"Whatever happened is history now"
- Councillor Raymond Louie
"Over? Did you say 'over'? Nothing is over until we decide it is!"
- U.S. Senator Blutarsky
This week CityCaucus.com started a new series called Know Your Donor.
Not Guess Your Donor, nor Surmise Your Donor, nor Check-with-the-Reporter-Who-Got-the-Leaked-Document Your Donor.
This is about public disclosure and walking the walk on openness and transparency. If there is one person who wins the political hypocrite award, it goes hands down to Councillor Raymond Louie.
The hot air generated on campaign disclosure by this man alone while in opposition would spin Richard Branson around the globe - twice.
And now what are we getting from Louie and Vision Vancouver? Spin.
Two hundred and forty-three thousand dollars spent on a campaign for mayor. And for what?
Two months ago we asked, whatever happened to Raymond Louie's donor disclosure? We provided the audio clip (!) of Louie in his own words pontificating about continous disclosure. You'd think that would have been enough for him to admit it was time to disclose the finances of his mayoral nomination campaign.
Even his campaign manager, NDP apparatchik Neil Monckton has the effrontery to lobby for spending limits while accepting some of the $96,233 Louie spent on campaign staff!
What was Louie's campaign slogan? Do as we say, not as we do...Vote Louie for Mayor?
The Vision Vancouver organization has much to answer for, too. They are the ones who have been deliberating on whether to disclose these numbers for weeks. When they did release it did they file it with the City Clerk so the public could see it? No, they leaked it to a Vision-friendly reporter and thought that would suffice.
CityCaucus.com thought we were done with Countdown Clocks for a while. The electric bills were killing us keeping it lit up all the time. However, we feel strongly enough about this to fire up the IT geniuses here at CityCaucus Tower. Today we've begun the Raymond Louie Count-up Clock™ featured throughout the top left of the browser when visiting CityCaucus.com.
We could have chosen many dates to start it from, but we chose the date that Raymond was required to have his donor disclosure submitted to Vision Vancouver. July 15, 2008, or thirty days after last summer's Vision mayoral nomination. The clock began at high noon.
We're now 246 days, 11 hours and about 5 minutes along. (Note, if the clock along the top left of your browser is not counting up, hold shift and refresh the page to reload the script.) How long until Raymond Louie and Vision Vancouver disclose their mayoral nomination campaign numbers to the City Clerk? They have up to 30 days after the March 16th deadline to file a supplementary disclosure without penalty.
We should point out that Peter Ladner, who ran as the NPA mayor candidate, also has to file his nomination campaign numbers with the City. Ladner disclosed details of his campaign just prior to Election Day in November, but it still needs to be submitted with the City. It is our understanding that this is being finalized by the NPA.
It's time for municipal parties and candidates to get real about campaign disclosure. We don't need to wait around for charters to be changed. The onus is on everyone to be straight up with the electorate.