EDMONTON, AB (October 14, 2014): Edmonton-Whitemud PC candidate Stephen Mandel expensed to taxpayers a political donation he made to the PC party and later on accepted a campaign donation of tax dollars from Alberta Health Services (AHS), Wildrose revealed today.
On Feb. 12, 2010, Mandel attended a joint Edmonton-Glenora/Edmonton-Riverview PC fundraiser featuring then Finance Minister Ted Morton at a cost of $225. According to documents obtained by Wildrose, Mandel then expensed the amount to taxpayers.
Later that year, during his mayoral re-election campaign, Mandel accepted a $600 donation from the Mazankowski Heart Institute – an AHS facility.
Both transactions violate Alberta elections laws. Mandel's contribution to the PCs violates the Elections Finances and Contributions Disclosures Act. AHS donating to Mandel's mayoral campaign violates the Local Authorities Elections Act.
“Mr. Mandel should immediately reimburse taxpayers for abusing their money for political gain,” Wildrose MLA Kerry Towle said. “Whether it’s $1 or $1,000 or $10,000, it shows that Mr. Mandel feels as though he is entitled to money that doesn’t belong to him. In that regard, Mr. Mandel is just more of the same.”
Mandel’s expensed donation to the PC party did not show up on the Elections Alberta list of illegal donations from 2010-11 after Elections Alberta wrote to every municipality asking for their direct and indirect political contributions.
Towle said it raises questions about whether or not Mandel deliberately withheld his contribution from Elections Alberta.
“We know Elections Alberta asked for precisely these kinds of illegal contributions and we also know dozens of municipalities complied with their request,” Towle said. “However, Mr. Mandel’s contribution is curiously absent from Elections Alberta’s list. Not only should Mr. Mandel repay this donation, he needs to explain why Elections Alberta was never made aware of it.”