Thursday, he sat in a Gatineau, Que., jail cell, the latest example of someone who had cash-for-life sprinkled upon his lucky shoulders, only to sprint to a spectacular crash and burn.
When your riches come in a ticket spit out of a machine at the corner store, character and maturity play no part.
But in this case, Stephen Harper sought out the young, brash aboriginal leader, making him, at 34, the youngest Canadian senator ever, looking at a salary of more than $ 130,000 and theoretical job security for more than four decades.
Not content with the windfall provided by Harper, Brazeau immediately announced he would continue his six-figure job as head of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, until he was persuaded that such unseemly double-dipping was officially discouraged.
When he was appointed that morning, along with 17 others in a mid-prorogation patronage frenzy, the Conservative government already knew then-Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice had received letters from aboriginal leaders in this country questioning the membership and spending of the organization Brazeau headed.
Days later, news emerged of a troubling audit of CAP by Health Canada leading then Opposition leader Michael Ignatieff — 12 days after Brazeau’s swearing-in — to question whether he was “Senate material.’’
Then the Star’s Joanna Smith reported that the new senator, who drove a Porsche SUV, was behind in child support payments. The PMO, by then, was hiding behind its “private matter” shield, but Brazeau was already displaying his penchant for blaming everyone but himself.
When Canadian Press reporter Jennifer Ditchburn reported on Brazeau’s woeful attendance record in the Senate — he was within days of being fined for his absences at the time — he took to Twitter to slag the reporter.
The Star caught him mocking Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence at a Conservative fundraiser and CTV Ottawa bureau chief Robert Fife found Brazeau was allegedly gaming the system, illegally claiming his father’s house as his primary residence so he could pocket a housing allowance.
Wednesday night, hours before police responded to the disturbance at Brazeau’s home, Fife reported that the senator had allegedly listed his mailing address as that of his ex-father-in-law’s house to gain an aboriginal tax exemption and Brazeau predictably branded Fife a racist.
If he did anything to help his colleagues Thursday, Brazeau temporarily took the heat off two other senators facing allegations of the same housing scam, Liberal Mac Harb and Conservative Mike Duffy, another proud member of lottery day, 2008, last seen schlepping through the kitchen of a Halifax hotel, a former journalist fleeing reporters.
Somehow, Brazeau seemed to think he could simply brazen his way through all this as charge was heaped upon charge, complication was piled upon complication and his enemies proliferated.
Brazeau could have remained a yappy, self-promoter on the fringe had he not been tapped by a prime minister whose office either didn’t do its homework or didn’t care.
Reporters found him, but the only interview he was giving was to a Gatineau detective.
Tim Harper is a national affairs writer. His column appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. email@example.com