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Nigel Wright, incoming chief of staff for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, arrives to testify before a Commons committee on Nov.2, 2010.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

1. Trash talk. The Prime Minister's communications director took to Twitter Tuesday night after Michael Ignatieff attempted to draw Stephen Harper's chief of staff into the in-and-out scandal.

Dimitri Soudas mocked the Liberal Leader, saying he had to " backpedal and eat crow" after Mr. Ignatieff linked Nigel Wright, the Bay Street executive who joined the PMO late last year, to the alleged election financing scheme in which four other senior Conservatives face Elections Canada charges of "willfully" exceeding spending limits in the 2006 campaign. Among the four are senators Doug Finley and Irving Gerstein.

Mr. Soudas said - with much sarcasm - he felt sorry for Mr. Ignatieff's chief of staff, Peter Donolo, suggesting it's humiliating when one's boss has to back down.

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The Conservatives are clearly uncomfortable and angry over the latest Liberal line of questioning. Tory strategists also circulated a cryptic memo to their supporters and MPs Tuesday deriding Mr. Ignatieff.

Under the headline "Another Ignatieff Gaffe," they note: "Earlier this afternoon, Michael Ignatieff had to backpedal and couldn't defend reckless innuendo he had trumpeted in the House of Commons."

During Question Period, the Liberal Leader noted that Mr. Harper's chief of staff is listed on an affidavit as the secretary of the Conservative Fund during the 2006 election and he called on the Prime Minister to clarify Mr. Wright's role at that time. "What is his connection with a systematic attempt to violate Canada's election law?"

The Liberal Leader did not, however, accuse Mr. Wright of any wrongdoing; he simply noted the linkages. Afterwards, outside the House of Commons, Mr. Ignatieff was asked to be more direct about Mr. Wright's involvement. Was he saying Mr. Wright was "involved" or "guilty"?

"Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no," Mr. Ignatieff replied.

But Mr. Soudas seized on that comment as a gaffe. "Iggy said 'no' eight times by my count outside of the House," Mr. Soudas said.

And his fellow Tory operatives cautioned their colleagues not to comment about the Wright situation. "If asked by the media we will not comment on Mr. Ignatieff's gaffe," the memo says. "His recklessness and the incompetence of the Liberal team speak for themselves."

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Mr. Ignatieff's office would have none of it, dismissing the Tory outrage Wednesday morning.

"The facts speak for themselves," a senior Liberal official told The Globe. "There were six people in charge of the Conservative Fund. Four are now charged. Nigel Wright is the fifth and while two of them were rewarded with plush Senate seats, he's the chief of staff to the Prime Minister."

The Liberals want the to take action against those involved and "repay the money that's owed to Canadian taxpayers."

2. Waxing poetic. If the in-and-out scandal isn't enough, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is still being knocked around over allegations he is blurring the line between his ministerial duties and his partisan function in trying to encourage ethnic Canadians to vote Tory.

Mr. Kenney has been ably defending himself in the Commons and outside, apologizing after an aide sent out a Conservative fundraising appeal on parliamentary letterhead. The aide has since resigned.

But the Liberals aren't giving up. Here's what Michael Ignatieff had to say Tuesday after Question Period:

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"Jason Kenney makes you think. You know, greater love hath no man than to lay down one of his own staff to save his own life. I mean this is what's going on here.

"… We've got people waiting five years to get their passports to become Canadian citizens. And this guy is spending basically 24/7 running an ethnically-targeted election campaign for the Conservative Party of Canada. He should stop doing that and do his darn job."

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