Tweet confirms Mayor's aide politicking on taxpayer's dime

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


Kevin gets political on the taxpayer dime

According to the City of Vancouver's Code of Conduct for staff, Section 5.4 states very clearly:

Any political involvement must be as a citizen, not as City staff, and such activities must not take place while at work.

Last week, a series of very interesting tweets were sent out from Mayor Gregor Robertson's Director of Communications during work hours. As you may be aware, Kevin Quinlan is paid by Vancouver taxpayers to assist the Mayor with his communications activities. There has been increasing speculation over the last several months that Quinlan may be on his way out as Robertson tries desperately to improve his media relations strategy.

According to the City's code of conduct, Quinlan is not supposed to be overtly campaigning or making partisan political attacks on company time. If you recall, former Chief of Staff Geoff Meggs got in hot water when it was discovered that he put the Mayor's office phone number at the bottom of a Friends of Larry Campbell news release. The NPA roasted Campbell and Vision for using taxpayer-funded staff to conduct partisan political activity.

Last week in a desperate attempt to bolster his boss' sagging approval ratings, Quinlan began to send out some highly partisan tweets which attacked the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) and city councillor Suzanne Anton. It was something you would expect during an election campaign from paid hacks, but not from a taxpayer-funded communications staffer in the Mayor's office during work hours. Here is a sample:

454 units at OV not selling. NPA plan to recover money? dump another 252 units on market. same NPA thought Fortress investmnts [SIC] was good idea

It will be interesting to see how the Mayor explains this one away to the media. Anyone want to venture a guess how he can justify anti-NPA tweets during business hours? "Oh...that's just Kevin. Sometimes he gets carried away."

If other City staffers were caught sending out tweets during the day slamming the Vision party or its elected officials, rest assured there would be hell to pay. If so, then why are the Mayor's staff allowed to conduct partisan political activities from his office without any repercussions?

Does the Code of Conduct not apply to Mayor's office staff? If it doesn't, are his staff permitted to openly campaign against the NPA or other opposition parties on company time? These are good questions and hopefully the Mayor can shed some light on whether his employees must also adhere to the same Code of Conduct the other 9000 staff must adhere to on a daily basis.

- post by Daniel


Check out this one, posted by him just an hour ago:

"CoV engineer Jerry Dobrovolny points out it is council policy not to increase road capacity. Which radical lefty council was that? 1997 NPA"

@SF. Good catch, I was just about to post that too. I went to his twitter account and couldn't believe how much partisan attacks he's making.

I thought Robertson said he wanted to make council a more non-partisan and collaborative place to be? His communications director sure isn't following the script.

As a Vancouver taxpayer and supporter of the NPA, I'm pissed that he's campaigning on MY DIME!!!! If he wants to do this, then the Vision party should be paying his salary. Full stop!!!!!!! Kevin, stick to writing news releases and planning more cheesy photo ops.

I think every citizen should e-mail the good Mayor and ask for a refund of tax payer dollars.

They can take it out from Quinlan's cheque.

How is this any different than the legion of staff inside the provincial Public Affairs Bureau doing politically charged work for the BC Liberals? Unfortunately, this kind of thing is the name of the game.

And, partisan sites like CityCaucus, Civicscene etc are only fueling the partisan hackery. You can't expect the Mayor's office to sit back and take some of the attacks that come from partisan hacks.

I don't like it, but it seems necessary given the bitter online war of words that has evovled over the last year.

A tweet today from Andrea Reimer as business owners started to address Council:

"Let the theatrics begin - Can Fed of Small Biz makes emotional appeal: vote for bike lane is a vote against biz, seniors & disabled."

Theatrics? Is it just me, or does this seem a bit like the "effing hacks" attitude that we continuously see coming from Vision lately?

Wow, wow and wow! I am paying for this BS?

Vic, don't talk about over the top partisanship on blogs. Just have a look @ what Tommy caught:

"Let the theatrics begin - Can Fed of Small Biz makes emotional appeal: vote for bike lane is a vote against biz, seniors & disabled."

council should be forced to turn in their phones at the start of each council session - this is outrageous.

Little kids and small minds playing BIG problem games.

Quinlan, Reimer et al perhaps should at least pretend to listen if nothing else.

So the game, set and match is already decided .. now it's matter of letting the lesser 'enlighted" sounds off so they think they are heard.

So Andrea, Kerry, Geoff, Heather, Tim, Raymond and the rest of you...this is your idea of listening and consultation ..
Geez I would hate to understand when you don't want to listen...

Ah but sweet true consultation and listening shall be upon us as we will get to listen and consult this clown show off their Blackberry, Twitter and facebook accounts as soon as we get to vote.

get the shovels, the political graves needs digging!

@Julia. Check out this tweet Reimer just sent out from council. A photo of the mace. Is she for real? Shouldn't she be reading briefing materials on the Hornby street bike lane instead? Oh right, she's already made her mind up on that one.!/andreareimer/status/26492493504

don't forget about Reimer's other infamous tweet where she slagged Minister Coleman regarding his weight. She's a real winner alright. Her tweet said.

Thinking about introducing a motion requiring police to pick up Minister Coleman next time in Vancouver and dropping him off at Jenny Craig.

it is obvious that there is no parental supervision.

Does this mean Robertson will approve giving Anton her own tax payer funded communications staff person to tweet nasty partisan things about Vision? Not likely. Therefore, the mayor should put an end to all this partisan nonsense.

Reimer's tweets may make for interesting evidence in a class-action lawsuit hearing.

does she have no clue that half the world can read her posts or is she so arrogant that she does not car? I am not sure which is worse.

This total disrespect for the office and the constituents helps me understand how the OV can be such a total shambles.

Is there such a thing as civic recall?

@julia. total civic recall will take place in November 2011. Trust me, there will be some very glum faces at the Vision Vancouver campaign headquarters on election night. Several high profile councillors will see an end to their short-lived political career. They won't know what hit them. I can't wait.

Not professional conduct for a public servant, especially a high profile one that supposedly specializes in communications, although we all know the guy has zero background or expertise in this area, given that he makes silly errors like these.

My husband did not vote in the previous election. He thinks politicians are like barnacles between a sailor's toes. And why shouldn't he? Next year he'll vote, if he ever wants to get some. It's a guarantee. Plus, now he knows who the mayor is (after I made him listen to that night sent from heaven when those punks left the mikes on)'The one with the effin message to you (to me) honey!''And what do they not have?' I ask. 'No balls' 'No stupid, Vision, they don't have Vision' Don't worry he'll get there, all right.

Minele, you made my day.

I'm a Vancouver taxpayer and can't believe my eyes. We are paying city taxes so this kid can slag the NPA and Suzanne Anton with silly childish remarks. Aren't there rules regarding what taxpayer funded city staff can and can't do during work hours?

I think every NPA supporter in the city should send an email to the mayor at and ask for their money back and let him know what they think of this behaviour. Maybe then he will listen to the people. But I won't hold my breath as these guys are as nasty and partisan as it comes.

I am torn. Do we keep quiet, and make sure we have the votes to throw them out next November or do we catch their attention so they behave for the next 14 months and sneak in for another term.

This should not be permitted. If the mayor wants to do partisan politics, it should be paid for by his party and not Vancouver taxpayers. He owes us an apology and needs to make some staffing changes soon.

I don't think I could pick a single word to describe my feelings toward the actions of this mayor and council... arrogant, petulant, immature, irresponsible, obtuse, dismissive, moronic...

I will also point out that I have no particular party preference... I just want a government that reasonably represents the community that elected them -- this government is failing at this simple goal on all accounts, in my opinion.

Code of Conduct...have to ask this....isn't there also something in there also about the councillors not getting involved with staffs work and try to influence their work???

How do these people get away with this when there is a Code of Conduct in place? Who enforces it?

I watched 10 minutes of the council meeting tonight @ 11:11....since Andrea can't use her twitter I found it interesting that in the space of 5 minutes she wrote 2 notes to Raymond Louie.....Jang left the room, Gregor and Louie shared a private chuckle....makes you wonder doesn't it...

The Thought of The Evening

"Never serve hot beverages to chimpanzees."

apparently Reimer burnt her tongue late in the evening while trying to caffeinate her ravishing personality with a cup of Joe. Not being able to articulate a single word, she hurriedly twitted away on her Blackberry.

In the end she caught the mayor’s attention.
Andrea(tongue impediment):’Ook eth m y tit!’

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Minele. LMAO!

The "Worship" and councilors have no professionalism whatsoever. They are acting as if they are in a clique and their patronizing attitude is inexcusable. I also do not care who is in power, we just need people who doesn't have blinders on, who actually listens with an open mind instead of dismissing legitimate views different than theirs. And why does it cost millions for a bike lane? Isn't it just taking out the parking meters? ie block them, some street signs and paint? And with the tweeting during work hours, what is the HR policy at CoV and corrective action for such a violation?

Civic recall is something that needs to be addressed and was not by the "Report of the Local Government Task Force", to be introduced to the Provincial Legislature next spring. Unfortunately it is a document written by politicians for politicians which does not address many of the problems facing electorates, the
most serious omission being no provisions for recall. Interestingly enough the task force was co-chaired by current recall target Bill Bennett.

Advice to micro-managers: "...Hall of Fame basketball Coach Joe Lapchick did not believe in having a lot of rules for his players; Lapchick thought that if he made too many rules then he would paint himself into a corner in terms of having to punish players and thus lose the flexibility to handle situations on a case by case basis.... Many coaches get so caught up in regulating minutiae that they lose sight of the fact that their job is not to control every waking moment of their players' lives but simply to lead and inspire their teams to maximize their potential."
The Code of Conduct is now embarrassing it's author(s).

Check out!

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