Who's carrying Vision Vancouver's debt?

Post by Mike Klassen in

6 comments

empty-pockets
Are Vision Vancouver supporters digging deep to pay off the party's debt?

It's summer in the city, and Vancouver's ruling party are pulling out all the stops doing voter outreach in a series of social events. As someone with experience in party politics, if there is anything certain about throwing a bash it's that there is always a financial cost.

Vision Vancouver's ongoing expenses are unknown to the public, but with staff, social events and ongoing online communications, we know it ain't zero.

The left-leaning party who now manage the financial affairs of the City of Vancouver have had a difficult time living within their means over the past few elections. In 2005, the nascent civic party ran up a debt of $200,000 only running a partial slate of councillors and one mayoral candidate.

In the summer of 2007, with Geoff Meggs as Financial Agent, Vision Vancouver declared they had paid off their 2005 debt. Vision used the supplementary disclosure as a political whip to attack the NPA. In the process they made a big fuss about creating a continuous disclosure policy on campaign financing which they now have conveniently scrapped.

Vision Vancouver may have raised $300K and paid the bills of the '05 election, but according to Meggs declaration, the party wasn't "debt-free." In fact, during the 24 months it took to raise the extra funds their costs appear to have exceeded their ability to raise funds, showing Vision with a balance of minus $54,410.14 in November 2007.

In the covering letter to Vancouver's Deputy Election Officer Paul Hancock, Geoff Meggs made the following signed statement:

This report is triggered by our conclusion that the 2005 campaign deficit has been retired and contributions from this point forward will fund the 2008 campaign.

Being $50,000 in the hole is a tough place for anyone to get rolling, but for Meggs it was the starting point for Campaign '08.

Fast forward to March 2009, and Vision Vancouver finally declare their campaign expenses for the fall election. And the disclosure reveals they're carrying a whopping $241,666.61 worth of campaign debt.

It's no wonder Mayor Robertson is making extra time in his schedule for meetings with developers. It takes a lot of cash to keep a party like Vision Vancouver on top.

But there is one sticky question that keeps getting raised by City Hall watchers we speak to. Who's holding that debt? According to the Vancouver Charter, if a civic party raises even one dollar toward paying off a campaign debt, they must file a supplementary disclosure to the City Clerk's office. None has been filed to date.

Is there a local financial institution would take the risk on a quarter million dollar debt for a civic party that already once ran away from its obligations? Readers may recall that Vision Vancouver were formed after splitting away from COPE, who were at the time saddled with their own campaign debt. If it's not a bank holding Vision's $240K campaign debt, then who is and what's the interest charge?

So when you go to the next Vision Vancouver all-you-can-eat hot dogs and chips summer BBQ, you might ask yourself who the heck is paying for all those condiments?

6 Comments

And "who the heck is paying for" City Caucus? Thats the real question!

One of us (I won't say who), is the personal "pool boy" (or girl...) to a very rich divorcee. She lounges all day, we feed her grapes, fan her, rub lotion into her liver-spotted shoulders, and then make sweet love well into the late afternoon.

For these days of afternoon delight, she keeps City Caucus afloat by paying the rent on 4,000 sq ft of office space in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and the Grand Caymans, where we find a tax shelter for the profit we make on this site.

The divorcee also lends credibility to CityCaucus by posting comments. Usually, she posts under the name "Fred" and sometimes "Tim". Couldn't you tell? Fred and Tim's posts are so cartoonish, that no serious person would write such nonsense...

Your powers of observation are tremendous! You should be riding around in a van, solving mysteries.

Well, Eric, your reply does prove one thing - you and your other City Caucus boys are actually pubescent 14 year-old boys with a penchant for sassing off your readers instead of answering the question"advertising and donations" like normal, legitimate bloggers.

Actually, though, I'm glad you answered this way, dispelling any recent rumours that you guys might actually be verging on real journalism with your commentary.

Jinkies or Zoinks,

I am not a journalist. I write commentary on a blog. I have not received one cent for my writing. Get that straight.

I post to CityCaucus, because I enjoy exchanging ideas and debating.

The question "who pays for CityCaucus" carries an assumption. It's like me asking you: "when did you stop being a coke addict?"

If you want to ask us whether we are paid, the question would be: "Do CityCaucus writers get paid?" In which case we would reply: "no, we don't"

The tone of my answer matched the snarky, nasty implication of the question. That is, it deserved the sarcastic sassing it got.

For the record, asking "who pays for City Caucus's site" ISN'T like me asking you, "when did you stop being a coke addict."

And talking about scantily clad "divorcees" with "liver spots" getting some "afternoon delight" is sexist drivel worth of a teen's Facebook post, not serious political or civic commentary.

If you're going to dish it out - "who's paying for what" - you should be able to take it like a grown up.

Jinkies,

Publish your name. Right here. And ask us if we're being paid (btw, I suppose you didn't bother reading my second last paragraph about how you ask such a question).

All of us write under our own names, so if we make a mistake, if we write something nasty or juvenile, we take public responsibility for it.

If you're going to ask questions (phrased in such a way as to present an assumption without waiting for a reply), own your question by not cowering under a pseudonym.

Eric

PS: My first post was childish. I'll admit that. But depicting an older person with sexual desire is hardly sexist. If you want to play the "I'll stick you with an incendiary label" game, one might conclude your comment as being ageist...

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