Monday, March 26, 2012

Why Did A FedCon-Aligned PR Firm Work For George Abbott...

...During the BC Liberal Party Leadership Campaign That Christy Clark Won?

Yesterday, North Van's Grumps and I worked together to follow up on a post by Dave at the Galloping Beaver in which he dug deep into the ties between a couple of FedCon-associated PR firms that have worked with the BC Liberal Party and have also received once secret contracts to push the HST for the provincial government of that party.

In so doing I said I would return to comment on the following passage, from Sean Holman posted in July of last year, that Dave linked to:

"....Campaign Research Inc., which worked on cabinet minister George Abbott's unsuccessful campaign for the (BC) Liberal (Party) leadership, got the biggest (originally secret) contract - receiving $167,800 for conducting the government's telephone town-hall meetings on the HST..."


Where's the beef?

After all, as I wrote yesterday:

Some of you may be saying...'Hold on a second here, the very fine (FedCon-aligned) Campaign Research Inc. worked on George Abbott's BC Liberal Party Leadership campaign?....And Abbott lost, so....So what?'


'Beef' may have been the wrong term to use, because the better way to think of this thing may be to conjure up images of 'horses' rather than 'cows'.

Why 'horses'?

Well, it has very little to do with Patti Smith.

But, in my considered opinion at least, it may have a lot to do with winning races and hedging bets at the same time.


Here's the thing I've been wondering about most recently....

If you were committed to winning not just the Party Leadership, but also the next General Election, would you look further afield and make a deal with the Big Boys back East, especially if you had to make sure you could both 'hedge' and take out a birdman charging, hard, on your rightside named Falcon?

Not sure of the answer yourself?

Well, feel free to read the following, from our archives, and then decide for yourself....

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How Many Horses Can One Ownership Group Ride?


Historically, Mr. Patrick Kinsella mostly backs winners.

"...Patrick Kinsella has become a member of the esquestrian classes. According to our operatives, Mr. Kinsella (who runs acommunications firm) claimed a horse - C J Come Home - this past weekend at Hastings Racecourse. And he also co-owns another thoroughbred, Miss Rainier with Glen Todd of Empty Wallet Stables. Miss Rainier has been entered in a number of races at Hastings, including The British Columbia Breeders' Cup Oaks, The BC Cup Stallion Stakes and The Nanaimo...."

And at the BC political corral, as Charlie Smith noted not so long ago.....

....Kinsella has been around politics in B.C. since the early 1980s when then-premierBill Bennett imported him from Ontario. Kinsella was a key member of the Ontario Big Blue Machine, which helped the Conservative premier of the day, Bill Davis, win provincial elections.

Bennett, a Socred, nearly lost the 1979 election, and he needed someone who could create a more modern political marketing machine.

Kinsella portrayed Bennett as a tough guy, according to a very good book of the same name by Allen Garr, which helped Bennett's reelection campaign in 1983.

However, Kinsella's reputation took a beating 10 years later when former Bennett advisor Kim Campbell was trounced in her attempt to get elected as prime minister. Kinsella was the major campaign operative.

In recent years, Kinsella has kept a low profile even as he quarterbacked Gordon Campbell's two successful campaigns to become premier..."

Luckily for all British Columbians, the magnanimous Mr. Kinsella also likes to offer up pearls of wisdom and 'strategic advice' to all manner of fine folks, groups and corporations (crown or otherwise) to help make our province run like an elegant swiss clock that might or might not be perched proudly on his mantel.

And, because he is so generous with his time, sometimes Mr. Kinsella is even willing to keep gifting us with his advice, at our expense of course, for years and years...


March 12, 2009

I can confirm that Patrick Kinsella's company was retained by BC Rail for a 49 month period between August 2001 and September 2005 to provide strategic advice to our new President, Board of Directors and Chair.

The counsel provided was specific to the Core Review process which Government was undertaking during that period, and general business communication advice.

The value of the contract was $6000.00 per month for 49 months.

John Lusney


There are even times when Mr. Kinsella, sometimes together with his most Progressive of associates such as Mr. Mark Jiles, will make like a good neighbour and offer up his services.....errrr....strategic gifts (not to mention his political horses) to the very finest of fine folks in foreign lands.

This is a story that was also unearthed by Mr. Holman....

Patrick Kinsella, an architect of the provincial Liberals' election success, has apparently been reaping the benefits of his close relationship with the Campbell administration. His firm, The Progressive Group, has helped win major government contracts and benefits for powerful corporate and foreign interests over the past five years - although Mr. Kinsella has never personally registered as a lobbyist for any of those clients.

According to records exclusively obtained by Public Eye via an access to information request with Washington State, a May 2006 contract between Mr. Kinsella's company and Washington State boasted the firm has strong relationships with Campbell administration cabinet ministers Kevin Falcon, Colin Hansen and Olga Ilich.

Those relationships extended to BC Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games secretariat president and chief executive officerAnnette Antoniak and then deputy tourism, sport and the arts minister Virginia Greene.

When asked in 2004 whether he ever talks about his clients with cabinet ministers and their staffers, Mr. Kinsella said, "Absolutely not. That's an understanding that I have...I suspect there's no one in government who would say they've ever been lobbied by me."

But, as part of the company's work for Washington State, Progressive's president, Mark Jiles, promised to "facilitate opportunities for Washington State to develop important relationships" with Ministers Falcon, Hansen and Ilich, as well as Mses. Antoniak and Greene. And, if that wasn t enough, the firm stated, it was "able to engage" other "ministers."...


So, given all the above noted largesse we were not the least bit surprised to learn that Mr. Kinsella and Mr. Jiles went out of their way to back more than one horse in the recent BC Liberal Party Leadership stakes race.

Mr. Kinsella chose Horse 1, Ms. Christy Clark, who charged hard out of the gate but who now appears to be fading badly in the backstretch....

"Lobbyist Patrick Kinsella's company Progressive Strategies Ltd. has made a major contribution to Christy Clark's bid to succeed Gordon Campbell. According to a donation list released by her campaign today, Progressive kicked in $20,000 toward that effort. Pacific Customs Brokers Ltd. also contributed $10,000. The chief executive officer of that company, Glen Todd, co-owns a number of horses with Mr. Kinsella..."

Luckily for all those Progressive and Tobias Funke Bluestoneman Group fans out there however, Mr. Jiles chose Horse 1A, Mr. George Abbott....

Lobbyist Mark Jiles has confirmed he's among those supporting Education Minister George Abbott's bid for the provincial Liberal leadership - which will announcedtomorrow morning at 11:00. In an interview with Public Eye, Mr. Jiles stated, "I like George Abbott. I don't really have a defined role on his campaign. But I've definitely been helping him out...I think he's a good leader and a great guy and provides a balance approach."....

And, guess what?...... According to a well-placed and fortuitously timed announcement by veteran horse race caller, Mr. Vaughn Palmer, we have now been told that the 1A horse is starting to pick up a little steam at the clubhouse turn.


But here's the really real thing...

Despite the timely shilling for Mr. Abbott, all involved can no longer be certain that the BC Liberal stables, and all of the horses locked up in them, are not doomed.

And, given that, we would not be flummoxed if it were to turn out that Mr. Kinsella and friends were looking to buy a stake in that other consortium that rides their charges with crops held high in left hands.

And, surprise!.....A horse caller of a very different kind, Mr. Bill Tieleman, has just printed something that most certainly does not refute the possibility that such a potentially crazy, mixed-up exercise in maximum longview, lobbshop-purposed bet-hedging just might be in its embryonic planning stages....

The B.C. New Democratic Party convention last weekend was a public display intended to show voters it's ready to govern moderately and wisely, but another earlier event was actually the more important signal.

That took place Nov. 9, when 650 people attend a $395 per person dinner at the Hotel Vancouver -- making it the party's most successful fundraiser ever.

{snippety doo-dah}

...Among those spotted: Mark Jiles, business partner of B.C. Liberal top operative Patrick Kinsella at the Progressive Group; Mark Reder, a senior vice president at Fleishman-Hillard Canada and a former B.C. Liberal constituency president; and Byng Giraud, Imperial Metals vice president and part of B.C. Liberal Education Minister George Abbott's past leadership campaign....

Imagine that!

All snark aside, despite the fact that he has stepped away from the daily grind, Sean Holman's Public Eye archives are filled to bursting with important, relevant and topical information that is just waiting to leap out onto other proPundits pages if they will just do a little dot-connecting and then tell us what they actually know (or even think they know if they will offer it up as real opinion, possible loss of insider access passes be damned).



Anonymous said...

Tangled webs and all that -

On Norm Farrell's blog Northern Insights - a comment connects CClark's advisor Gwyn Morgan (Fraser Institute director) to Harper -

Weston, CBC - "[In 2006 the Harper] government created a new federal department called the Public Appointments Commission Secretariat to support the commission with a budget of more than $1 million a year.
By cabinet decree, the secretariat reports directly to the prime minister.
In theory, the commission was to oversee the hiring process for hundreds of federal boards and agencies, ensuring appointments are made on merit and not just doled out to partisan pals of the party in power.
It all sounded like a good idea at the time.
But on the same day Harper introduced the new commission, he also announced its first commissioner would be respected Alberta businessman Gwyn Morgan, a prominent Conservative and friend of the PM.
A month later, the federal opposition parties voted to block Morgan's appointment.
Visibly angered and embarrassed, Harper scrapped the commission in retaliation.
But no one scrapped its bureaucracy, the appointments secretariat."

More on Gwyn Morgan, CClark and Harper - Bill Tieleman in The Tyee -

Thanks for all the work on connecting the dots!

North Van's Grumps said...

April Fools Day

Vancouver Sun

John van Dongen has resigned as a member of the BC Liberal caucus and cancelled his membership with the BC Liberal Party. Van Dongen said he will now sit as a member of the BC Conservative Party. He made the announcement today in the legislature.

North Van's Grumps said...

Its no joke. van Dongen has crossed the floor to sit with the BC Convervative for Abbotsford South!

RossK said...

Thanks very much for the link Anon-Above.

Interesting that the good Mr. Morgan was in the news today doing damage control for SNC Lavelin.


Wonder if Laila will have anything to say about that?

Thanks NVG--

Was in science geek vortex for most of the day and I couldn't get up...Post coming...


RossK said...

Well whaddy'a know....

Laila already has her first post up....