate, however, I cannot hamper my campaign by rejecting TPA support unless all campaigns do the same,” he said.
Davison will face a number of other mayoral candidates in October, including his fellow council members Jyoti Gondek and Jeromy Farkas. Both said on Wednesday that they did not work directly with APTs.
Farkas has said he does not believe in Davison’s defense.
“It just doesn’t make sense that he could say all of a sudden that nothing untoward has happened, but then say it won’t happen again,” Farkas said.
Gondek said she was uncomfortable commenting, as an investigation may be underway, but said candidates were familiar with the rules.
“My campaign, and I in particular, is well aware that you can’t get along with a third-party advertiser, you can’t create one, you can’t ask them to do things for you,” he said. she declared. “These are things we know. So we are not entering this territory. “
Elections Alberta has yet to confirm whether he is investigating the complaints, and Davison said his campaign has not been contacted by the organization responsible for investigating election law violations.