Robertson aide's blog makes for interesting reading

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

17 comments

kid-in-sandbox
Kevin Quinlan (aka Vancouver Kid) once compared Minister Falcon to a four-year old boy in a sandbox

Kids say the darndest things. But when that "kid" now works as Mayor Gregor Robertson's top media spinmeister, a few more people sit up and take notice. Prior to taking on his patronage post as Mayor Gregor Robertson's right-hand guy, twenty-something Kevin Quinlan ran a blog which relentlessly took pot shots at Sam Sullivan, his NPA colleagues and members of the COPE party. For over two years, the blogger known as "Vancouver Kid" used his posts to help get his Vision Vancouver chums elected.

The Vancouver Kid blog could easily be characterized as a "Three P" – it was personal, pointed and partisan. When Quinlan took on his job as chief media liaison in the Mayor's office, the contents of his blog were cleansed from the Internet. Well, not so fast, Kevin.

Our crack CityCaucus.com research and IT departments have been working tirelessly trying to reconstruct Quinlan's blog. Today, we launch the Vancouver Kid Archives at CityCaucus.com/vancouverkid.

We're doing so to provide our readers with a better sense of who is working behind the scenes in the Mayor's office. We also published a Know Your Donor item on Mike Magee, Chief of Staff to the Mayor.

What follows are a series of excerpts from Quinlan's blog. It will be up to our readers to decide whether these types of comments will make it easier for Mayor Robertson to build better relations with Victoria or with the media.

Take for example what the Mayor's aide said last year about BC's Housing Minister Rich Coleman. Remember that Coleman, unlike Robertson, is the guy who's actually investing big bucks toward the effort to end homelessness:

I basically chalk it up to the fact that BC Liberals go crazy with the fact that a successful entrepeneur could also be progressive - and not buy into Gordo's golden decade bs. And with Carole and Olga leaving the good ship Liberal, that government caucus is weak weak weak. With ministers like Coleman and Falcon, it's like the province is being run by the Canucks, if the Canucks consisted entirely of Donald Brashear. - Feb 24, 2008

The Mayor's media guy then takes direct aim at Kevin Falcon, BC's current Minister of Health and one of the senior members of the government caucus:

Kevin Falcon strikes me as a 4-year old boy in a sandbox trapped inside the Minister of Transportation's body: he really, really likes cars and trucks and loud machines, and wants to kick down everything in his path to push his shiny yellow tonka truck through. Mar 5th, 2007

So you think the relationship between Vancouver's business community and the new Vision government is too cozy? Perhaps it will be less chummy after they read this nugget by Quinlan –

Going back to the Board of Trade:

"Chief Graham is the model for what a police chief should be," Dave Park, spokesman for the Vancouver Board of Trade, said in a recent interview.

I liked Graham, but I don't know if model is the word I'd use....what with the whole refusing to believe any complaints, the target model with bullet holes, etc. But this type of stuff should be expected from the same group that calls on the provincial government to use all surplus money to pay down the debt, then starts crying that there's too many homeless people on the street and can't figure out why. With geniuses like these, it looks like the Board of Trade and the APC [Anti-Poverty Committee] have a lot more in common than they realized. - Mar 31, 2007

As for the media, Quinlan pulls no punches when he goes after some of BC's news heavyweights. He makes some rather interesting comments about Canwest, and in particular BC's second largest circulation daily The Province newspaper:

As some people who have read past posts know, I'm no fan of The Province newspaper. Jan 22,2007

Is Vancouver's media really that biased? Do they all have a hidden agenda to get all those right-wingers into office? What does Quinlan think?

What we basically have in Vancouver is a mainstream media that is slowly paving the way for the transition of a fiscally conservative but more media friendly/leadership-filled candidate to replace an underwhleming Mayor. Get those Canwest thank you cards ready, Peter Ladner. Jan 22,2007

Quinlan also has a few choice words for those grumpy old Canwest columnists and reporters who are so old skool. Kevin sez, put down your canes and get blogging!

There are some good blogs that came out in the last month that anyone reading this should check out. Although some of their older canwest colleagues are struggling to grasp the concept that you can do more than just post articles you published in the paper on your blog, Frances Bula and Chris Montgomery have some really interesting blogs on the city scene. Dec 20,2007

Quinlan goes on to point out that The Vancouver Sun newspaper is no bastion of NDP support:

The Province says something like "people blame the Liberals, but acutally, the NDP -" Surprisingly no! But the Sun still found a way to get some digs in at the NDP: - Apr 5, 2007

Do you remember that multi-millionaire Greg Kerfoot offered to build a waterfront stadium in Vancouver at no cost to the city? Well, the Mayor's right-hand guy had his own thoughts on his project. Not only does he think that BC Place stadium should be torn down, he comments on Kerfoot's plans:

The ideal situation of course, is that the dome be torn down and let Greg Kerfoot build his mega-stadium there. Anybody who has been to a Lions game in the summer knows how much it sucks, because watching football indoors in August ain't too pleasant. And BC Place isn't exactly the most beautiful of buildings, now is it? It's main purpose is to provide a giant cover for mega-events where no one cares about quality of sound or comfort (see Stones, The Rolling). But of course, there is no way this could happen because of Olympic time constraints, and the fact that Kerfoot would rather have the waterfront stadium so he can develop the surrounding areas to build condos to cover the cost of building a stadium for free. Jan 8, 2007

Vision have been accused of politicizing the public service since they took office last December. A number of professional public servants have bailed on them over the last 6 months. Let's see what Kevin thinks about having a non-partisan public service:

I'd argue that this stems from Vancouver's still-imbedded-but-painfully-outdated notion of civic government as non-partisan and being solely concerned with efficiency and delivering services. Why does the Mayor need staff when the bureaucracy makes all the policy ecisions, right? June 21, 2007

Quinlan also provides us with some insight into one of the policies he supports – free bus service. I wonder if he's spoken to TransLink about that?

Just got back from a class trip to Seattle, where once again I had it pounded into my head that Vancouver is way behind in the times. Free buses in downtown Seattle. How long do we have to wait until Robson and Davie buses are free? June 19,2007

During the 2009 budget, Vision passed a motion supporting a shift of taxes from big businesses to residential homeowners. It translated into a 2% tax hit on the average residential property owner. What does Kevin think about the tax shift policy adopted by the Vision caucus?

As far as the numbers crunching goes, I want to sink my teeth into the business tax shift. So business had 2% shifted onto residential, which works out to 4% for homeowners. now we all know that this was to help small businesses. But if I run a deli and you own the GAP on Robson, and we both get a 2% property tax decrease, who saves more money? So the money that the GAP, HMV or Chapters saves in property taxes is transferred onto homeowners. This is fiscal management? Me thinks not. - June 11, 2007

What needs to be created is some sort of tax classification that separates the GAP on Robson from the Vietnamese bakery across the street from my apartment. Because a 2% shift provides a hell of a lot more help to one of those businesses, and I don't think it should be the one dealing with 7 figure profits from a single store. - Apr 25, 2007

Clearly there is no love lost between Quinlan and his new found friends in COPE. If you recall, it was COPE that actually propelled Vision into office by not running a mayoral candidate and avoiding a split in the left wing vote. You'd never know that by some of the snippy remarks he posted on his blog:

First Fred Bass announces he is going to run for Mayor, without telling Cadman. Then COPE announces it is going to send a letter to Vision, without telling Vision. Did these guys go to the 13-year-old girl school of management? What's with all the pseudo secrets and press leaking? It looks like Hillary Duff is chairing COPE's Exec meetings. Jan 29,2007

So two of the most progressive ideologues our city ever had, Anne Roberts and Ellen Woodsworth, came to city hall to complain about how dare Heather Deal, Suzanne Anton, and all the other women-haters on council endorse the Federation of Canadian Municipalities motion that calls for Canada to aim towards women making up 30% of all public officials by 2026...

Progressive? Or just living in a fantasy world? You decide. Jan 9,2007

I haven't written anything in a while due to the fact that I was scrambling to get work done last week to go battle some Trotsky-ites at the BC YND in Victoria this weekend. Being able to hang out with my social democrat friends was fun as always...Jan 29,2007 

After last week's pathetically ineffective protest at the unveiling of the Olympic Clock, the APC has reached new lows for just how incompetent they are. Feb 19, 2007

The parks board is not the GVRD. Spencer Herbert only has one vote. He cannot tip the aquarium outcome through the power of his magical 20 votes, as some left-wing luddites seem to think. - Dec 13, 2006

Despite all Quinlan's attacks on the media, we do note with some irony that he was a bit "easy" on the CBC. Not sure why?

You can continue your reading enjoyment  by visiting our new Vancouver Kid Archives at www.CityCaucus.com/vancouverkid.

17 Comments

Disclaimer: I count Kevin as a friend.

I suppose this may be interesting to those new to the civic government scene, but this is old news.

And I felt like you were reaching on some of your examples. Highlighting the BC NDP-Trotsky criticism, really? We all know that youth branches of political parties are more radical than the parties proper and often laughable in their zealotry.

And finally, while I don't agree with everything he wrote, some of it is spot on. Jamie Graham as a model police chief? Ouch, BoT.

Brenton's comment is the "oldest" trick in the book. Say it's "old news" and hope nobody pays attention to it. Good luck Brenton.

I think your pal made some pretty amazing statements. If he's so proud of his work, why did he take down the blog after he got the gig in the mayor's office? Why did he remove all the videos? This doesn't look good for gregor.

Kid writes partisan blog. You write partisan blog. Kid works in Mayor's office. You worked in Mayor's office. Kid is passionate about civic politics. You're passionate about civic politics. Your blog is personal, pointed and partisan, as was his. What exactly is the problem here...or are you just having fun?

Yeah, having fun like a 4 year old in a sandbox!

Ha Ha.

Suzie,

Let me first thank you for taking the time to post your comment. Always appreciated.

In response to your remarks, we actually thought readers like you might have some interest in the fact the Mayor's press secretary had slagged two senior cabinet ministers, the media, and his COPE colleagues. As you are aware, the contents of Vancouver Kid's blog have been removed from the Internet and this information is no longer publicly accessible.

We thought that pointing out the fact he openly contradicted his own government's business tax shift policy was also worthy of discussion.

In our opinion, reminding the public that he once compared the Board of Trade to the radical Anti-Poverty Committee is also important.

As stated in the post, it will be up to our readers and the public to determine whether the comments and positions taken by the Mayor's press secretary are of importance and support Robertson's efforts. Only time will tell.

Thanks again for taking the time to provide us with your feedback.


The public isn't going to care Daniel, this is silly. Who cares what political policies the press secretary likes and doesn't like? Or if he has a problem with the Liberals? Most people do. You don't like Mr. Quinlan because he was spinning for Vision when you were in office, fine, but the way you go on about him you'd think he was Rupert Murdoch not some blogger 99% of the city had never heard of.

And even from my brief look through these archives (I'd never heard of his site while it was up) I can see that you're misrepresenting his opinions, not just overblowing their importance.

"In my opinion, there is no debate that some of the business tax needs to be shifted onto residential - it was time. "

http://www.citycaucus.com/vancouverkid/2007-04.htm

A pretty moderate stance for a national NDPer.

Does anyone else find it ironic that the previous commenter had to link back to this blog in order to make his point? If it wasn't for this blog, he would never have even known what Quinlan's opinion wsa about shifting taxes. What a joke.

Quinlan's comments speak for themselves. Now that they've all been put back online, we can all read them and form our own opinion. So far, I'm not impressed. Nor do I think the Province, Vancouver Sun columnists, the Board of Trade, COPE, BC Liberals, Kevin Falcon, Rich Coleman, Ellen Woodworth,Jamie Graham etcetera will be either.

ok -- but does anyone really expect anything more from the VISION party? Of course it is loaded with left wing nut jobs - this is just one more in a long line. Problem is BC voters -- even when not stoned on local bud - actually like these types. The future of BC depends on passing a 'forced sterilization of VISION party members and related supporters' bill - please test support for my idea by posting a poll on your website as a start.


Snooze-fest 2009.

No PR person ever agrees 100% with whatever his or her boss is doing. That's the nature of PR and not really news.

Do I sense a few of Kevin's friends are wishing this post would just go away? Kind of like his blog did.

"As you are aware, the contents of Vancouver Kid's blog have been removed from the Internet and this information is no longer publicly accessible."

I just accessed it, in about 5 seconds:

Bigfoot sighting! Elvis lives! Ladner is progressive!

One of the most pervasive myths at city hall has finally been stripped away.


"The move to cut the funding was led by Coun. Peter Ladner, who suggested that DERA not only be denied the grant, which it has received for many years.

The myth of progressive Peter Ladner - I don't think so. The NPA cut the funding for a position that helps keep track of at-risk chinese speaking seniors in the downtown eastside - $30,000/year.

"Of course it is loaded with left wing nut jobs"

Kevin is hardly a left-wing nut job. I think the point of the post is that the subject is critical of many groups, companies or individuals, regardless of where they are on the political spectrum. The APN, the Province, COPE and the Board of Trade all receive equal treatment.

This is probably the purist example of what goes round, comes round. Thanks, City Caucus.

Brenton, we get it. You like Quinlan. Now don't you have some laundry to do or something?

I like Kevin AND I think there are some basic deficiencies in logic (that's an awkward phrase) in both the post and some comments.

Criticize his posts all you want, but at least do it with a critical rather than purely partisan eye (or critical as well as partisan, I suppose). There's a great column on this at the Atlantic, by Mark Bowden:
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200910/media

And yes, I should have done laundry. For some reason I do less now that I have a machine in my house than when I had to go to a laundromat. I think it was the enjoyment of spending an afternoon drinking coffee, reading the paper and watching footie while waiting for my laundry.

Peter Ladner is a progressive, Brenton. Bikes, food security, etc.

I am back at this post because I thought I would follow-up your comment about the absolute inhumanity of Ladner as it pertains to DERA funding.

Wow, what a different a year makes (as you will see by my attachment). Not only is ladner a progressive, he is fiscally responsible:

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Housing+sues+DERA/2733825/story.html

As Jim Green said, "I can't think of anything good that DEARA has done in the past 20 years" :-)

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