Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Regarding José Pablo Bustamante's legal gambit: Part One

As you know, this is José Pablo Bustamante. He's running for Councillor in Ward 10 against the incumbent Maria Pearson.

Mr. Bustamante has filed papers against Ms Pearson involving contraventions of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, stating "I believe that Maria Pearson acted arrogantly and careless (sic) regarding her duties as candidate in the Municipal Election of 2006. For this reason, I am seeking the maximum penalty in these cases, that of a fine of $5000 according to Section 94 and the forfeit of her position of City Councillor and the ineligibility to be nominated for or elected or appointed to any office until the sixth anniversary of voting day according to section 80 of the Municipal Elections Act."

I was there at the press conference yesterday. (Along with two reporters, one from The Spec, one from The Stoney Creek News.) Nobody else was in attendance. As I video'd the proceedings, Mr. Bustamante read a prepared statement, answered a couple of quick questions...mostly to clarify just what it was he was accusing Ms Pearson of...and then the reporters high-tailed it out of there. (To be honest, their eagerness to get away felt as much like they didn't want to miss lunch special somewhere as it did a certain perturbation about having been summoned to City Hall under the guise of announcing something...'important'.)

So; was Mr. Bustamante's 'press conference' necessary?

Do his accusations have merit?

Was this 'gambit' a prudent strategic move?

Before I reply, I want to show provide you the paperwork he filed. As well as showing the original submissions of Ms Pearson in March of 2007 to the City Clerk's office, you will note that Mr. Bustamante provides a full explanation as to a) what was done wrong, and b) why he feels this transgression of the Municipal Elections Act warrants the actions he's taken. (If you click on each one, you'll be able to see a much larger, much more legible photo of the particular document.)

This is Page One of the Financial Statement filed by Maria Pearson in March of 2007.

This is Page Two.

This is the list of contributors of more than $100 to her 2006 campaign.

This is Page One of Mr. Bustamante's explanation as to why he's taken this legal action.

This is Page Two of his explanation.

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