Monday, April 12, 2010

Casino Royale Report Card....Rating The Wretches, Ink-Stained And Otherwise, So Far


Jonathan Fowlie, VSun:
We would have given him an F for swiping all of Sean Holman's stuff, unattributed, but he moved up to supplemental status for being the first to get Mr. T. Richard Turner to quasi-contradict the Minister Responsible for the Marshmallow, Kevin Krueger, on the record.

Sean Holman, Public Eye Online: A
Mr. Holman has done essentially, ALL the digging on this deal....It was he who first revealed that Mr. T. Richard Turner is connected to the Las Vegas Casino Builder that 'won' the big bid to build the massive Casino Industrial Complex next to the Marshmallow that will soon be getting a new skin....It was also Mr Holman who first revealed that Mr. Turner has been involved with The Builder since 2003, at which time he, Mr. Turner, was still the Campbell Government-appointed Chair of the BC Lotteries Corporation....It was also Mr. Holman who first revealed that Mr. Turner, the Builders from Vegas, and, ultimately, a group of unknown folks hiding behind a Numbered Company all got together and bought the failing Edgewater Casino, whose license will be flipped into the new Casino next to the Marsmallow, back in 2006, a process that began (less than) seven months after Mr. Turner stepped-down as Chair of the BC Lottery Corporation... It was also Mr. Holman who first revealed that one of Mr. Turner's other companies (ie. not the one formed to buy the Edgewater) had given Mr. Gordon Campbell's BC Liberal Party $50,000 on, or just prior to, the day of the last provincial election......It was also Mr. Holman who confirmed, after it came up in the legislature during estimates debates, that Mr. Turner had arranged meetings between representatives of the fine folks representing the Builders from Vegas with the even finer folks that work for Mr. Warren Buckley, the current CEO of PavCo, which is the Campbell government-controlled CrownCo that a short time later awarded the winning bid to Mr. Turner, the fine folks from Vegas, and the unknown folks behind the Numbered Company. This all happened after the last provincial election and after the $50K was given to Mr. Campbell's political party and after Mr. Turner and friends had been identified as the 'preferred bidder' by PavCo but before the deal had actually gone down that was announced two weeks ago....Interestingly, it was not Mr. Holman who was first able to get Mr. Turner on the record contradicting Mr. Krueger because, unlike Mr. Fowlie of the VSun, whose soon to be previous parent company also once gave Mr. Gordon Campbell's BC Liberal Party $50,000, Mr. Holman's initial request for an interiew was spurned by Mr. Turner's people.*

Vaughn Palmer, VSun: B-
Mr. Palmer was caught, on the audio portion of a videotape, shot by, surprise!, Mr. Holman, going after Minister Krueger, hard, on this matter on the afternoon of the Thursday before the Good Friday just past....Mr. Palmer then stayed up late on the Eve of the long, long weekend and wrote a solid column in which he first credited Mr. Holman for breaking the story and then laid out a number of the possible conflicts associated with this matter.....So, why didn't we give Mr. Palmer a better grade?....Well, unfortunately, Mr. Palmer pulled back at the end of the column and he has since, especially in his statements on the (notso)Giant'98, lapsed into a non-committal, and some might say coquettish, 'this kind of thing happens all the time'-type mode.

Keith Baldrey, Global TeeVee: F-
Not only did Mr. Baldrey not weigh in on this matter at all initially, he actually did a wee bit of out-front water carrying for the Casino Industrial Complex in the days just prior to the breaking of the story.....Then, a week after the fact, he told Michael Smyth on the (ns)G'98 that the NDP did this kind of thing too way back when, so it doesn't really matter now anyway....

Michael Smyth, The Province and Goodship Watercarrier Fill-In: D+
Mr. Smyth just barely passes for telling us, repeatedly, that 'this story has legs'.....But he does not get to move up a grade until he, himself, actually starts digging and stops lapsing into faux populism wherein he makes mountains out of molehills, not to mention backyard chicken coops.

Justine Hunter, Globe and Mail: C
Had one decent story, based on her own interview with the good Mr. Turner, in which she got him to confirm that he likely called the Minister Responsible for the Marshmallow before the deal was finalized in the Fall of 2009....Now she, and her entire bureau, need to get down to brass-tacks and do some follow-up that will require spending a little time on their homework if they want to make the Principal's list at the end of the year.

Bruce Hutchinson, NaPo: B
Did no actual digging of his own, but did drop a big stinky one on much of the local Lotuslandian punditry with just one column... Most importantly, he actually followed the timeline all the way back to 2005/2006 and noted Mr. Turner's involvement with BCLC, the Builders from Vegas, and the Edgewater...Also noted that all this activity did, indeed, bracket, at least in terms of timing, that $50K donation to Mr. Campbell's political party...Lost marks for giving too much credit to Mr. Fowlie's allegedly awesome investigatory powers (possibly because they are in the same stable?).

Jill Bennett, nsG'98: F
Clearly spent too much time not paying attention in class.....After all, how else can one explain the fact that she got the basic facts wrong when, even as late as a week after the fact, she was still writing in her notebook that Mr. Turner is the Director of a company 'linked' to the casino development.....'Linked', Ms. Bennett?...Really?....We think, perhaps, that that word does not actually mean what you think it means....

Harvey Oberfeld, nolonger-proBloggodome: B+
Came back from holidays (he'd sent the teachers a note before he left, so it was OK for him to leave while school was in - barely) and immediately saw this matter for what it really is....As such, he boldly and unequivocally called for a full inquiry.

David Berner, nolonger-proBloggodome: B
Showed a little too much the world-weariness and cynicism that often besets the trouble-maker who fires off spit-balls from the back of the class but, still, like Mr. Oberfeld was willing to call a spade a spade and that counts - a lot.

Frances Bula, quasi-proBloggodome: B-
Her head has been somewhere else lately, and she has been spending way too much time on her French homework....But, still, she raised her hand a couple of times and helped get the kids in the class talking about this matter in earnest.....Also had the good graces to give her classmate Mr. Holman his due.

The Tyee, proBloggodome: DNW
DNW stands for 'Did Not Write' .....Unfortunately, there has has not been one story from this collective on the matter at hand so far....The only excuse that will be accepted is if it turns out that Mr. Beers et al. signed a non-aggression pact with Mr. Holman ahead of time....Otherwise, this will become a failing grade for all involved if the situation is not rectified, and soon.

City Caucus, b&pfBloggodome: Home Schooled
Like so many whose parents, guardians and protectors pull them out of the rough-and-tumble of the real world, Smilin' Sammy's former Spam-A-Lotteers are averting their eyes, plugging their ears, and covering their mouths on this one hoping, no doubt, that no one will notice that it was actually their former(?) boss who ammended the City of Vancouver's Official Development Plan for 'Area 10' of the North False Creek area in Oct of 2008 such that it cleared the decks for the building of the Casino Industrial Complex itself.....(you'll read more on that matter later, but not likely at City Caucus we reckon).

*So.....Why didn't we give Mr. Holman an A+?.....Well, this is only the end of the first term, and we don't want him to stop digging now.....

Did we get something wrong?....Or....Did we miss one of the pupils?.....Let us know in the comments....Or.....You can always send us an Email to pacificgazette at yahoo dot ca if you are worried about being bullied by one of your classmates....

Already made one correction (Monday morning)....Changed the 'revealed', which was written originally, to 'confirmed' regarding Mr. Holman's role in establishing that Mr. Turner did, indeed, help arrange meetings between Paragon and PavCo.....



Kim said...

You totally forgot RossK. that other kid who's sometimes late from band class, with some kind of musical instrument in tow. He gets an "A" too, for recognizing an important development and putting it out there, complete with links and properly attributing other peoples work. We'd give him an "A+" but we don't want him to rest on his laurels!

Grant G said...

Thanks Ross...

But what I can`t understand is this.

The project is full steam ahead,the MSM doesn`t care.

I would love to see more stories about how Big Casinos aren`t exactly "Money in the bank"

The field is saturated,9,999.00$ per week online(BCLC)..Ontario is going big online,Quebec,First nations,...I don`t believe the casino`s prediction of revenue,won`t they be taking from the River Rock Casino and other casinos...

Who can`t find a gambling fix in BC?

Keno every 4 minutes,Poker stars,Full tilt...Not to mention gaming centers around the world,and I hear Vegas is giving away the farm to get you there.

And Ross...."The ailing Edgewater casino" ?

Will they still be ailing?

Will the bars and restraunts around BC Place suffer financially?....What do they have to say?

Aren`t we really just shuffling around deck chairs? Do people holiday in BC to go to a casino?

I think not, I think it`s a bad idea,smoke and mirrors.

RossK said...


Thanks, but I have to add a couple of clarifications....

You give me way too much credit - when Mr. Holman goes after something new I know it's time to pay attention...

Unfortunately, I never went to band class...Instead, spent (wasted?) too much time on the sporting life as a kid......As for my own kids, well, that's a different story entirely....

Thanks again.


RossK said...


We both know the real story behind that 9999 figure....

As for the Edgewater - that's the point....It is the NEW and improved Casino Industrial Complex...Or at least its license is.....So, given that the CoV had approved of nothing in mid-2006.....Why, exactly, did Mr. Turner, the Vegas Folks, and The Hidden Numbers buy it in the first place?.....That, in my opinion at least, is one of the key questions in all of this (and it is a question that was implied, I believe, in Mr. Hutchinson's NaPo report published Saturday).


West End Bob said...

CC "Home Schooled" - I am LOVING that one, RossK!

Thanks for topping off my evening . . .

RossK said...

You're most welcome Bob--

Must admit, was hard not grin at that one myself.


Ian said...

I love how the home-schooled make like their were no gaming contributions to the NPA when A: they refuse to release Sam Sullivans data prior to the election and B: the lobbyist for Paragon is all over the NPA disclosures.
Who is that guy?
George Cadman QC and partner Boughton Law.
I also understand that his table at the NPA fundraiser in 2008 was full of his clients.

Jason Matthew said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RossK said...

Very interesting Ian - thanks....


RossK said...

Online Casino Crap-Spam above....

Ironic, no?