I've known Mike Howell for a while now. He works for the Vancouver Courier, and is one of the best and most balanced journalists in the city. As a former politico, I always respected his view and take on city politics - even if on the odd occasion I wish he wasn't so damn tough on my former boss.
Over the years, well before CityCaucus.com came on the scene, Howell worked tirelessly to hold civic politicians accountable for the amount and source of their campaign donations. He did that when both COPE Mayor Larry Campbell and NPA Mayor Sam Sullivan were in office.
With that brief introduction, I wanted to make our readers aware of an excellent blog posting he made today. We have included a brief excerpt of it below. Note to Vision...you had better think long and hard about your flawed strategy of "selective leaks" to favoured journalists – it would appear it's beginning to backfire.
For the record, faithful readers, your dedicated scribe’s efforts to get an early look last week at Vision Vancouver’s campaign finance documents was blindsided by deceit and favouritism.
I’m, apparently, not in the party’s good books.
Vision’s spokesperson Marcella Munro said she and a few other party members—she wouldn’t say who—decided Thursday to hand over all its campaign finance documents to the Globe and Mail.
Maybe you read the story in Friday’s Globe.
That decision was made the day after I asked Munro if I could see the documents before they were filed at city hall—or, at least, report how much the party spent in its 2008 election campaign.
Not a chance.
I also asked to see the financial documents related to Vision Coun. Raymond Louie’s failed run in June 2008 to become the party’s mayoral candidate.
She also refused to tell me when the party would file both sets of documents at city hall. The deadline was Monday, March 16 and our conversation occurred Wednesday, March 11.
All Munro could tell me is that the party wouldn’t be making a trip to city hall on Thursday, March 12—the same day Munro and friends shipped over the documents to the Globe.
Munro assured me that Vision’s media guy Kurt Heinrich would contact me when the party was ready to file. Heinrich, as it turned out, never called.
He sent an email Friday morning to Courier editor Barry Link and to Courier columnist Mark Hasiuk—but not to me, the guy who has typed Gregor Robertson’s name more times than my own kids’ names.
I phoned Heinrich, who apologized. Then he asked me for my email address. Apparently, the reams of copy I’ve written about Vision, including several 3,000-word cover stories, wasn’t enough to earn me a spot on the party’s coveted email list.
I digress, here.
Political parties playing favourites is not news, folks. It happens all the time. Vision did this during the campaign, handing over its election platform to the Vancouver Sun—the same paper that had a reporter call up the party in the fall and ask if it had a mayoral candidate.
My point here is that I was jerked around...
Click here to finish reading the rest of Mike's piece...it's well worth the read!!
By way of another update, the police investigation into the selective leaks at Vancouver City Hall of in-camera documents to the Globe and Mail last fall continues. Stay tuned for more on this subject in the coming weeks.