Things are going from bad to worse for Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro.
Two weeks ago, PostMedia News reported that Del Mastro -- the parliamentary secretary to prime minister Harper -- was under investigation for contravening the Elections Act during his 2008 campaign. Elections Canada is alleging that Del Mastro exceeded his campaign spending limit by $17,000 and wrote a personal cheque for $21,000 to a campaign service provider.
If that wasn't bad enough, new allegations are now surfacing about a much more elaborate -- even sinister -- campaign scheme.
Postmedia is now reporting claims from employees of Deltro Electric Ltd. -- a company owned by Dean's cousin, David Del Mastro -- that they and their friends were asked to make $1,000 donations to Del Mastro's campaign and were paid back $1,050 by the company.
One former employee signed a statutory declaration naming those alleged to have participated in the reimbursement scheme.
David Del Mastro "advised me at that time that he wanted to make a large monetary donation to the re-election campaign of his cousin, Dean Del Mastro Member of Parliament," the declaration obtained by Postmedia said.
"My employer assured me that if I would do so, my employer would cause his company, Deltro Electric Ltd. to reimburse me for the full sum of $1,000, plus a further bonus of $50, and that I would receive an income tax receipt for the donation."
The former employee added that the alleged scheme was intended to circumvent the federal limit on political donations of $1,100.
Two of the donors have even produced copies of the reimbursement cheques.
The cheques show the donors each received $1,050 from Deltro Electric Ltd. of Mississauga, Ont., two days before they made $1,000 donations to Del Mastro's electoral district association in Peterborough.
Despite the seemingly damming evidence, the Del Mastro cousins are denying the new allegations.
To date, Del Mastro's Tory colleagues have publicly defended him.
But, as public scrutiny on him increases, you'd have to think that the party brass are getting nervous.