Is it time to stop the Raymond Louie Count-up Clock™? Louie photo credit: mtippet
CityCaucus.com has learned that a Vision Vancouver representative has submitted Raymond Louie's $240,000 nomination campaign donor list into the City Clerk's office. The City Clerk will be posting the papers online, and per CityCaucus.com's commitment to truth, justice and the Canadian way we'll be stopping the Raymond Louie Count-up Clock™ exactly when those papers appear on the City of Vancouver website.
The question of whether the donations Louie received for his failed Vision mayoral campaign qualify as a submission under the Vancouver Charter is "a difficult call" according to Paul Hancock, the City's Manager of Corporate Information and Privacy. Hancock describes the Vision mayoral race was an "unprecedented situation" for civic politics.
It has been erroneously reported elsewhere that the Clerk's office "wouldn’t accept them." Today is the last day that supplementary disclosures could be submitted to the City without penalty.
Indeed, until the 2005 race between Christy Clark and Sam Sullivan for the NPA mayoral nod, Vancouver rarely had open battles for the top spot on a civic party's ballot. However, there have been some very contentious battles to get onto party slates as councillors, park commissioners and school trustees. Last year there were dog fights to get nominated by the NPA (on their mid-May vote) and Vision Vancouver. COPE's Tim Louis battled through three ballots last September before losing to Ellen Woodsworth for the second spot on the left wing party's 2-person council slate.
Further back there were other heated contests for council seats with the NPA, as when Gim Huey beat Carole Taylor for example.
Hancock states "the legislation wasn't designed for this" and from his point of view the Louie donors list does not qualify as either a mayoral campaign donors list, nor a city councillor campaign contributors list. Hancock demurred on the question of whether there was an ethical or political case for the donors being revealed. "You make a very good argument for this, and it's something that if there is any reform of our elections act should be looked at. In my job I must look at this from a legal standpoint."
We expect that the City Clerk will have Coun. Louie's papers posted online soon and we will halt the count-up clock immediately. Our analysis of the donations list, and our revelations about contributors and their connections will continue unabated in the months ahead in our popular Know Your Donor series of posts.
In fairness to Louie and Vision Vancouver, we'd like to point out that we've not seen Peter Ladner's mayoral nomination contributors list submitted as a supplementary disclosure to the City Clerk. We appreciate that Mr. Ladner's extraordinary circumstances may have an effect upon this matter. When we receive any update from the NPA or City staff we'll be sure to update our readers.
UPDATE: The City Clerk's office has explained to us that while Louie's donor records have been filed and will be kept on the public record for future reference, the document itself will not be posted as a 2008 campaign expense beside Louie's name on the City of Vancouver website. We are satisfied with this outcome and thank City Hall staff for clarifying this for us. The Louie Count-up Clock will be paused on April 15, 2009.
The amount of time that Louie's donor records were held back totaled 274 Days, 20 Hours, 38 Minutes, 40 Seconds.