COPE on campaign spending, debt & accountability

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Executive Director Rachel Marcuse responds to's All-Party Survey on campaign spending

cope-logo.pngIt's been a busy day around here at CityCaucus Tower, and an important email nearly slipped past us all from Wednesday. We received a gracious response from Rachel Marcuse, Executive Director of Vancouver's COPE party to our all-party survey on debt and campaign spending during Vancouver's fall election campaign. To date we've received responses from the NPA and now COPE. We still await a response from Vision Vancouver, or in particular Councillor Raymond Louie on his mayoral nomination disclosure.

Once again, I remind our readers that the Official Campaign Disclosure Countdown Clock is ticking away at the top left of your browser.

Here is our Q&A with Ms. Marcuse:

Will you be carrying debt for expenses incurred during the 2008 election past the March 16, 2009 disclosure deadline?

COPE finished the 2008 campaign debt-free.

Did you spend more or less in the 2008 campaign than in 2005?

In 2005, COPE spent over $500,000 to elect six candidates, including only one councillor. In 2008. COPE spent just over $300,000 to elect two councillors, three school trustees and one park commissioner.

According to your constitution, who is liable for your organizations debt when you have it?

COPE Directors are responsible for the organization's debts as is standard with non-profit organizations like ours.

Did you have third parties support your campaign through advertising or other supports (i.e. databases, in-kind support from individuals and companies)?

COPE accepted no contributions of any kind from development corporations or big business. The vast majority of support, both in-kind and monetary, came from thousands of individual COPE members and supporters, and working people democratically voting at their Union meetings to support COPE candidates.

How will you account for any third party support to the City of Vancouver by March 16th?

COPE will fully disclose all contributions, both in-kind and monetary by the disclosure date.

What was your biggest surprise during the 2008 campaign?

The biggest surprise in the election was the overwhelming support by voters across the City who wanted to return a progressive government that included a strong COPE voice at City Hall, Park and School boards. Additionally, we were surprised and pleased the large numbers of supporters -- including a large number of young people -- who got involved with our campaign.

If you need anything else, please let me know. This is the best email to use for fast responses. Take care,


Rachel Marcuse
Executive Director
Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE)

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