Yesterday we re-posted the first in a two part series about Kevin Quinlan, the Mayor's Director of Communications. Prior to his current job, Quinlan was a paid staffer with the Vision party and was also the author of a local political blog called Vancouver Kid. The blog was filled with posts, comments and YouTube videos critical of the NPA, COPE and many others. That is until is was all taken down off the Internet. Thankfully our crack research team at CityCaucus reconstructed the site for our readers. Unfortunately the videos he posted were not retrievable and are no longer available for public viewing.
This re-post is part of a new series we're calling CityCaucus Redux, whereby we bring back some of our most memorable and popular articles from the last two years. In this original post from November 11, 2009, we highlighted how Quinlan (aka Vancouver Kid) took some serious potshots at the NDP and BC's labour movement.
In our second “Kid Says the Darndest Things” post, we thought it might be fun to go back in time to re-read some of Vancouver Kid’s posts which can be found on Public Eye Online, BC’s top provincial politics blog. We realize some of you will likely say, “Who cares what Mayor Gregor Robertson’s Press Secretary wrote on a blog a couple of years ago?” If you’re one of those people, we suggest you change the channel now and simply skip the rest of this post.
For all the rest of you who find it an interesting read (and it would appear from the popularity of our last post on this subject that there are thousands of you), the following is another compilation of Kevin Quinlan’s best blog posts from yesteryear.
Let’s first start with his comments about Jim Sinclair, head of the BC Federation of Labour. For those unfamiliar with BC politics, Mr. Sinclair is the tireless labour leader battling a seemingly endless crusade to support working people. What does Quinlan think of Sinclair’s influence over the provincial NDP?
It's not 1960 anymore - the NDP can't win parroting Jim Sinclair's every word. A progressive poltiical (sic) party needs to be broad, which means being in the interests not just of working people, but pushing for drug and criminal law reform. – December 13, 2006
The previous post focused on Quinlan’s take regarding the NDP’s selection of candidates in some ridings. In particular, he talks about why he planned to vote for NDP candidate Kirk Tousaws. In the process, he makes some very interesting statements about the provincial NDP’s candidate selection process:
Kirk Tousaw is an articulate, smart lawyer and I am glad to see him run in Quadra. He is the exact opposite of a "pot smoking lout" - he is finishing his law phd (sic) at UBC and is a member of the BC Civil Liberties. I would rather see 10 Kirk Tousaws run than one more member of the Fed, BCTF, or GEU - it's time to mix in new blood, new ideas, new interests with the labour base.
Hmm. You have to wonder what Quinlan has against the BC Federation of Labour. Wasn’t Vision Mayor Geoff Meggs once the Executive Director of said organization? Doesn’t Quinlan owe, at least in part, a bit of gratitude to the brothers and sisters at the Fed, BCTF or BCGEU who tirelessly supported Vision both financially and on the ground? After all, without them, would his opportunity to work in the Mayor’s office have even been an option?
While praising Tousaws, Quinlan takes one parting shot at the NDP:
A young, smart, and progressive candidate - sometimes it seems like the only party without them is the NDP.
Ouch...wasn’t Mayor Gregor Robertson once an NDP candidate? Okay, we digress. Quinlan also makes a number of additional comments on a range of other subjects which caught the attention of our crack research department. While defending Vision’s right to accept $176,000 from a single donor, John Lefebvre, who in 2007 was convicted of conspiracy to promote illegal gambling in the USA, Quinlan takes a pot shot at what he calls “neo-liberals”.
typical neo-liberal double standard. Do you not see the irony in complaining about Vision's donors - the only way you can even do that is because they're publicly disclosed. Lefebre (sic) was charged with something that is not a crime in Canada. He has also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Suzuki foundation and the Dalai Lama - where's the cry for them returning the funds?
During another of his endless attacks against COPE and everything it represents, Quinlan unleashes some of his best venom. Let it be known that it’s not the size of your motion that counts, but how many you produce that matters:
I like Cadman, but what has he done? He's brought something like 2 motions to council in the past 6 months – May 7, 2007
In what sounds like a little bitterness over spilled milk, or perhaps a diary entry from a jilted lover, Quinlan writes about the separation between COPE and Vision:
...and now, they argue that Vision somehow owes them [COPE] money, simply because COPE has yet to put together a strategy to pay back Cadman. Translation: labour movement is freezing funding over the split and COPE needs it to survive. So they want to be paid back in evil developer money that's been funnelled (sic) through Vision? Or do you want to sign an agreement that says Vision keeps its big bad money, but only pays COPE in friendly, moral, working-class money? Keep dreaming. – May 7,2007
If the comments about “funnelling” money wasn’t enough, then Quinlan equates Vision’s payment of COPE’s dept to laundering cash:
...Vancouver's most silver-haired labourites want Vision to pay COPE's debt with evil corporate money that COPE wants no part of. Isn't that called laundering? I love how Vision is completely at fault for the split. And you know, that giant chunk of the COPE membership that left to support Vision was just a coincidence. The people I know in COPE are smarter than to do anything but smirk at this.
So there you have it, we now return to our regularly scheduled programming and the love affair known as the COPE/Vision coalition. Stay tuned for our next installment of Kid Says the Darndest Things.
We thought we'd also share with you an excerpt from an excellent article intrepid Public Eye Online reporter Sean Holman wrote for the Tyee in 2007. It helps to put some perspective into the debate currently raging online as to whether the tactics and methods employed by today's bloggers are much different when it comes to breaking stories that eventually make it into the MSM:
I've recently been intrigued by the work of Kevin Quinlan, who does communications and policy research work for Vision Vancouver. It's usually not advisable for political staffers to run their own blogs. In fact, back in June, one got in trouble for doing just that. But, writing as Vancouver Kid, Quinlan got a scoop covering the Coalition of Progressive Electors annual general meeting. And, just last week, he wrote an entertaining editorial on an eyebrow-raising Non-Partisan Association resolution promoting free-range chicken eggs. That's a story any blogger (or columnist) in Vancouver could have had done. After all, the resolution is readily available via the Internet. But for some reason, no else did. - The Tyee, July 2007
Quite interesting how the chickens have also come home to roost for Vision as well. We're currently pouring over a few interesting brown envelopes we've received and will be back to our regular schedule starting tomorrow.