Here's something that raises a question. Dona Cadman is now saying she confronted Stephen Harper about the insurance policy 2 1/2 years ago. According to Mrs. Cadman, Harper denied knowing anything about it and she believed him.
In a statement, Dona Cadman said she asked then-Opposition leader Harper more than two years ago if he knew about the alleged life-insurance offer to her husband in exchange for his support in a crucial confidence vote.
"He looked me straight in the eyes and told me he had no knowledge of an insurance policy offer," Dona Cadman said in the statement. "I knew he was telling me the truth; I could see it in his eyes."
She added: "From that point forward ... I didn't regard it as a 'party' initiative, but rather the overzealous indiscretion of a couple of individuals ... whose identity Chuck never revealed to me."
Dona Cadman - now the Tory candidate in her late husband's Surrey North, B.C., riding - did not recant on her characterization of the alleged offer as a bribe.
Okay. Fair enough. Let's accept that as fact, shall we? The Con's are all citing Mrs. Cadman's statement as proof Harper didn't know.
But, here's the big question:
After being informed of the insurance policy offer 2 1/2 years ago, what actions did the CPC leader take?
Upon hearing from Mrs. Cadman that an illegal offer was put forward by Finley and Flanagan, did Mr. Harper attempt to delve further into this shocking accusation? Were Finley and Flanagan chastised in any way? Top level CPC operatives had been accused of offering a bribe. The accusation was made directly to Mr. Harper when Mrs. Cadman asked him if he was aware of the offer. Was there an internal party investigation?
The libel chill revolves around a headline on the official LPC website. The headline reads:
"Harper Knew of Conservative Bribery"
Perhaps, as Mr. Harper and Mrs. Cadman agree, Harper didn't know before the offer was made. Not long after that, however, Mrs. Cadman acknowledges that she did, in fact, bring up the offer to Harper. Unless Mr. Harper thought Mrs. Cadman was lying about the offer 2 1/2 years ago, he did know. At least, he knew that Mrs. Cadman believed an illegal offer was made.
We may never know if Harper was privy to the insurance offer prior to Finley and Flanagan making it. We only need to listen to the tape to ascertain that Harper did know about financial considerations. Mrs. Cadman's statements confirm that Harper was informed about the insurance offer shortly after it was made.
Does Harper deny that Mrs. Cadman asked him about the offer 2 1/2 years ago? After that allegation was made, didn't Harper have a legal obligation to follow up and make sure illegal offers were not made in the name of the party?
Mrs. Cadman was able to determine Harper's truthfulness by looking into his eyes. When she raised the spectre of Finley and Flanagan making an illegal offer, did Harper's eyes reveal shock? After all, the widow of a respected MP had just informed him that his top advisers had offered a bribe.