Independent Liberal Party leader Jack Warner is spending over a million dollars a day on advertising for the local government elections campaign, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has claimed.
He was speaking at a public meeting at the Tru Valu car park, Diamond Vale, Diego Martin, on Thursday night. The meeting was one of several being staged on a daily basis by all the political parties in the run-up to the local government elections scheduled for October 21. And like Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the PNM leader is questioning the source of Warner’s bottomless pit.
“You look at the millions being spent every day. Yuh can’t turn around on yuh TV, Jack Warner in yuh face. Yuh can’t open the (news)papers, Jack Warner in yuh waist. Yuh can’t turn on the radio, Jack Warner in yuh ears. Primetime television, he is there. He puts on his new suit and he folds his arms and turn one side and he turn the other side and he puts on his black lipstick and he tells you to go forward with him,” Rowley said. (The average cost of broadcasting a meeting during prime time is $60,000 an hour).
Rowley said he was warning the electorate not to go forward with Warner because they did not know where he was going. “Golden Grove have space,” he quipped.
“He says he has gone green. I think he has gone mad. You know anybody who worked for their money or earn their money, spending it so?” Rowley asked. “Look at the millions being spent. You have to ask yourself as Kamla is asking, like if she don’t know, where is Jack’s bottomless pit of money coming from?” the PNM leader asked.
Rowley detailed some of the controversies and the financial allegations made against Warner, citing a series of exposes published in the Express, on the issue. He said even money donated by FIFA and the Korean Football Federation for the Haitian people in the aftermath of the earthquake there, went missing.
“If the dog is like that, yuh could imagine how the fleas are,” he said.
Rowley said ILP candidates were leaving the party, “one by one like when fleas leaving a dead dog”. “Because they hear he was sharing out money...Then they realise that the money is not available. One candidate left because he didn’t get a wheelchair. Afterwards we heard the real reason for leaving was because he has a rap sheet as long as whatever. Another candidate left because he asked to be reimbursed for sweet drink he bought and he was told he getting nothing. And Roodal (Moonilal), former bosom buddy of Warner is telling me and you that the screening for the ILP took place in Golden Grove because there is only place you could find that kind of people,” he said.
Rowley said many of the ILP candidates, “long before they reach in the Corporations (they are seeking to contest), the police looking for them”.
The PNM leader said the Congress of the People which was contesting all the seats in the Diego Martin Regional Corporation was a proxy and a front for the UNC and had provided resolute support for the UNC. “Now that they have their day of reckoning, they coming to you to bail them out...You know you don’t want UNC (posing) as COP”, Rowley said
Rowley said in 2010 when Diego Martin got flooded out, the “helicopter Prime Minister” and the whole Cabinet came and “mamaguy” the people of Richplain, “empathising and saying ‘I’m a grandmother’ with crocodile tears coming out of her eyes”. He said the Prime Minister posed for the photographs and when the helicopter left (with her), no return or follow up. Rowley said the following year, there was another flood in Diego Martin and the Prime Minister came back with helicopters for another photo opportunity.
“All they interested in is photo opportunity and getting in the news,” Rowley said. “Everyday they in the (news)papers, showing you box-drain. Two full pages of advertisement on box-drain,” he said, labelling the People’s Partnership a “box drain administration”. Rowley said the PNM built more box drains than any other government but didn’t take taxpayers’ money “by the tens of thousands” to brag about it via advertisements.