Two Victoria mayoral candidates have started a classic round of political mudslinging.
Political consultant and former Saanich council candidate, Michael Geoghegan, has put forward a formal complaint with the Law Society of BC against former practicing lawyer and current work harassment specialist, Stephen Hammond.
Geoghegan says that Hammond and other members of the NewCouncil slate have been paying Paul Seal, a man now on the run for fraud, to post politically charged ads on his social media page, Victoria BC Today.
“Victoria BC Today has run a whole series of attack ads, primarily against Lisa Helps and a bit to myself,” Geoghegan said. “We believe it’s contravention to the elections act.”
Posts on the Victoria BC Today Facebook page present Geoghegan as a racist, sexist and misogynist, and say he was fired from a previous position due to inappropriate comments. The website these comments are linked to is an Arabian business site.
Geoghegan said his campaign manager has a close contact who works with Seal who was able to verify who paid for these ads, though The News could not verify this.
“Mr. Hammond has aided and abetted a fugitive from justice; it’s completely beyond the pale and completely beyond justice,” Geoghegan said. “Mr. Hammond thought he could get away with it, and frankly he can’t.”
Hammond said that NewCouncil hasn’t taken any ads with Seal, or with any other social media outlets at this moment, and noted that this was just a political move for Geoghegan to garner attention.
“Clearly the race is between the [incumbent] mayor and I,” Hammond said. “Clearly the guy who got nine per cent in a Saanich by-election is getting no traction, I am. He doesn’t have a campaign, I do. He’s just getting desperate.”
Hammond said he can’t help what shows up on the World Wide Web, but that Geoghegan’s allegations would be as nonsensical if he said “Hammond has been known to club baby seals.”
“Have we paid for advertisements with Seal? That’s a big fat no,” Hammond said.
Geoghegan said he will file a formal complaint with the Victoria Police Department, and send the ensuing affidavit to the Law Society of BC.