Communication among leadership campaigns not unusual: Kenney
|CTVnews 18 Mar 2019 at 14:30|
EDMONTON -- Alberta s Opposition boss says it s not unusual for competing campaigns to share information during a leadership race.
United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney, addressing a spreading scandal over his party s leadership campaign in 2017, said in a radio interview Monday that he did nothing wrong.
Documents leaked on the weekend suggest his team directed the campaign of a rival leadership candidate, but Kenney told Edmonton radio station CHED that the two sides merely communicated.
"This is not the least bit unusual," Kenney said in the interview.
"There was staff communicating on communications material, stuff like that, but there was no material financial support."
The documents detail how Kenney s campaign staff suggested how fellow candidate Jeff Callaway could attack and criticize Kenney s main rival Brian Jean.
Matt Wolf, a senior campaign strategist and now Kenney s deputy chief of staff, is shown in emails and other exchanges giving Callaway s organizers talking points, as well as speech and policy advice on attacking Jean.
One piece of correspondence discussed when Callaway should drop out of the race -- which he did three weeks before the vote on Oct. 28, 2017. He threw his support behind Kenney.
Two people have come forward to say that Kenney was personally involved with the "kamikaze candidate" plan and attended meetings about it from the beginning.
Cameron Davies, a senior adviser on the Callaway campaign, said in a statement to Alberta s elections commissioner that Kenney and his team met with Callaway in July 2017 and agreed to run him as an attack candidate.
"It was decided our teams would work together to ensure proper narratives and messaging," wrote Davies.