Monday, April 24, 2017

Big Money Liberal Donor Successfully Petitions US Government To Destroy BC Jobs.

SomeDollarsAreDarkerThan
OthersVille


Weyerhaeuser is an American forest products company.

In the last 11 plus years Weyerhaeuser proper has donated more than $230,000 dollars to the BC Liberal Party:



Last fall Weyerhaeuser petitioned the US government to kill forest company jobs in British Columbia (see pg 10 of pdf):




And, today, Weyerhaeuser's wishes came true.

Allegedly:

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday he would impose a 20 percent tariff on Canadian softwood lumber, according to a White House official and two people present when he made the comment at a reception for conservative journalists...


Now.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but....

I'm pretty sure the Steelworkers have never done such a thing.



_______
For the record, Weyerhaeuser has given less than 10% of the BCL amount to the provincial Dippers over the same period.
Tip O' The Toque to Dipper Oppo guy for the heads-up on the Twittmachine.



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Last Sunday In Clarkland...The Photo-Op Finisher.

CanYouGetADegreeFromTheSorbonne
IfYouJustShowUpForGraduationVille


From Hana Mae Nassar's breathless coverage of a recent double photo-op by our fine Premier posted to the CKWX website:

...(Christy) Clark joined tens of thousands of people taking part in today’s yesterday's Vancouver Sun Run. While she didn’t run the full race, Christy Clark says events such as the Sun Run are a good way to build community....


Gosh.

It is my understanding that Ms. Clark was there at the start and the finish for pictures galore.

As for all that hard work required to actually get through the middle bits?

Not so much

Of course, grandstanding without actually running, means Ms. Clark had plenty of time to spout messages about her 'message' to the attending stenographers without actually having to submit said 'message' to any real scrutiny whatsoever:

...Joined by fellow Liberal candidates, she (Ms. Clark) is nothing but confident when asked how her campaign is going so far.

“I’ve been feeling really good about it, I mean I’m always an optimist. And my job is just to make sure people know what we stand for, what I want to do if I get a second term as Premier and I feel like we’re working hard to get that message out.”...


Hmmmmmm....

If that is really the case one can only wonder why the good Ms. Clark was not on McComb's little morning radio show this morning as was the case with the other two party leaders?



.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Where Have All The Stealth LibCons Gone?



Gone to scaredy-cat hidey-holes everywhere.

Meanwhile....

In Prince George:

AiMHi is presenting yet another chance for residents to hear from candidates running for office in this year’s provincial election.

Spokesperson Fred McLeod says an all-candidates forum will take place next Thursday, April 27, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the AiMHi gymnasium at 950 Kerry Street.

He says candidates from the Prince George-Valemount and Prince George-Mackenzie ridings have been invited to attend...

{snip}


...He says the Liberals were provided with four possible dates in mid-March but were told by the Liberal campaign this week neither will be attending.

McLeod says he’s disappointed. “Absolutely, but we will continue without them. The challenges that people are facing are huge and they need to have an opportunity for those challenges to be brought to the fore in an election period and if government candidates choose not to be there I think it sends a statement.”

He says one of the biggest challenges facing the disadvantaged in all B.C. communities is the monthly payment of $1,033 persons with disabilities receive each month. That sum was bumped up $50 a month April 1, 2017....



Ahhhhh...

Now I get it.

They're too scared to face the disabled folks they've been screwing over for 16 years.

There is a name for that I believe.


_______
 Kind of makes one wonder what would happen if kids in care, or seniors that need care, or homeless folks organized an all candidates meeting...Heads would likely explode in BCL war rooms everywhere.

And, just in case you've forgotten, the BC Liberal Party candidate in PG-Valemont is none other than RailGate origin story participant Ms. Bond....Shirley Bond.


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Friday, April 21, 2017

First Debate Post-Game Wrap-Up....Where's Weaver Now?

WhereTheWarRoomGoes
MostOfTheHerdWillFollow


It looks like the Wizards of Clarklandia really have gone full metal Lib-Con with their war room.

Heckfire.

Even the good Mr. Kinsella, Warren not Patrick, got in on the act when it came time to let fly with the codswallop in the immediate wake of yesterday's usery mouthpiece-moderated debate.

Codswallop that most of the local proMedia herd dutifully rolled around in before they got up and filed their copy.

Interestingly, Nancy Macdonald of Macleans managed to stay out of stinkiest of the crap on the ground and actually came up with something interesting to say after she first described John Horgan's combative nature:

...Yet Horgan’s weakness may also be his strength. Where some see anger, others see passion. Voters rarely see a full debate. They watch it in clips on their Facebook feeds and the nightly news. The point of it all is to make yourself look strong and nimble.

And there were times Clark’s attacks fell flat. In her defence, the party has given her little to work with. The stale and hackneyed Liberal platform, an exhaustive celebration of the government record, contains almost no new promises; this has forced her to try to fight back using the tired, Liberal strategy of drumming up fear over the NDP’s mid-‘90’s record. “It’s April, 2017,” Horgan said at one point, shutting down the attack. “What are you going to do for people today?”...



It will be interesting to see if regular folks do come to see the passion positively as voting day approaches.

Personally, I think they just might especially if Mr. Horgan continues to define himself rather than allowing the LibCons do it for him as happened to Mr. Dix last time around.

Meanwhile...

Is anyone talking about Mr. Weaver today?




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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

BC Election Campaign Roundup...Week 2 So Far.

ResearchThis
CampaignAllYouWantVille


Nevermind all this talk about minor league credit ratings (which Laila Yuile deals with very effectively, here).

Instead, take note of the fact that the fine folks that the BC Liberal wizards have hired to run the war room appear to have research in hand that has resulted in their recommending an 'All Christy All The Time' (ACATT) strate(r)gy.

Which means that the campaign is shaping up to be a 'Beyond The Valley Of The Stealth Cons' saga all over again.

Or.

Put another way....BC Liberal cannon fodder....errrr....candidates will not be showing up for local riding meetings/debates where they might actually say something which could lead to real problems for ACATT.

Especially if the candidates were to say things that actually make sense compared to the ginned-up word salad being spewed under the ACCATT doctrine.

Spew like.....This.

Heckfire!

As Bob Mackin has noted, even so-called 'star' candidates like the good Mr. Darling are running away from such local debates*.

Which has me wondering.....

Are those super-stealthy, voter-suppressive robo-callish-type democracy-mangling machines I can see lurking just over the leaders' debate horizon?


_________
What's a 'Stealth Con' you may be asking?....Well....You know.....Which really leaves one wondering who the true generals are in that BCL war room.
*And/or speeding away from them while driving a corinthian leather-lined vehicle provided very finest of the fine member of the new car dealers' association of Clarklandia.


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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

This Day In Clarkland....A Wizard Exposed.

WhatComesAfterWarriorAnyway
LostDigitalInfluenceVille.


And 'exposed' by Mikey Mike no less:


Gosh.

Is something really happening here?


_______
Bob Mackin has more on the wizard...Here.
Our archives have more info on past deeds of said wizard, not missed....Here.
Horgan responds in a most zingnified manner.


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Monday, April 17, 2017

BC Election Campaign Round-Up....Week 1.

IsSomthingHappening
HereVille


I first had a vague inkling that something might be shifting in the Lotuslandian political zeitgeist in the first day or two after the writ dropped last Tuesday.

Which, to my mind at least, was supported by the following in the Dean's Friday column in the VSun:

...(BC Liberal Finance Minister Mike de Jong) levelled a broad-brush accusation that NDP spending promises would mean “massive” increases in taxes and deficits and a downgrade in the province’s Triple A credit rating.

Maybe. But at first read the NDP plan did not represent all that massive a shift from the three-year budget the Liberals themselves tabled in February.

Horgan would increase program spending by 1.4 per cent above what the Liberals were projecting for the current financial year, by 2.5 per cent in fiscal 2018 and three per cent the next year.

Those increases, for the most part, would finance readily defensible priorities — including a long overdue increase in social assistance, elimination of interest on student loans, hiring more park rangers and conservation officers, and rolling back ferry fares on the smaller routes...



And then, on Sunday, Martyn Brown went for broke in the GStraight in a way I'm not sure I have ever seen in the public prints since I really started paying attention to #BCPoli in 2004:

...The Clark government is demonstrably not working to help make life even remotely affordable for those low-income individuals and families.

It is not prepared to make even those modest investments, to help those who are able to work, lift themselves out of poverty, with meaningful employment that might alleviate or ultimately eliminate their dependency on social assistance.

Again, on this issue, the NDP did not try to outspend the Greens, who propose raising income assistance rates by 50 percent over the next four years. A bold and noble platform commitment, for sure, but not at all realistic, in my humble assessment.

Horgan’s platform is by contrast eminently reasonable and clearly affordable. It offers a welcome first step toward helping those most in need, yet without also unduly and even cruelly raising false expectations of what any new government will be able to responsibly afford...



So.

What, exactly, is that shiftyness thing I mentioned at the top of the post really all about Alfie?

Well....

It looks like some of the puffed-up punditry 'round here is starting to look at Mr. Horgan like he is the reasonable, pragmatic one who will really and truly make things happen for all of British Columbia without blowing the place up.

Gosh.

Is the Keef sure to follow?


________
 I realize the Mr. Brown may have an anti-CClark axe to grind, but still...Go have a look at his entire piece...He makes a decent case as a detailed follow up to Mr. Palmer column.

The real interesting thing to watch for in Week 2?....Well, in this vein at least, it will be interesting to see if other herd members start to paint Mr. Weaver as the extremist out on the looney left...If that happens and middle really does open wide for Horgan and the Dippers, I'm pretty sure the BCL wizardarian braintrusts' collective lobb-shopped potato-head will very likely explode.
Subheader ear worm got hold of you?....Relief is...Here.


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Thursday, April 13, 2017

This Pro-Pundit In Clarkland...Show Us The (Real) Data!

AreWeNot
IrelandVille


Mr. Mason, he of the Globe and (No Longer Empire) Mail, has written yet another conventionally obvious column in which he concludes that, for the BC Liberals to lose, folks in in the 'mushy ideological middle' will have to turn their backs on...


"...a government that has boasted arguably the strongest economy in the country over the past four years, unquestionably the best record of fiscal management among the provinces and an enviable job-creation record..."



Now.

I would argue that the three conclusions made by Mr. Mason, above, are not fully supported by the available data (as has been repeatedly illustrated by the digging, graph making and writing of Norm Farrell).

Regardless, consider the following...

Does this kind of superficial analysis from the likes of Mr. Mason even matter if most mushy middle folk, regardless their ideology, can't buy a house, or find their own doctor, or get a decent daycare space, or book a teacher's aide when one is required, or get an ambulance when they need one, or even get a campsite if they don't have a spread on one of the Gulf Islands when it's time for summer vacation? 

The point is that a generation ago most middling British Columbians could do all of those things and more. And now, well, a great many of them can't.

And what did all those folks receive in return for giving up all those previously available/attainable things?

Why, absolutely nothing except, of course, a massive tax shift in the form user fees up the wazuk...errr...wazoo (i.e. the HST by another name), a humongous crony-assisted sell off of public assets/treasures/rivers, and the accumulation of a massive pile of real debt that Mr. Mason and his fellow proMedia club members refuse to talk seriously about.

In other words, it's 'Heads They Win, Tails We Lose' all over again.

And there's absolutely nothing mushy about the middle of that big money coin I reckon.

OK?



.

This Easter Weekend In Clarkland: Good Friday Reminds Us That...



....Our fine Premier has a real problem with basic facts and truths:




Unless, of course, the good Ms. Clark really is telling her loyal and hardworking, not to mention sacrificial, subjects that crucifixion will be their just rewards.

Or some such word salad spinner set-to-infinity-type thing.


_________
The original tweet is from 2015...Reading the responses is hilarious.


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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Yo-Yo Ferry Fare Conspiracy (ctd)....A Sham Of A Sham Of A Sham Not Even Worthy Of A Sham-Wow.

AllTheNegativeBilling
FauxRebatesThatFitVille


There is more (much more!) reaction to the BC Liberal Real-Increase/Fake-Decrease on ferry fares 'Say Absolutely Anything To Get Elected' thingy that we discussed the other day in an excellent editorial from the Times Colonist.

Here is their lede (and a wee bit more):

The B.C. Liberals have included a “break” for frequent ferry users as part of their newly announced election platform. The promise is a sham and an insult to island dwellers.

Supposedly, the party will “work with B.C. Ferries to develop a loyalty discount program by 2020 that will save money for frequent ferry users.” It takes three years to produce a discount program?

Until that joyous day arrives (if it ever does), the Liberals have committed to offering “residents of ferry-dependent communities” an income-tax deduction. Please note: We have no idea whether frequent ferry users and residents of ferry-dependent communities are one and the same. No doubt we’ll hear more on that at some future point.

The tax deal works like this: Ferry users will be able to deduct 25 per cent of their fares from their net tax payable to the province, up to a total of $1,000. That works out to a saving of $250 a year.

Really? You’re going to put ferry users through the misery of a complex income-tax manoeuvre to save them a few bucks. Why not just hide $10 bills throughout each ship and let passengers go on a treasure hunt?

It’s clear what is going on here. This is similar to one of those money-back deals that companies offer customers who don’t like their product. They’re counting on most people finding the process too time-consuming to follow through
.

That seems (to be) the motive here. The Liberals are dangling a form of rebate, knowing it’s too obscure or cumbersome to find an audience.

Otherwise, why not take the obvious step and cut fares? That would cost actual money...




Now.

Put this into perspective together skyrocketing Hydro rates, ICBC rates and MSP rates, all loaded on to the back of average British Columbians, and ask yourself the following...

Will the bait and switch ever end?



______
Tip 'O The Toque to reader Keith E. for the heads-up.


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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Last Night In Clarkland....Chasing Mr. Coleman.

WhereAreTheFriendlies
WhenHeNeedsThemVille


It would appear that Bob Mackin didn't get the memo and/or read the sign on the proMedia Club members' door.

Because last night Mr. Mackin had the gall to chase Deputy Premier Rich Coleman down after a BC Liberal party leaders dinner and ask him real questions about real issues that Mr. Coleman has been ducking, repeatedly, of late.

Mr. Coleman refused to answer Mr. Mackin's questions at least in part because, in his words, 'You never tell the truth about me'.

As reader Lew has pointed out on the Twittmachine, the real story here was the total lack of other 'reporters' present at the really big do....






______
There is a proMedia 'Club' here in Lotusland?....You bet there is.



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Monday, April 10, 2017

This Pre-Writ Day In Clarkland...The Yo-Yo Ferry Fare Conspiracy.

SayAnything
IndeedVille


The following was the headline from a CBC British Columbia story just over a week ago:

"Welcome to April: higher BC Hydro rates, fares for BC Ferries"



And then, today, there was this from Global British Columbia:

"B.C. Liberals promise reduced ferry fares if elected"

Hmmmmmm....

It would appear that one of these things is not like other.

Kind of like those MSP rollbacks that haven't actually started rolling yet.

What a surprise.


__________
Interestingly, as pointed out by Bob Mackin, Global's local news channel did not cover the release of the Chalke report live but they did did go wire to wire with live coverage of the firing of a lame duck hockey coach who wanted nothing to do with the tanking of the good ship Linden-pop.



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Saturday, April 08, 2017

This Post-Report Weekend In Clarkland...Why Did They Want The Ombudsperson So Much?

WeDon'tNeedNoStinkingPublic
VisibilityVille



Besides the fact that Vaughn Palmer of the Vancouver Sun also called for it way back when why, exactly, did the Wizards of Clarkland want the Ombudsperson to run the latest investigation of the Health Researcher firings by the government of Christy Clark, Susan Anton and Mike de Jong?

Well...

It turns out that the explanation is laying right there in Ombudsperson Chalke's report of his investigation (pg 31 of pdf file):




So.

There you have it.

At  the 'most basic level' the investigation was kept from public view because  it was 'required' and because it was a 'central feature' of said investigation.

Imagine that!


______
Looks like the one lasting accountability impact aspect of the report may turn out to be an actual documentation of Ms. Clark's statements to Mr. Chalke that turn out to be at complete odds to what she is spouting to the proMedia now....Laila Yuile and Paul Willcocks both noticed.


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Thursday, April 06, 2017

This Day In Clarklandian Real Estate CronyLand...Was This Big Rich's Plan All Along?

TheWritAndAFourDayWeekendWill
SaveUsAllVille


From Mr. Eby's latest missive to the nowhere-to-be-found* Clarklandian Minister of Everything...




Send out the next wave of Deputy Ministers!


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*Closed door big money meet-ups excepted, of course.

Speaking of Deputy Ministers not named 'Henderson', how is this for internal uber-apologetic unaccountability?

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This Day In Lotusland...Playing Three Dot Monty With A Land Swap Loan.

ALockHoudiniHimselfCouldn't
PickVille


Following up on the work, persistence and digging of concerned citizens like Glen Chernen and the Community Association of New Yaletown,  Sam Cooper has written a most interesting PostMedia piece on the big downtown Lotuslandian land swap that re-built some social housing (without increasing the stock) while simultaneously 'unlocking' the re-development potential of one of the chunks of (no longer) city land:

...Now, four years after the city gave 508 Helmcken to the developer at a $15-million value, it has been assessed as high as $130 million by B.C. Assessment, and documents show that it could be worth even more at market rates...


Wow.

That lock sure did hold back a whole lotta moola.

Interestingly, the great unlocking also involved a loan from BC Housing (i.e. your money and mine) that apparently helped facilitate that decidedly un-social (three million dollar apartments for all!), unlocking:

...NDP housing critic David Eby has asked why B.C. Housing, which is mandated to provide social housing, provided a previously undisclosed $39-million loan to (the developer) Brenhill. The loan in 2016 required reporting of pre-sales progress in the luxury tower...

****

Alrighty then.


With that pre-amble out of the way, let's get on with the game!

Dot #1:

...Bob Rennie was involved in bringing forward the loan proposal to B.C. Housing’s board, while Rennie was a member of that board, in November 2013...


Dot #2:

...Rennie recused himself from the discussion and approval of the funding for Brenhill from B.C. Housing in the deal, documents show. But B.C. Housing officials refused to disclose to Postmedia why Rennie recused himself...



Now, while you keep your eyes on those two dots just revealed, how about we hunt down that all important  Dot #3, which has actually been out in the open for ages, all the while being well-polished by breathless promotional pre-sales puff pieces that include money shots like the following from Claudia Kwan, also 'published' in PostMedia's prints:

...“With so many projects, people ask how big the units are, how much does it cost, and what’s the view,” says Tracie McTavish, executive director of project marketer Rennie Marketing Systems...



Game over?



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Wednesday, April 05, 2017

This Day In Clarkland....Ignore Those Wizards Behind The Curtain and Focus On The Real Thing.

AllYourBreechedTailingPonds
'RUsVille


Sometimes, the Blog Crawl has absolutely everything you need.

First, advice on how to deal with neandercons and their crony army from my favourite USian denizen of Left Blogistan since the days of Steve Gilliard:

"...Ignore their talking points and their spin and focus on what they do and how they act..."



Backed with a recent post from the Lotusland Bloggodome's best, Norm Farrell, that adroitly explains how big money resource extracting donors to the BC Liberals get paid.

First, go read Norm's entire post (it will only take a minute). 

And then ask yourself why, exactly, we have a mining ministry that waves pom-poms for the big money donors while simultaneously kinda/sorta (but not really) regulating said cronies....errrrr...donors.

OK?



_________
Who is Steve Gilliard, you may be asking?....The best I ever saw (and/or read).


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Tuesday, April 04, 2017

This Real Estate Day In Clarkland: Big Rich Likes Reports In June...


....How About You?



A non-response to an FOI request received by the indefatigable Bob Mackin:



June does come after May, right?


_______
One of the things that used to drive me crazy between 2005 and 2009, especially during those heady pre-trial hearing days when all the details finally started barrelling down the tracks (before, of course, the real trial publication bans started pushing the evidence trains back up over the hill), was how the puffed-up punditry, and in particular the Ledgie-Boyz, would constantly say how RailGate didn't matter because the people voted the BC Liberals back into power after the Ledge Raids....Moral of the story...These days, in our fine province at least, the cover-up is NEVER worse than anything, large or small...


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Monday, April 03, 2017

This Lunchtime In Clarkland...My How The Conflicty Have Fallen.

WhichWhichIs
WhichVille


Tweetology to a friend(ly?) in the proMedia from the Premier's press man...



What's it all about Alfie?

Well, apparently...

Sandwiches.

Seriously.


______
Tip 'O The Toque to the tireless Bob Mackin for this one.
Conflicty before conflictyness in Clarkland was cool?....You bet!



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This Day In Clarkland...Re: The Chalke Report On The Healthcare Working Firings...


...They Already Know.


The money shot from Rob Shaw's VSun foreshadowey piece published today, Monday April 3rd:

...The governing B.C. Liberals, however, do care about how voters interpret what is likely to be a scathing report. The government is getting ready and has a good idea of what’s coming, because the law required Chalke give warning to those who will be criticized...


The point?

The Clarklandians and their Wizards already know how much (or how little?) white will be on the wash.

And you can bet that the media plan is being constructed as I type and/or you read this.



______
The real key to how damning the report is will be defined by how quickly the speaker, Linda Reid, releases it.


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Thursday, March 30, 2017

This Day In Clarkland...Big Rich's Billion Dollar Hangover.

ABillionHereAndABillionThere
AndPrettySoonYou'reTalkin'BoutAWholeFleet'OFastFerriesVille


The Auditor General has spoken on Rich Coleman's fantasy social housing program.

And what it is going to cost you, me and our children, if not their children.

Jen St Denis of MetroNews was one of the first out of the gate with the kicker.

Here is her lede:

B.C.’s Auditor General found that the provincial government has sold off social housing buildings to non-profit organizations without demonstrating that those sales will result in better outcomes for social housing and those who live in that housing.

Carol Bellringer examined the asset sale program in a report released Thursday. In 2013, the B.C. government began the Non-Profit Asset Transfer Program, which was supposed to generate $300 million that the government would then re-invest into social housing and rent assistance programs.

But, Bellringer notes, under the program the government is still on the hook for $30 million a year in mortgage payments over the next 35 years...




Sound like, perhaps,  Ms. St. Denis was being a touch hyperbolic?

Well, how about we go directly to the AG's press release:


Of course, especially in the pay-to-play world that is Clarkland, the next question to ask is...

Who benefits?


______
More on the no-biddish-type question, above, later. 



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Sunday, March 26, 2017

This Sunday In Lotusland...A Great City Deserves A Great Newspaper.






Or...

If that's just not possible, some great pamphleteers...

Norm Farrell explains why our town's no longer even remotely great newspapers refuse to tell their readers what is really happening at BC Hydro:

...It should be a scandal this once proud enterprise is spending massive amounts without public purpose, particularly while disabled people live in abject poverty and elementary schools rely on donated paper. Clearly though, large businesses and investors gain from BC Hydro’s spending and they want it to continue, even if provincial debt and obligations already burden every household in BC with almost $90,000.

Newspapers beholden to special interests are unwilling to report how sponsoring elites profit by abusing the wallets of taxpaying citizens. What debased media will report is anything that advances the positions of their masters...


****

North Van's Grumps asks...Are the BC Liberals regularly pulling reverse Fassbenders? 

****

Dermod Travis of Integrity BC goes flying right past the $93,000 in the BC Liberal Party's clerical errors in fundraising without even trying:

...Here's the thing. If you take the four lobbyists whose names have already been linked to this scheme in the media – plus one more who has confirmed their participation to IntegrityBC – and knock off all their personal donations under $1,000 (on the presumption they're more likely to be genuinely personal), their total donations come to $116,177 (2005 to 2016).

And that's before checking the donations of even a single other lobbyist or senior staff person. Nice try, guys...


****

Bob Mackin reveals....How the sheep farmer keeps walking away with bags of our money, also without even trying.

****

Laila Yuile illustrates...The push behind the polling - especially when it comes to matters Site C.

****

Grant G. thinks...There really is something rotten in the state of Lotuslandian Real Estate. 

****

And, finally, Mr. Beer 'N Hockey makes like Mike Royko while simultaneously taking down MAGA down at the sawmill:


Had a crew meeting with the f*cking boss in the lunch room today. I took notes so you would not miss anything.

Firstly, as in all such meetings, there was a lot of talk about doom.

Secondly, another management favourite topic, gloom.

Thirdly, there was some talk about making the f*cking sawmill great again.

All us workers thought the meeting was over once that went over our head but there was one more thing on the boss' mind.

"We have been having trouble with the toilets getting all bunged up this winter. Been happening so much someone must be bunging them up on purpose. We hope we are going to get to the bottom of it before the f*cking plumber's fees forces us to close down this mill like the one in Merritt."

We were barely out the lunchroom door before somebody dubbed our overflowing toilet situation Sh*ttergate.



_____
And on that sheepherder hardly workin' to take our money piece by Mr. Mackin...Ms. T's response is worth laughing at and/or ridiculing because...BC Liberal entitlement...Or some such thing.
And, on an extra special musical note...Some of you may recall (but probably don't) my boosterism for all things Aaron Lee Tasjan awhile back (PW - he was the opener for the Felice Brothers last fall)...Well, anyway, to see the evolution blues of Mr. Tasjan's guitar work unleashed, see...This (be sure and stay through the 4 minute mark - especially you Beer, what with your tributes to freedom and St Louis and duckwalking and all that).



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Friday, March 24, 2017

Two Advisors In Clarkland With Exactly The Same Middle Name.

Who'sAdvising
WhoVille

_____

Please see update at the bottom of the post
_____


According to Rob Shaw, Mr. Steven Carr is a former Deputy Minister who had become Premier Clark's 'special advisor' and de-facto chief of staff by January of 2016 when the Vancouver Sun published Mr. Shaw's piece titled "Meet the 5 Powerful People Behind The Premier":

"The LNG Boss" Special adviser

The top staffer in the premier's office is a former 27-year civil servant who helped the premier kickstart her most important file: liquefied natural gas.

An economist by training, Steve Carr spent years as deputy minister of LNG, growing what's become the core of the premier's jobs plan. He created the new LNG tax regime and led negotiations with large LNG companies (though none have made final investment decisions). The importance of the file led to close work with Clark, both within B.C. and on overseas trade trips. When Carr, 56, announced his intent to retire last year (i.e. 2015), Clark asked him to instead lead her staff. Don't let his title of special adviser fool you. Carr has all the powers of her chief of staff, overseeing political employees in the building and making sure virtually every file of importance to government is aligned with the premier's priorities. It's the second time Clark has turned to an experienced, non-partisan civil servant to take on the hyper-partisan role of running her office. Carr's predecessor, Dan Doyle, spent 50 years working for the government and was known for his calm demeanour and problem-solving skills. Carr appears a similar choice...



As you might expect, it turns out that the good Mr. Carr was compensated well for his work, presumably in his role as Deputy Minister in fiscal 2015/16 (see pg 11 of the document; pg 10 of the pdf file):



Now, the level of compensation for Mr. Carr is not the item I would like you to focus on here.

Instead, please note the good Mr. Carr's middle name, which is 'James'.

This is something I will return to later in the post.


****

So, moving on....

Also in fiscal 2015/16...

A numbered company called '1048216 B.C. LTD' was awarded a no bid contract worth $228,000 to provide 'Strategic and Personnel Advice' to the Premier's office beginning on February 01, 2016.

As a result, this particular numbered company received $57,394 compensation from the province of British Columbia in fiscal year 2015/16 (i.e. between February 1 and April 30, 2016 when the fiscal year's accounting for such contracts ended; see pg 385 of the document; pg 383 of the pdf):



Interestingly, this particular numbered company later received a second no bid contract for $190,000 to provide the same 'Strategic and Personnel Advice' to the Premier's office between Oct 01, 2016 and April 10, 2017.

We noted the details of these contracts, worth a total of $418,000 over a period of approximately 14 months, yesterday. 

Also yesterday, we noted that up until December of  2015  '1048216 B.C. LTD' was instead known as 'STEVECARR CONSULTANTS INC.'

Now.

Yesterday, I was willing to concede that this might all be a coincidence.

After all, there are likely numerous folks named Steve Carr living across the depth and breadth of British Columbia and there might even be a few Steve Carrs among that group that have the skill set to provide 'Strategic and Personnel Advice' to the office of the Premier of the province.

But then the following turned up in my Email inbox:



Hmmmm....

Mr. Carr the 'Consultant' is also named Steven James Carr and he also lives in Victoria British Columbia?

Gosh.

Armed with this new information I can't help but conclude that the 'special advisor' to the Premier of British Columbia and the president of '1048216 B.C. LTD' are the very, very, very likely the very one and the same person.

Which begs the question...

Is the Premier's special advisor receiving $418,000 worth of advice from himself?

And/or...

Is the consultant also the advisor who, at least according to Mr. Shaw of the VSun as noted above, also:

...has all the powers of her (i.e. Ms. Clark's) chief of staff, overseeing political employees in the building and making sure virtually every file of importance to government is aligned with the premier's priorities...




****

Post-script: To be clear, there is no evidence that Mr. Carr, the special advisor to the Premier, is not being compensated entirely through the no-bid contracts. Regardless, why the numbered company cloak?...Furthermore, as was pointed out in the original post, the details of the contracts themselves are not publicly available due to matters of 'confidentiality'...Finally, someone in the 'media' has submitted freedom of information request for the details of the numbered companies actions and expenditures in carrying out the original contract. Apparently, this request is currently under 'legislative review'.




______

Special thanks to reader Lew for digging up the public accounts records (and the specific pages!) that detail the compensation to Mr. Carr and Mr. Carr's company in fiscal 2015/16
Also special thanks to  A. Reader for sending the corporate director info on '1048216 B.C. LTD' my way. I cannot link to it because it is behind a paywall at BCOnline.gov.bc.ca...The public can get access but you have to subscribe for a hundred bucks....I was willing to pay but I was not willing to wait for them to do the paperwork on my application...Which is great because now I can send the $100 to a much more worthwhile endeavour.
Finally, please note that... I removed the street address for Mr. Carr from the corporate directory document, above and have not listed the second principal in the company...
And extra-special finally...Those of you who like to stop by here occasionally who may have noticed that I've been trying like heckfire to get out of the hard-core BCPoli Blogging game...But I know my good friend BCMary would, if she could, very likely smack me up the side of the head if I really did so before election day... 
Update, late Friday:  In the original version of this post it could have been assumed that I was indicating that Mr. Carr was receiving additional compensation separate from the contracts themselves. There is no evidence of that. Thus, I have edited the post to make sure that is clear and I have added the post-script.


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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Are We The Only Ones That Have Taken An Interest In A Certain Numbered Company?

SometimesANameIsJustA
NameVille


Well, well, well, whaddy'a know...

Turns out that someone in the 'media' has an FOI request in on 1048216 B.C. Ltd. as it pertains to a certain no bid contract out of the Premier's office (careful, link is to an .xls file):




And it's under 'Legislative Review'...

Imagine that!



______
What's it all about Alfie?....See previous post...Here.
And, just so you know....We are working on determining who, precisely the directors are of said numbered company are (with middle names and everything!)


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This Contract In Clarkland...Sometimes A Numbered Company Is Just A Number...


...And Sometimes It Used To Have A Name.

_____

Thursday 6:00pm....First update...Here
Friday 9:00pm....Second update (and it's a big one)...Here
_____


For reasons likely best left unexplained, I sometimes like to poke around inside publicly available government databases just for the heck of it.

Anyway...

Last weekend I decided to have a look at recent BC government 'contracts'.

And the following is one that caught my eye:



Now, first of all, let's talk about the 'Procurement Process' that was used to by the Premier's Office to grant a $190,000 six month contract to a numbered company to provide said office with "strategic and personnel advice." from October 1st of last year until (surprise!) April 10th of this year.

According to the appropriate BC Government webpage this type of deal allows:

"...ministries to direct award purchase orders and contracts for goods, services or construction without competition under specific circumstances..."


In other words, this is a contract that was not put out for bids but instead was awarded directly to '1048216 B.C. LTD.' by the BC Liberal government.

And the rationale for that particular 'Direct Award'?

Why, 'Confidentiality', of course, which, according to government rules, means:



Gosh.

This must be super-important, super-secret stuff that this super-secret numbered company is doing, eh?

And it must have been just as super-important super-secret stuff that this same super-secret numbered company was doing for the Office of the Premier earlier last year as well, at least according to a recent government FOI release: (further link)
(further link)



Hmmmmm....

With all that super-secret, super-important stuff going down, I decided to take a shot and look up the numbered company that the Office of our Premier has given more than $400,000 to in the last year or so on the off chance that maybe it hadn't always been so super-secret with respect to, say, its name.

And...

Voila:




We are not entirely sure exactly what 'Steve Carr Consultants Inc.' was and/or what it did exactly before it became '1048216 B.C. LTD.' in the fall of 2015 and then went to work for the Office of the Premier on super-important super-secret stuff beginning in February of 2016.

However, I am pretty sure they were not a 'VIP Phone System' company in Australia that won't take web traffic from an IP address in British Columbia.

But I could be entirely wrong about that.

As for the following:



Well, I'm sure the identity of the two names is entirely a coincidence and the Premier's paid advisor (scroll down) has nothing whatsoever to do with a numbered company that is being paid by the Premier to give her office super-important super-secret strategic and personnel advice.



________
Friday Mar24/17 @ 9:00pm....Please see 2nd update to this post (and it's a big one that has changed the conclusion significantly)...Here
On the 'flip' side....At least we know, for sure, that it is Gordon Wilson himself, apparently un-numbered, who received the an Order-In-Council sinecure that makes it possible for him to tell us that it our moral duty to ship LNG to the far east at $600 dollars a day, whether he 'works' or not.
And, thanks, to reader Lew (see the comments) who corrected me on the specific nature of the good Mr. Wilson's 'appointment'...Initially I said it was a contract...I got it wrong and apologize.


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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

This Week In Clarkland...My, How Have The Conflicty Have Fallen.

TheThingsAFormerReporterWorkingForThePremier
MustDoVille


From a recent BC Government FOI release in response to a 'media' inquiry:





****


What's this one all about Alfie?

Well, as you might expect, it's...

Sparkle Pony Karaoke!



All of which is clearly much more important, and requires all kinds of time, effort and multiple back-and-forths with the friendlies compared to, say, the flat-out rejection of an unfriendly who might actually ask real questions like, say, Andrew McLeod:

...“I have the unfortunate duty to be the bearer of bad news,” (Premier) Clark’s press secretary Stephen Smart informed me by email Thursday. “I’m very sorry but I’ve tried to make the schedule work this way, that way and the other and I am just not able to fit you in for a year-end interview tomorrow.”

“I completely fall on my sword here in that I should have pushed for a longer chunk of time for these,” wrote Smart, a former CBC reporter and press gallery colleague who went to work in Clark’s office in February. “I’d be happy to try and line you up with a senior minister instead if that might be helpful or something else in lieu of the premier. Just let me know if there is anything.”...



Personally, I have come to the conclusion that it is our fine premier, based on actual evidence and events that have occurred, repeatedly, over the last 13 years (more to come!) rather than bafflegab  lapped up, unquestioned, by the local PostMedia  friendlies, who is the local political party leader who is most lacking in an ossified vertebral column.


______
Conflicty?....Well....As the BC Liberals are so fond of telling we, the peons..It's all in the past so...Why worry!
Tip 'O The Toque to Grant G. for a heads-up on the Twittmachine.



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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Why Did Premier Miss Yet More Time In The Legislature?

AllYourGovernmentBusinesses
AreUsVille


First, the following, from Bob Mackin:


So.

What kinds of things was our fine Premier up to that kept her from dealing with the people's business?

Well, according to Vancouver Metro's David Ball at least, she spent some of her non-Ledge time running away the press, but not through tunnels as first suggestively reported.

Or some such thing:

...Metro and other journalists waiting outside (the BC Tech Summit at the Vancouver Convention Ctr) hoped to ask Clark about the growing scandal that’s dominated the news cycle just two months ahead of a pivotal provincial election. But Clark did not make herself available to the media...

{snip}

...Editor's note: After this story ran, the premier's press secretary contacted Metro to state that the premier entered and exited the building through the front entrance (i.e. not through an underground tunnel). The story has been changed to reflect that.


(stuff in brackets, above, mine)




No word, however, from the Premier's office on whether or not her pants were still on fire when she did so.





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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

This Just In! BC Liberal Wizard Says Premier Actually...


....Believes In Something.



Meanwhile, Ms. Huntington, who has actually demonstrated, for real, that she believes in more than expediency, had the following to say to the Globe's Justine Hunter:

...“Isn’t it a masterful piece of deflection?” said Ms. Huntington, whose (own) proposed bill would cap individual donations, ban union and corporate donations, and add a residency requirement for donors...




Hmmmmm....

Ms. Huntington's bill sure does sound a lot like Ms. Notley's in Alberta, not to mention Mr. Horgan's right here at home.

Of course, in a demonstration of the quislingfication of Mr. Weaver, there was a non-government bill that Ms. Clark was happy to support this week.

Which has some wondering if a last minute Sterk-like ad campaign, a la 2013, has already been bought and paid for for the good Mr. Weaver?

After all, it's not like the BC Liberal wizards don't have the cash for it.



_______
Cue Mr. Jackson....Again (cause they can sell us anything!).
And, just in case you missed it....Liar! Liar! Pants On.....You guessed it!


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Saturday, March 11, 2017

This Day Clarkland...The Dean Writes (Yet) Another Column About The Ombudsperson's Investigation.

TimeTimeTimeTimeTimeTime
TickingInHisHeadVille


The good Mr. Palmer has written yet another column about the Ombudsperson's (non-public) inquiry into the health care worker firings at the hands of the Clarklandians in which he (i.e. the Dean) kinda/sorta calls for the good Mr. Chalke to get his report on the matter into the public's hands before the election despite the following:

...(T)here’s no obvious precedent for the speaker to act on a report once the house has been dissolved and all the seats vacated for an election. That happens April 11, with the issuance of the writ for the May 9 vote.

So in practical terms Chalke has about a month to wrap up the investigation, settle any concerns about his findings and deliver the report to Speaker Linda Reid, lest it be at risk of languishing in her inbox pending the outcome of the campaign...



Ya.

Sure.

But, even if Mr. Chalke's report is released by the question period-quashing Ms. Reid before May 9th, what, exactly, will it contain?

****

Now.

Before you consider the answer to the question above, not to mention the whole release date thing, just remember the following...

The Dean had a whole lot of personal skin in this public inquiry-killing game before the game even began.

Case in point, here is what the good Mr. Palmer wrote back in June of 2015, almost two years (yes, years!) ago when he told us how having Mr. Chalke investigate, public inquiry-free, was the way to go:

...The ombudsman, as noted here Thursday, has all the powers needed to get to the bottom things: summon witnesses, take testimony under oath, seek documents and so forth. The office is independent of government and reports directly to the legislature. And if past practice is any guide, an independent officer of the legislature can get the answers in a matter of months if not weeks, unlike public inquiries, which can drag on for years...


Of course, none of the above was mentioned in yesterday's column by Mr. Palmer.

And fine folks like Ron Obvious keep insisting that it is all the public's fault for just not 'getting it'.

Sheesh.



_______
Tip O' The Toque to an Anon-O-Mouse for sending me back into the archives for the link above based on their comment in the thread to the last post...It's the kind of thing that  BC Mary would have been most happy to see...
SubHeader?....Weird how posts about the shortcomings of the local puffed-up punditry invariably lead to references to old Joe Jackson tunes.



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Thursday, March 09, 2017

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Last Night In Pay-To-Playland....The Hand Inside The Glove Pivots.

ButDidTheyBothOnceRootForThe
PointedSticksVille



Hey.

Look what turned up, back-to-back, on the #bcpoli Twittmachine feed last night...





Now...

First, I think it is now pretty clear who is the hand and who is the glove here, right?

And, second, who could have possibly imagined that the wizards of Clarklandia would figure out a way to pivot this whole 'pay-to-play' thingy to their advantage?

Because...

The more Mr. Weaver wins the more things will stay the same around here through 2021.

I, for one, sure do hope that Mr. Keithley of North Burnaby has thought, hard, about that.


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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

This Day In Pay-To-Playland...Will The Really Big Grift Get Lost In The Shuffle?




Look.

Allowing the foot soldiers in the griftiness game to pad the individual donor stats and cloak the true palsy-walsy players of the paything* is not good.

However, the bigger story, in which the palsiest of the palsys are enticed to make sizable 'investments' that pay-out massive returns that screw the rest of us over, but good, is not one of 'Both sides do it.'

Because only one side has been the government for sixteen years.

OK?

****

Meanwhile, Norm Farrell notes that the Dean has confirmed that he, himself, has officially checked out for the duration....



As for the Keef?

Well....



______
And Mikey-Mike?....Well he's making some squawking noises while pretends to be outraged about the smaller stories without going after, or anywhere near, the big one.
And, finally....Oh, heckfire....We'll get back to Mr. Obvious later.
Update: Why wasn't John Horgan all over this yesterday?...Because he's being careful and not just 'Saying Anything' as per the current premier of this province as was clear from his interview with Jon McComb this morning.
*Updatier Update: See insightful comments by Anon-O-Mice in the attached thread for ideas about how the small time end of the grift may/likely really works, in detail...Originally, I had noted that their may be tax implications to the smalltime grift...That is not clear, and may not, in fact, be the case in any significant way...Thus, I have revised the post and removed that.
Updatiest....Dermod Travis hypothesizes on the possible 'motivation' for the small time grift.


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Sunday, March 05, 2017

This Weekend In Pay-To-Playland...The Globe's Slap And Tickle.

OfCourseThey'reBad,But
1997!Ville


On Saturday the Globe published a piece under Kathy Tomlinson's byline about all that pay-to-play/evils-of-insider-access going on in Clarkland that we, the idiots in the Bloggodome (and anyone else who has actually been paying attention, including those nutbars from the NYTimes) have been saying for sometime now.

And that thing we have been saying has nothing to with this 'Wild West' in the land of the 'Iron Snowbird' nonsense.

No.

Instead, we're talking about all pervasive straight-up, out-front, corporate-backed influence peddling on a grand Potemkin scale:

...Lobbyists and other power brokers are routinely buying their way into British Columbia’s political inner circles by donating generously to the party in power several times a year, a practice industry insiders consider the cost of doing business in a province with an entrenched pay-to-play culture.

A Globe and Mail review of public records found dozens of people who get paid to promote special interests also give tens of thousands of dollars every year – under their own names, not those of the interests they represent – to help B.C.’s governing politicians pay for their campaigns.

Many are registered lobbyists, whose job is trying to influence those politicians to make decisions that will benefit their clients...




****

So.

After dangling a toe over Christy's Grand Griftyness Canyon on Saturday what did the Globe do on Sunday?

Why it published a scramble-back piece by Justine Hunter that started like this:

It was more than 20 years ago that the B.C. Liberal Party, then in opposition, attacked the NDP government of the day for bestowing special favour upon its “friends and insiders.” After 16 years in power, however, the Liberals are entrenched in defending a political fundraising system that sells access and influence to its own friends and insiders...


And it goes downhill from there.

Because, according to Ms. Hunter's piece the story of import now is all about legislative and campaign jousting that will soon come our way courtesy Ms. Clark and her minions that will be designed to win the battle for PR-flagged hearts and proMedia minds.

And as for what all that systemic and longterm  BC Liberalized graft has done and is doing  to this province and its citizenry that Ms. Tomlinson briefly brought to light on Saturday?

Well...

All gone!


_____
One thing that did bug me about Ms. Tomlinson's piece was this 'both sides do it' mantra without once mentioning the Dippers' repeated efforts to try and get the BC Liberals to legislate an end to this...
Bizarrely, as Norm Farrell has pointed out, the good Ms. Hunter was apparently flabbergasted to learn that, thanks in large part to the silence of proMedia lambs like her, the people of British Columbia  'suddenly' owe $100 billion in contract obligations to the cronies who have been paid handsome returns on their pay-to-play 'investments' over the last decade-and-a-half....Seriously.
Update, Late Sunday...Ms. Tomlinson's follow-up says Elections BC is 'investigating', but don't hold your breath for charges anytime soon because, in the words of deputy chief Nola Western...'We've got a lot of work to do'.....Gosh, you think?



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Thursday, March 02, 2017

This Day In Clarkland...When In Doubt, Privilege Up!

NotSoInnocentBystandersSomehowNeverGetStuck
ThisIsNotGamblingInHavanaVille


So.

Bob Mackin has been trying, for some time now, to get our fine provincial government to explain the nuts and bolts of our cave-in....errrrr....concessions on the Woodfiber Sparkle Pony deal, including why we did this:

...The new eDrive rate is a $30 discount off the original $83.02 per megawatt-hour power rate the government had set for LNG plants. Eoin Finn of Woodfibre LNG foe My Sea to Sky estimated the eDrive rate would result in a $34 million-a-year subsidy to the plant, worth $860 million over 25 years.

Woodfibre LNG donated $79,500 to the BC Liberals from 2014 to 2016, including $5,000 just 11 days after the eDrive announcement. (Local Lotuslandian VP Byng) Giraud gave $48,964.36 since 2006. Two of Giraud’s 2016 Liberal donations ($10,225, Sept. 30 and $3,050, Nov. 30) bookended the period that included Coleman’s meeting with Tanoto and the eDrive decision. Natural gas supplier FortisBC and its predecessor, Terasen, donated $327,487.79 between 2005 and 2016...




Unfortunately, everything Mr. Mackin has received back in response to FOI applications is heavily censored.

Why?

Well, based on one bit that slipped out it might have something to do with the kind of lawyers that Warren Zevon likely never used when he got in a little trouble:

....On Oct. 13, Coleman and Bill Bennett, the energy minister responsible for BC Hydro, spoke to the Cabinet Working Group on Woodfibre LNG. What they said is a secret. A footnote on their speaking notes says it is “protected by solicitor client privilege.” The government is the client and has the power to waive privilege. But it didn’t...



Solicitor-Client Privilege, invoked to shirk any need (or pressure to?) waive cabinet privilege?

Gosh.

Where have we heard that gambit before?

Well....

We Railgate cultists remember well when it was pulled by the good Mr. Campbell back in the days of yore:


Hon. G. Campbell: I do want the Leader of the Opposition to understand what I've done here. In terms of the (privileged) screening of (Railgate-associated) cabinet documents, all those documents will be available to the Deputy Attorney General. He will make the decision vis-à-vis CABINET confidentiality or any of those issues in consultation with the special prosecutor. He will make the decision without any further consultation with me or anyone in the Premier's office.


Do you see what the good Mr. Campbell did there re: pretending who was NOT the boss in that thing there?


Sheesh.



________
It's pay-to-play all the way baby....And why wouldn't the cronies do it when the return on investment is in the thousands of multiples....Yes, thousands....And if we, the Rubes, errrrr....citizens have to pay premium prices to produce all that 'new' power to sell cheap to the new cronies-in-waiting, well....So be it! 
And, finally....Mr. Zevon?....You bet.



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