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Barbara Hall is Going to Court
14/08/2003

Tom Jakobek has succeeding in convincing a justice of the peace to hold a hearing over Barbara Hall's premature fundraising. Unless her lawyers can get her out of it, there will be a hearing on September 23 to discuss the legality of pre-campaign activities by the Friends of Barbara Hall.

As I understand it, it is against the law to begin campaigning or fundraising before you have declared your candidacy or in the year before the election year. The Friends of Barbara Hall raised and spent about $107,600 between June 1 and December 31, 2002. I'm no judge, but this looks illegal to me.

I'm having a hard time finding a reasonable excuse in any of candidate Hall's statements. She repeatedly tells us that they "got advice from highly qualified lawyers and we worked very hard to comply with the law." But that doesn't mean much to me.

In the Globe and Mail today it is reported that one of the organizers of the FoBH -- coincidentally named Tom Jakobsh -- says that this advice was that they were operating well within the law since none of the money raised was spent on her election campaign. In other words, this wasn't part of an election campaign and therefore not subject to the law. However, in the Toronto Star, Barbara Hall is quoted as saying that the "Friends of Barbara Hall... went far beyond what the law required, in terms of disclosure of information and limiting the size of donations." Why worry about size of donations if the Friends of Barbara Hall was not participating in an election campaign?

Anyway, all the candidates have been talking about this issue for a couple months now. Little was happening. Now Jakobek has taken this step on his own.

Hall is running this campaign as the solid front-runner she is. The other candidates likely all feel they need to bring her down, but don't want to be seen as the bad guy. They must all be thanking Jakobek for going kamikaze. He's got nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking a shot at Barb.

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