Robertson political insiders claim 'mayorofvancouver' domain

Post by Mike Klassen in

7 comments

domainRegistration
The Mayor's office blog you pay for was discovered to be registered to Vision insiders

Around the time of the 2010 Games we noticed a significant shift in a longstanding city policy with regards the political promotion of the Mayor via the City's website. For many weeks a new website promoting Mayor Gregor Robertson was linked on the home page of vancouver.ca. There is no precedent for this kind of politicking on that site, nor in any City communications.

Under Sam Sullivan's administration the City Manager's office made any kind of direct link to his website ("mayorsamsullivan.ca") verboten. Despite the fact the Mayor had many policy communiqués, photos and surveys for the public, the rules were strictly observed about keeping the Mayor's office website distinct from the City's.

Under Vision Vancouver all that changed. As part of their ongoing policy to politicize the traditional non-partisan public service, the City's website has been used to continually shill for Mayor Robertson, and even provided a link to a "blog" called mayorofvancouver.ca which is written and managed by his political aides.

Mysteriously, the registrant of that domain name was private. Who actually "owned" the license for that domain? When Sam Sullivan had his staff register the term "Ecodensity" for a new political initiative, I was asked to register the domain "ecodensity.ca" on the office's behalf. Then a Vision councillor leaked a story to reporter Frances Bula that Sullivan had "trademarked" Ecodensity for himself.

The response from the Mayor's office – which is that the office, not Sullivan, had secured the name on the City's behalf – was buried in the final paragraphs of Bula's front page story in the Sun. Bula made no effort after that to correct the record, thus igniting a Sullivan smear campaign. The Ecodensity domain name was already in the process of transferring to the city months earlier, but the accusation that Sam was aiming to personally benefit from it stood.

Fast-forward to several weeks ago when CityCaucus.com FOI'd the "mayorofvancouver.ca" domain name. We wanted the public and our readers to know who owned the license to the domain name. What a surprise, it was registered to a Vision Vancouver-friendly media company who helped build the website – FD Element. The domain was registered with the names Mike Wilson – Vision communications insider – and company CEO Don Millar.

Now, you'd think that Frances Bula might try to take this story and turn it into a headline for the Globe and Mail: "Robertson to Trademark 'Mayor of Vancouver' For Himself". Well, sadly she won't get that opportunity. That's because as soon as our FOI went into the City of Vancouver they coincidentally transferred the domain over to the City of Vancouver, the folks who probably should have registered it in the first place.

So it's kind of funny to see history repeating itself in the form of a lovely bit of Vision Vancouver hypocrisy.

7 Comments

Ho Hum

this is surprising how?

more of the same from the Red Square crowd at 12th & Cambie .........
the "New Kremlin"


$25,000,000 for bike lanes..
chump change for the high rollers of the 2 manual wheel set

Community Centre Layoffs and Closures ..
the peons can walk or better yet enjoy our plush new bike lanes

Burrard bridge is falling down, falling down... ...
hey it's got a pretty bike lane

Actually running a city....
PRICELESS....

MasterCard the official credit (make that debt) card of Vision Vancovuer

Hey Mike,

Did you notice mayorofvancouver.ca links to Robertson's personal Twitter and Facebook accounts?

Gregor created his Twitter sometime in September 2008 - a few months before the election. His early tweets were mostly about working on a campaign. He talked about working on Vision's platform, attending interviews and debates, going to fundraisers and events, and reminding to people to go out and vote. Sometime after he was elected he changed his account name to MayorGregor, but it is still the same account.

So the CoV is linking to a website that was essentially used as a campaign tool. By the CoV directing traffic to Gregor's Facebook and Twitter accounts, he will have more friends and followers to send political messages. Who has ownership over these accounts? Will he use these accounts during the next election? What happens to these accounts when he leaves office?

NYC's webpage links to a Twitter account for the mayor's office, but it is obvious that it represents the office of the mayor and not the person himself. Bloomberg has a personal account, but that account is associated with his campaign's website, not the city's website. This is proper way to handle social media accounts. Campaign accounts should have to be separate from government accounts.

Don't forget that Robertson used tax dollars to run a bunch of fluffy radio ads during the olympics to help promote his flagging poll results. These guys have to be the biggest hypocrites to ever govern city hall.

Whenever something goes bad, their standard response is "well...Sam Sullivan did it too." Okay, so if they govern just like Sam Sullivan...why did we need to elect Vision?

Great investigative work. Bula would never touch this one as it would make all her vision buddies angrier than a shaken bee hive.

More double-speak from a mayor that can barely string 5 words together. Can someone remind me when the next election is? I voted for these baffoons, but can't wait to kick them out. I'm embarrassed.

Gordon you should be writing for city caucus! Great detective work. I wonder how the mayor's blogosphere spinboy will explain this one away. Ooops, he's too busy drinking happy planet flavoured kool aid.

If mayorofvancouver.ca is a political site for Gregor Robertson, why does it say "© 2010, CITY OF VANCOUVER" at the bottom of the home page. In the process of borrowing the look of the City's website website it looks like they went a bit too far with the copy and paste.

If you click on the disclaimer link at the bottom of the page you will find the same disclaimer text that is on the City of Vancouver's website. The text starts off with "The material posted on the City of Vancouver’s website ..." Whoops.

The Thought of The Day

"What MaEeyor Gregor Twits, Penny Power Points. Then, The City Chicken lays...Vision Eggs. Over. Easy"

Guys, guys not to worry. None other than their own apparatchik checks out these sites. Putting lipstick on a pig, that's what they do. Even if Vision puts enough make-up on, their Pig is still going to end up as chops, sausages and dumplings! Mmmmmm, mmmmm, mmmmm!

Trying to reengage the electorate after such a poor showing, it's similar to shouting your lungs out in a sound proof room. People outside may observe some lip movement, but they are not going to hear a thing.

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

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