Breaking news: opposition research firm does opposition research
From CBC, earlier today:
On his Kinsellacast podcast, an unapologetic Kinsella said the campaign to spotlight racists who attached themselves to the fledgling party was not supposed to extend into the period covered by election spending rules.
“Our efforts would strictly adhere to Canadian election law and cease all operations on June 29,” he said.
He also said Daisy Group’s work was “subject to full public disclosure. It would all be disclosed.”
Nor would the client be exempt from criticism, Kinsella said.
“We would reserve the right to vigorously criticize the client itself, publicly and in the media, if the client’s own members were found to be espousing racism,” he said, adding that there were times when he criticized the client in the media…
In his podcast, Kinsella defended Daisy Group’s work to undermine Bernier’s party, saying its work over the years to fight racism and white supremacy has set it aside from other companies that do similar communications and opposition research work.
“Daisy Group staff have worked for, or with, every single mainstream political party or their candidates to research, expose and oppose racist elements. Those have included the Liberal Party, the Conservative Party, the New Democratic Party, the Green Party and the now-defunct Progressive Conservative and Reform parties,” he said.
Kinsella said years ago he helped Stephen Harper, prior to his time with the Conservatives, root out and expel Heritage Front members from the Reform Party.
Kinsella said he has not worked with Bernier’s party because of some of the people it has attracted.
“He has attracted the support and involvement of myriad racists, anti-Semites and bigots,” said Kinsella.
Among those who signed registration papers for the People’s Party were members of the Soldiers of Odin and other white supremacist, anti-immigration groups, Kinsella said.
Kinsella said Daisy was approached because of its reputation. “Daisy fights racism and hate. That’s what we do. That’s why we were approached to assist in exposing and opposing racist elements within the ranks of the People’s Party.”
Kinsella said Daisy Group felt it was important for Canadians to know more about the People’s Party and who it was attracting.
“We had been going after racists in other parties too, but Bernier had more than all the others put together.”
Kinsella said he has no regrets about waging the campaign against Bernier’s party.
“Will I apologize for opposing racism and homophobia and anti-Semitism and misogyny? No. Never. Will I apologize for opposing extremists and haters in Bernier’s People’s Party? No. Never.”