By John Milton
Published July 27, 2006
Editor's Note: This article was written by John Milton and was first published in 2004 on the Hamilton Indymedia website, but is no longer available there.
As far as I can tell, that was the first place Mayor Larry Di Ianni's alleged municipal election law violations were ever reported. Raise the Hammer is republishing this article with the author's permission to preserve an important historical news document.
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Many who follow municipal politics in this city have been speculating since last November about the financial details of Hamilton's most recent election. The smoke began to clear this week as candidates filed the financial disclosure documents required by the Municipal Elections Act (MEA).
Preliminary examinations of the documents filed by now Mayor Larry Di Ianni raise serious questions as to whether or not his contributions meet the requirements of the act.
It must be said that the documents which have been filed are not, in and of themselves, proof that the MEA has been violated. I do not mean to suggest by this article that Di Ianni, or anyone else, has violated the MEA, knowingly or otherwise. I do however feel that, as official public documents, the questions raised require further investigation as provided for in the legislation.
The MEA specifies a strict limit of $750 as the total amount that an individual or corporation may contribute to any one candidate's campaign. It also specifies that in situations where two or more companies donate they shall be viewed as a single contributor if they are "associated" as defined in the Income Tax Act.
The Income Tax Act in turn says that companies are "associated" if they are "controlled, directly or indirectly, in any manner whatever, by the same person or group of persons."
Di Ianni's documents list two donations by "The Effort Trust Company," of 240 Main St. E. in Hamilton, one for $400 on June 25th and another for $500 on October 7th for a total of $900.If these two donations are from the same company they would exceed the donation limit by $150.
Di Ianni's documents list 2 donations by "Laborers International Union of North America," of 44 Hughson Street South, for $250 and $500 on October 30, from LIUNA Gardens Ltd for $250, and from LIUNA Station for $250, both of 526 Winona Road in Stoney Creek, also on October 30th, for a total of $1250.
At the time, I believe Joe Mancielli was the President of local 837 of LIUNA and also president of LIUNA Station and LIUNA Gardens. Should all these donations be deemed to come from associated entities they would exceed the donation limit by $500.
Total donations from this group are $1700.
There are a number of donating companies and individuals I feel the documents indicate may be "associated" based on similar names and/or addresses:
The Losani Homes website lists a Fred Losani as one of the 3 founders of the company, and 237 Barton St. as the company address. Report 03-034 of the City's Hearings Sub-Committee (p22), lists "Losani Homes" as owner of 1277289 Ltd. The Oct. 30, 2003 report of the Planning and Development Council for the town of Oakville (p1) lists "Losani Homes" as the owner of 1541079 Ontario Ltd.
The total donations from this group are $4250. If they were all "associated" they would exceed the donation limit by $3500.
Again, a number of donating companies I feel the documents indicate may be "associated" based on similar names and mailing addresses:
The total donations from this group are $2250. If they were all "associated" they would exceed the donation limit by $1500.
DiIanni's documents list 2 donations by "Fifty Road Joint Venture Inc," of 136 Allen Street in Hamilton, one for $750 on October 7 and another for $400 on September 30. If these two donations are from the same company they would exceed the donation limit by $400.
This item is unclear because there is an entry for $400 being paid to the City Clerk as an "over donation" from Fifty Road Joint ventures on September 30. It is not clear from the documents if this is the same donation or a third one.
The documents list 2 donations by John / Ellie Vortman of 58 Carluke Road in Ancaster, each for $750 on June 25. While the name might suggest donations from 2 separate people this is not clear in the documents. If both donations were from one person this would exceed the limit by $750.
The act states that "an elector who is entitled to vote in an election and believes on reasonable grounds that a candidate has contravened a provision of this Act relating to election campaign finances may apply for a compliance audit of the candidate's election campaign finances."
Such an audit is the method by which a legal determination would be made regarding the sorts of issues we have outlined above.
IMC Hamilton has learned that at this time several local individuals and groups are considering this option in detail. I feel the documents may contain more newsworthy information and will continue to investigate.
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