05.21.2010 06:17 AM

Sucky baby

The documents show that Mr. Marin – the province’s most prominent watchdog who spends his days holding everyone else to a high ethical standard – had taxpayers pick up the tab for personal grooming products, including Adidas body wash ($6.99), Degree deodorant ($4.49) and Gillette Fusion After Shave Balm ($7.99).

And:

But taxpayers didn’t just foot the bill for small-ticket items. They also paid for a 37-inch flat-screen television for his home office in Ottawa. The tab, including a high-definition cable box and wall mount: $1,965.97.

And:

…Braun battery-powered toothbrush ($37.99), Lubriderm lotion ($9.99) and Gillette Fusion Power razor ($17.99) all purchased back in 2006 for his office washroom.

And:

Revelations over his expenses come at an awkward time for Mr. Marin, who was paid a salary of $216,000 last year.

And, the kicker:

Mr. Marin expressed frustration that his expense records were handed to The Globe and suggested he might have been too trusting when former employees were forced to resign. Maybe we should have frisked some of them on their way out, because they obviously left with records,” he said.

Here’s some free media advice, Mr. Body Wash: practice what you preach. Don’t be a bloody hypocrite. Let he who is without stone toss the first container of After Shave Balm, etc.

Can you imagine what this character would have said if someone he’d been investigating over expenditures had said they “should have frisked [departing employees] on their way out?” Hell, he would have launched an investigation into that.

I’m a proud Ontario Liberal, and I can reveal that no one at Queen’s Park – no one – has ever complained to me about Mr. Body Wash, or even suggested I criticize him in any way. No one. There is no vast OLP conspiracy against him – because his worst enemy has always been the preening, narcissistic, solipsistic (but nicely-shaved) mug he sees in the bathroom mirror every morning.

So what I say to him comes straight from me, a taxpayer.

You’re a sucky baby, pal. And pay for your own goddamned body wash, okay?

UPDATE: Con nobody John Yakabuski has issued a press release deploring the above post and, um, me. Do you think it may be because I never pass up an opportunity to note that John is a law breaker and a puffed-up hypocrite?

20 Comments

  1. James Smith says:

    Lubriderm???

  2. luke says:

    all kinds of things to point out, but the big one for me was the battery powered tooth brush.

    For a man who is supposed to uncover wasteful spending and government excess, a 40 dollar battery powered toothbrush instead of a 2 dollar’self-powered’ toothbrush speaks volumes.

  3. Reality.Bites says:

    It could be a 2-dollar toothbrush or a 2-million-dollar platinum toothbrush. What matters is, except in exceptional circumstances, your employer is not responsible for your grooming products, even if you use them in the office. If I had to go out of town suddenly on business, without time to go home and pack, then reimbursement for a toothbrush and similar products would be reasonable. Otherwise, no.

  4. Kevin says:

    Warren: Have to disagree with you. This story is written in a very biased fashion. The total for the first 3 items is 19.47$. The tv setup does not belong to him – it is going back to the Ont gov’t when his term is over, so that money wasn’t spent on him and shouldn’t be considered. Add in the final three items at 55.97 – we get 75.44$ (or if we do include the tv: 2041.41$).

    Assuming he spent half his working time in Toronto, if he had been claiming a daily incidental amount of 17.30 his total for 1 year would be 2249.00$ (260 working days a year/2 = 130 * 17.30). One year – he’s been working 5.

    I think the fact he wasn’t billing per diem incidentals, but only incidentals as they happened, and that his per diem for meals was 40$ (rather than the 67.20$ he was allowed) reflects very well on him.

    • Michael Watkins says:

      Kevin: Why should taxpayers foot the bill for a television, and a big expensive one at that, for Marin’s “home office”? That is, an office located in his principle home in Ottawa. *His home*?

      Maybe you are right and I’m being too judgemental. I suppose Marin *needed* a huge High Definition TV so that he could check out how close his shave looked, down to each and every pore, when his mug hit the air for 10 seconds here and there, every once in blue moon. This is mission critical stuff for someone whose role it is to be a champion for those who feel wronged by the government. Pores matter.

      The smoke signals suggest this fellow didn’t believe standards apply equally to everyone, that his was a station of privilege.

      Chances are the dude already had a TV in his *home* office and saw an opportunity to “upgrade” on the teat of the taxpayer. You wish to claim it doesn’t matter because the taxpayer will one day get back a used, depreciated, asset it should not have paid for in the first place?

      Give your head a shake.

      As for the deodorant stick and body wash…

      I was an executive travelling between my home in Vancouver and on-site client offices located in Calgary, Edmonton, and Toronto every single week. Over more than a decade of commuting to work and across thousands of expense reports I never once, not once, charged my clients for grooming products of any sort nor would the idea ever pop into in my mind. I did charge them for transportation, certain meals, and housing, since clearly those costs are incremental to what it would cost me to live were I not subjected to the demand of travel on their behalf.

      But grooming products? Two deodorant sticks (one at home, one at the remote domicile) last longer than one. There is no real incremental cost to the individual. Who in their right mind would consider such a thing as to bill for toilet paper and toothpaste?

      I can tell you who: someone who has lost touch with why they are in the service of the public in the first place.

    • Claude says:

      Kevin – Quick question for you – What do most people do when they are offered a job that isn’t in their hometown? THey move to the new location, that’s what. This whole “I didn’t claim the per diem I could have” is a smokescreen for a quite cushy arrangement – I stay where I want to but work elsewhere and have someone foot the bill. Any indication he had business reasons to be in Ottawa, other than that is where he’s from. Factor in the over $200,000 a year salary, and I must admit, I’d like the deal too! But I wouldn’t take it because, as noted elsewhere, this is Other people’s money, including mine! As Warren noted, if you can dish it out, prepare to be able to take it when it comes back to you!

  5. e says:

    a sonic toothbrush is recommended

  6. Catherine says:

    I say let’s open the books of ALL MPPs, MPs, school boards, hospital boards, etc. and let’s have at it. I’m pretty sure hypocrites will line up on all sides of the political spectrum.
    I was stunned to learn yesterday that the TDSB boasts a $7million art collection that’s been kept in a locked basement for years. Definitely a WTF moment. I sure hope those kids with no texbooks and those who are paying through the nose to join clubs and participate on sports teams in that board speak up about why a school board can afford a priceless art collection?

  7. allegra fortissima says:

    Unbelievable what some men have on their bathroom shelf – Gillette Fusion After Shave Balm for $7.99? Yikes, my allergies to cheap smells kick in. My suggestion: Equipage for men by Hermes. A blend of spices, woods and vanilla for depth and roundness. Available at 131 Bloor St.W.
    I have to admit: it’s a bit pricey, $120 for 100ml. So, if you follow my advice please do us all a favour: keep your own credit card handy!

  8. Steve T says:

    On the national level, this issue has HUGE resonance with voters (aka taxpayers). The current refusal by the all-party Parliamentary committee to open MPs’ expense books to Sheila Fraser is a travesty. This is an area that the Libs could gain traction with voters, if they instructed all their committee members to come forward and say “We screwed up. MPs’ expenses SHOULD be open and transparent. We will be calling for a new vote on the matter, and will be voting in favour.” Get ahead of the Cons on this one, and make it a Lib issue. I for one am sickened by the dancing-around-the-subject and spin that Parliament is doing on this subject right now. See here for example:

    http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/05/21/harper-mps-expenses.html

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Harper always wanted accountability in government. He’s just getting what he wanted – it’s going to spread like mad.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    I don’t see WHAT is the problem with keeping an honest expense account – and I can’t understand why there wouldn’t be a list of appropriate expenses, and if there’s any doubt there should be someone you can check with to see if it’s chargeable.

    In fact, the “appropriate” list could be published every year, and that could be made available to the public, before the expense accounts are even tabulated. The public might not realize what-all the politicians’ expenses are likely to be.

  11. Tim says:

    Weird that this information came out during a dispute with the Ontario government. I wonder who leaked it to the press?

  12. smelter rat says:

    He was entitled to his entitlements.

  13. Squiggy says:

    Typical libranos…..eating their young

  14. Robbie says:

    The problem is and has always been OPM: Other People’s Money. When it is not yours it is easier to rationalize and let matters run amuck. Openings emerge for undesireable types to stain all with the tinged brush of alleged and real corruption. The few who are guilty flourish while the many who strive to retain innocence and integrity pick up the shattered potshards of what little trust and public confidence that remains. This poisons and sours the electorate. The lynching starts and so does the long, tortuous descent into mob rule, where organized crime can fester openly to the ruin of many.

  15. Does he have dentures? I thought I read his Teeth are like the Stars as they come out every night.

  16. Glen says:

    Is he not entitled to these entitlements?

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