...To reach Raymond Louie, dial N-D-P

Post by Mike Klassen in

2 comments

public-solutions
Public Solutions provides email and campaign services for NDP candidates

Just when you think you've got email spam licked, along comes another unsolicited message. We all experience that, right? Well, chances are that if you've subscribed to an email newsletter, you've probably been a little concerned about your email getting in the hands of a spammer.

Subscribers to the ThinkCity organization's newsletter were probably a little surprised when they received an email from Councillor Raymond Louie on Thursday night about the PNE. With the heading "City E-News: Councillor Raymond Louie, City of Vancouver" you'd be forgiven for thinking that this official-looking screed came from deep inside City Hall's communications department. But you'd be wrong.

The email service provider was connected to Public Solutions, who use link-tracking connected to publicsolutions.ca to see who opened the email and what links they followed. When you visit that website, there's not much to look at except a lame "under construction" graphic, and a phone number and email to reach the website operator.

Our rather nosy but extremely thorough team of underpaid researchers on floor 21 of CityCaucus Tower decided to give the number on the web page - 604-216-7233 - a dingle. Well, what a complete surprise to hear that the message was for the Vancouver-False Creek NDP campaign office!

(link to mp3)

What the..? Oh, but it all becomes so much clearer when you lookup the domain record on publicsolutions.ca. Who's the registrant? Only NDP apparatchik Neil Monckton, the man behind several NDP campaigns in Vancouver, including the victorious 2002 COPE campaign, and Jenn McGinn's by-election win last year in Vancouver-Fairview.

Monckton is also known as the campaign manager for Raymond Louie's failed $240,000 mayoral nomination campaign. Monckton, it's believed, was paid part of the over $90,000 recorded on Louie's campaign disclosure as staff salaries on the 4-month nomination battle.

Publicsolutions.ca may be a dormant website, but even a simple Google search finds more of Raymond's tracks, such as this Louie brochure that includes endorsements by past NDP candidates Joy McPhail and Margaret Birrell (who was also Financial Agent on the NDP's False Creek campaign).

raymond-louie-email.jpg
City of Vancouver, eh? Louie passes his political promo off as City Hall news

We wanted to be absolutely sure that the ThinkCity and Raymond Louie emails arrived from the same source, so after getting our hands on both messages we did a simple look-up and found the following info:

Raymond Louie's email

Email Sender IP address location & IP address info: IP address [?]: 72.249.72.6 [Whois]
IP address country:  Canada
IP address state: Ontario
IP address city: Toronto
IP postcode: l6c1n2
IP address latitude: 43.6667
IP address longitude: -79.4167
ISP of this IP [?]: Colo4Dallas LP Organization: HSPHEREDNS.COM
Host of this IP: [?]: web2.webcorelabs.com [Whois]

ThinkCity's email

Email Sender IP address location & IP address info: IP address [?]: 72.249.72.6 [Whois]
IP address country:  Canada
IP address state: Ontario
IP address city: Toronto
IP postcode: l6c1n2
IP address latitude: 43.6667
IP address longitude: -79.4167
ISP of this IP [?]: Colo4Dallas LP Organization: HSPHEREDNS.COM
Host of this IP: [?]: web2.webcorelabs.com [Whois]

So there you have it. Somebody at ThinkCity saw fit to give Raymond Louie the confidential emails from their organization's database. Now...where's that number for BC's Privacy Commissioner again??

It's known that Louie has in the past been unabashed about sending political e-bulletins to people who emailed him on city business. A recent FOI by CityCaucus.com showed that other Vision Vancouver City Councillors are following the same practice of emailing political newsletters (described as "information bulletins") to people whose information they received in their roles as elected officials.

Perhaps the City Manager should address this loophole that some elected officials have no problem in exploiting by adopting a policy that restricts this kind of abuse?

I don't expect that the NDP campaign voicemail, nor the publicsolutions.ca contact info will remain public for long after we publish this. Groups such as ThinkCity or even Vision Vancouver itself take elaborate steps to be seen as not the NDP, even when it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, or emails like a duck... Well, we'd be fools to assume that they're ducks, wouldn't we?

Louie's email message was predictably laden with references to his new position as ward boss Chairperson of the PNE Board, which we all remember happened when he was given this plum appointment by his fellow Vision councillors at a meeting he ran. I guess "chair" sounds enough like "mayor" to tide Raymond over.

As the new Chairperson of the PNE board of directors, it is my special privilege to open this year's fair and welcome all of you to enjoy your old favorites and the many new attractions.

For me, it will be tough to equate Raymond Louie with good times no matter how many little donuts you add to the mix. You wanna bet that the King of Louieland will be taking every opportunity to put his stamp on the Fair. Opening the gates and taking the first ticket - he'll be there. Introducing the Superdogs - he'll be there. Drawing the winning ticket live on TV for the house - you bet he'll be there.

And thanks to his buddies at ThinkCity, a whole bunch of people who otherwise thought their information was secure, are being reminded that it's now Raymond's PNE.

2 Comments

Rumour has it that NPA politicians have connections to the Conservative and Liberal parties. And that the Pope is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.

Thanks for the pithy analysis. Let us know when you get an email from Suzanne Anton c/o another "grassroots" organization you signed up for.

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