Rights and Democracy: the very textbook definition of cronyism

Some behaviour is so asinine it takes a little while for the plain meaning of it to sink in. Which is why I am only now highlighting one paragraph of Rights and Democracy president Gerard Latulippe’s letter to the Commons Foreign Affairs committee.

The committee had asked Latulippe and his immediate predecessor, R&D board member and erstwhile interim president Jacques Gauthier, for details of various actions and expenditures. One thing they asked about was “Payments to Mr. Navarro-Génie (board member) while acting as an advisor to Mr. Gauthier including details of his assignment.”

Here’s Latulippe’s answer, two months after he received the request. “$2,925. I don’t have details of his assignment.”

To which the only possible reply, delivered through clenched teeth while trying to remain even a little calm, is why the hell not?

Marco Navarro-Génie is a board member of Rights and Democracy, which has held meetings since the Foreign Affairs Committee asked for details of his assignment. He is a signatory to repeated National Post op-eds along with Gauthier and board chairman Aurel Braun. He is an academic and occasional radio commentator in Calgary. He follows me on Twitter. He’s in the Okotoks telephone directory. He’s an easy guy to find.

He pocketed $2,925 in taxpayer money that was given to him by Jacques Gauthier while the two of them sat on the same board and were engaged on the same side of a highly public political dispute, in which both paraded, and continue to parade, as advocates of transparency and accountability. There is no conceivable explanation for a failure, by Navarro-Génie, Gauthier and Latulippe, to account in public for every dime of that money.

That explanation is long past due.