Tagged: mike klassen

The spirit of City Caucus lives on!

Its purpose was never to do real research; it was always a propaganda arm of the movement. But it was supposed to create a plausible illusion of intellectual rigor, good enough to take in gullible journalists.

Paul Krugman

As they seem to do ever year, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business released a report last week on “ballooning” municipal spending. Yawn. B.C. municipalities pushed back a little harder this time, pointing out the downloading of costs onto them from senior levels of government (amongst other things). None of this is new.

But I get the sense, as judged by the talk on the Twitter, that the CFIB’s repetitious and easily disputable anti-government message is wearing out it’s welcome in many places.

Thus bring on the pushback on the pushback, starring the two founders of the former City Caucus – whose philosophy has always been why exaggerate a little…when you can exaggerate a lot!

For example, Mr. Mike Klassen (now employed by the CFIB) on the matter of senior government downloading:

Which I’ll give marks for brazenness, given that the CFIB’s Executive Vice President Laura Jones participated in the Ministry of Finance commissioned Expert Panel on Business Taxation whose final report released last September contained the following passage:

Recently municipal costs have been growing faster than the combined rate of inflation and population increase. In many cases, these costs are driven by decisions that are outside the direct control of a municipality and require some form of collaborative action with other governments.

And she signed her name to it and everything. Mr Klassen occasionally makes the mistake of forgetting we have Google. And memories.

And there was Mr. Klassen’s op-ed in the Vancouver Sun in which he attempted to dismiss criticism of the CFIB’s report as “name-calling”.

In their efforts to debunk the Big City Spenders report issued by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, local politicians and their representatives resorted to name-calling instead of engaging in a conversation.

Now name-calling in debate is actually a thing: The ad hominem fallacy. However this is usually meant to describe the attempted dismissal of an argument by attacking the character of the arguer. For example: The report is garbage because the CFIB are a bunch of idiots [end rebuttal]. 

This is not considered an acceptable response in debate.

To whit, Mr. Klassen notes:

Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver called the report “bogus” with “no basis in reality” and labelled the idea that cities are overspending as “hysterical.” Vancouver Coun. Raymond Louie labelled CFIB’s findings as “lazy sensationalism,” while Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan blasted CFIB’s researchers as “simpletons.”

Now it should be noted it’s perfectly acceptable to describe a report as “bogus”, “hysterical” and “lazy sensationalism”….because a report can be bogus, hysterical and lazy. As long as you explain why. And of course Mr. Klassen, in true City Caucusian style focused on the adjectives while eliding over the explanations for the adjectives.

Ex.

Vancouver Coun. Raymond Louie, a vice-president of the FCM, said he appreciates the CFIB’s message that governments need to be careful about how they spend their money. But he called the study “lazy sensationalism” that doesn’t reflect the realities local governments face, from constant downloading of federal and provincial services to costly replacement of infrastructure and increases in utility fees.

Louie said in Vancouver’s case, the city has already adopted many changes that have saved taxpayers millions of dollars and is constantly sharpening its budget pencils to whittle away more. Council began a core review of services in 2009 that identified duplicated services, combined departments and cut off marginal programs. One very small example, he said, was consolidating a separate park garbage pickup service with the general neighbourhood pickup.

“What we’ve done, for example, is the Vancouver service review where we went through every department looking for efficiencies. We turned over every stone and we intend to do it again,” he said. “We’ve got to move away from the misleading numbers they are putting out there and look at the actual hard numbers instead of this lazy sensationalism that is coming out of the CFIB.”

Louie said some of the largest increases in wages are a result of adding police and firefighters to meet basic protective service demands. Water and sewer upgrades and utility rates set by Metro Vancouver have also driven costs the city can’t control.

Klassen focused in on two words of the above and ignored the rest. Which is unfortunately typical of the gentleman.

Not to outdone, the other City Caucus founder Daniel Fontaine pens this today in 24hrs Vancouver. I noted the following:

Ten years ago, my monthly property tax installments were pegged at $324. Last week I was advised by city hall I now have to pay $515 each month. That works out to an eye-popping increase of 59% during the last decade. By comparison, the annual rate of inflation in the last several years has hovered around 2%.

Did the amount of services my family received from the city increase by 59% during the same period? The simple answer is no.

Now if New Westminster taxpayers were being charged a flat rate per household, this would indeed be outrageous. But even the most somnolent observer might note that’s not how property tax works.  You are charged a percentage of the value your property is assessed at. And if your property value goes up then so does your tax bill. That Mr. Fontaine goes without mentioning tax rates or property values and attempts to pass off the 59% increase to his property tax bill as solely the result of increased municipal spending is ridiculous to the point of comical. And also unfortunately typical of the gentleman.

(New Westminster housing prices have risen dramatically. According to the City of NW  “detached homes increased by 113%, attached homes by 92%, and apartments by 122%” for 2001-2007. Yes they declined in the recession, but only 7.5% of their high-water mark in 2008).

Mr. Krugman above was describing the Heritage Foundation. But he could just as easily be describing the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Or the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Or the Fraser Institute.

Given the quality of output from said groups lately, you’d have to be extremely gullible to be fooled by any of this anymore.

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New gig, old tricks

95% of small business owners? Really? That’s pretty definitive!

Oh…oh wait…

That’s 95% of those that responded to this push poll scientific survey. And how many were there?

1029.

So what Mike really meant to say was “95% of poll respondents who belong to an anti-tax group oppose new taxes.”

The CFIB claims 109,000 members nationally.

Waldorf Salad

The latest little brouhaha in #vanpoli is the saga of the Waldorf Hotel, one which continues to twist and turn. So it’s probably wise to wait until the dust has settled and the, you know, full facts are out in the public domain before charting a course of action.

So Mike Klassen weighs in. He’s got some ideas on how cultural venues can flourish without taxpayers footing the bill.

The hotel’s staff is unionized, which likely removed the flexibility around pay and benefits that a small business needs to achieve profitability.

Gut wages and benefits!

Onerous building code standards have made renovating old spaces needlessly costly and cumbersome. No one can afford hundreds of thousands or even millions to bring buildings up to code.

Gut safety regulations!1

Only when business has the ability to build ramshackle venues staffed by minimum wage slaves will civic culture be unleashed.

Adios, NoFunCity! Hello, Artytropolis!

1Details, of course, pending.

Own goals

Mike Klassen has a bone to pick with the Canadian Journalism Foundation. See, they gave an award to The Great and Auld Enemy, The Vancouver Observer. For “excellence in journalism” in the small/local media category. The CJF, Mike says, is “coming under fire” for this outrage, though fire from anyone other than Mike Klassen is a mystery.

In support, Mike quotes [supposedly] 4 “veteran” Vancouver journalists, none of whom wanted to go on record. Anonymity is granted. It’s an important principle of journalism that you grant anonymity when a source requests it….in this case, and by remarkable coincidence, 4 times in a row. Apropos of nothing, here is the New York Times policy on anonymous sources:

In routine interviewing – that is, most of the interviewing we do – anonymity must not be automatic or an assumed condition. In that kind of reporting, anonymity should not be offered to a source. Exceptions will occur in the reporting of highly sensitive stories, when it is we who have sought out a source who may face legal jeopardy or loss of livelihood for speaking with us.

Jeepers, the Vancouver Observer must have mob enforcers working for them.

Whatever. Also in support, Mr. Klassen cites BCBusiness Magazine. Mike states:

Linda Solomon was featured beside City Caucus in a 2011 feature article in BCBusiness Magazine titled “The Politics of Vancouver Blogs“. Vancouver Observer was cited as a site with “clear political allegiances” to Vancouver City Hall and Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Although what BCBusiness magazine actually said was…

Much in the way that Solomon’s apartment merges workplace and home, however, the world of online journalism highlights the narrowing separation between politics and the media in a city where Mayor Gregor Robertson posts on Twitter regularly and a province in which a radio host, Christy Clark, left her job to become premier. Websites and blogs from writers with clear political allegiances, which once only commented on news from traditional outlets, are now breaking news and supplying stories for reporters. Consequently, they are inspiring accusations of biases and low standards from city hall, even as its staffers scan these sites for updates.

I guess City Hall doesn’t like the Vancouver Observer. Unless the phrase “clear political allegiances” was referring to [cough] another website.

Whatever. For me the interesting part is BCBusiness Magazine had no problem finding and citing veteran Vancouver journalists who, oddly enough, seem at ease going on the record about named Vancouver blogs. For example, here is a senior local journalist discussing one of The Vancouver Observer’s competitors:

In a Sept. 13, 2010, Globe and Mail column, Gary Mason described [City Caucus] as an “educational and useful blog,” but one that “is embedded with blatant bias, personal attacks, juvenile vituperation and hypocrisy.”

GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!

OWN GOAL 2: In the comments of this City Caucus blog post, Vancouver’s Poet Laureate writes in defence of allowing journalists to go off the record:

FYI, here’s one reason why journalists, people linked to the city hall, or in business with the city in general, prefer to speak from behind anonymity.
Remember how the Vision appointed Top Hack dealt with … The Press?
Here, for your enjoyment some extracts…

They then go on to describe the displeasure of named, on the record journalists over a “gag order” at City Hall for staff.

 

Are the bastards winning?

RossK has decided to take a hiatus. As he says:

I just found myself losing my sense of humour with the poli-blogging a little…And when that happens I’ve learned it’s time to take a bit of a break

This is too bad. Ross’s blog, The Gazetteer – along with Norm Farrell’s and Ian Reid’s – are my favourite stops for B.C. politics and he has provided many good insights. But what about his lament that the “Codswallopanarianists might actually winning.” Ross points to City Caucus’s Mike Klassen aping Ezra Levant’s “money-laundering” libel as the straw that broke his camel’s back (with a mention of the much more serious issue of the Tory Government using the RCMP and the Canadian Revenue Agency to intimidate and silence legitimate criticism).

Two very much related things come to mind. The first is the parable of the scorpion and the frog1. If you believe the facts are on your side, that the evidence is overwhelming that our democracy is being eroded in a significant fashion, that our economy has been rejigged to favour the most privileged…well there’s a reason for that. And that is it’s in the very essence of those responsible to make those choices. Thus they are simply being true to themselves and won’t one day wake up and say “oops…boy was that ever crazy!” and reverse course…

They simply can’t help themselves.

The Conservative Party of Canada, no longer held in check by minority government, is showing us its nature. Shutting down independent voices, silencing dissent, that’s its nature. It cannot be anything else. Stephen Harper built this party and filled it with people like him. The British Columbia Liberal Party is an extension of a faction of our “business-overclass” and we see, even now at this late date with its polling numbers in tatters, it repeating the patterns of the past. It cannot be anything else.

And the facts, in a can’t fool all of the people all of the time kind of way, are revealing this. And this forces them to take ever more extreme positions in order to avoid addressing or provide a diversion for what the facts reveal.

For me, the “Tyee hid it’s Donation Button” post was high-comedy, but I can see how it might depress. Repeat a lie often enough, etc. But note how this story has evolved. First it was, well, perhaps some charities are violating some regulations. Now we’ve moved from there to money laundering accusations -> which no matter how you try to parse is a suggestion of criminal activity.

It’s an extreme charge, an easily refuted charge, and to me it signals weakness not strength.

Whether it’s Mike Klassen/City Caucus or the Vancouver Province, they are going back to the well with retreaded canards that have already decisively failed to sway the civic electorate. Or it’s Ezra Levant, pushing (and in his case often exceeding) the boundaries of truth to enter the realm of defamation and libel.

The second thing is we have a precedent for all this, in our neighbours to the south. Roy Edroso notes:

Once upon a time these guys were a fringe, of the sort that any political movement would need to lose if it were going to be taken seriously; now, they’re an important part of the Republican base.

This isn’t good news for the Republican Party. It’s very bad news. People are waking up. Rush Limbaugh’s ratings are tumbling. The Heartland Institute shoots itself. This is the Canadian right-wing’s future.

Ezra Levant is not an upgrade.

It’s not sustainable over the long haul – eventually they’ll collapse in on themselves, as they have before. The right-wing spent a decade in the wilderness at both the Federal level and at the provincial level here in B.C.. I believe it will happen again.

I don’t know RossK personally, but I have a sneaking suspicion he’ll be back blogging sooner rather than later. The facts are on his side.

1 Yes, the frog died too. Don’t push fables too far!

Thoughtful, caring, civil clown too busy having fun to run your local PAC so quit asking, okay?

Mike Klassen would like you to know he is having too much fun doing what he’s doing now and is certainly not standing by, on the launch pad, waiting for the go order…[wink]

Having clearly ingested the autopsy report of his failed bid for City Council in last Fall’s election, Mike has cannily decided the best response is to ignore all that to have fun and go from being wingnut-curious to fully exploring/embracing the outer fringes of Canada’s right-wing. Because the hotbed of Senator Duffy mania is, as we all know, Vancouver.

So what does fun Klassen-style entail? Why hard-hitting exposes such as, oh, this one on how The Tyee, in response to pressure from former Rothmans/Benson & Hedges cigarette lobbyist Ezra Levant, has removed…hidden…blown-up it’s Donation button in a desperate bid to escape the tightening gauntlet of the citizen-journalist posse and associated Conservative Party of Canada and corporate-created grassroots groups exposing them. Because that’s how U.S. philanthropic organizations launder their ill-gotten gains into Canada – through online webforms. Do not despair these might be rash accusations made in haste for immediate short-term political expediency for, like another pundit whose work Klassen’s very much reminds me of, this is a very serious, thoughtful, argument that has never been made in such detail or with such care.

How do we know The Tyee made changes in response to former Charles G. Koch Foundation intern Ezra Levant? Faster than you can say post hoc ergo propter hoc than short answer is because.

But the genius of this post is the multimedia part of it where, through the magic of animation, Mike clearly shows how The Tyee’s Donation button disappeared over time. Damning stuff. Unfortunately, faster than you can say citizen-journalist, this same animated image also shows the emergence of The Tyee’s donation link in a different spot. Over time. Yes multiple convicted libelist Ezra Levant made The Tyee move it’s Donation link from one part of it’s website…to another. Huah!

And Mike is proud to do his small part in exposing this nefariousness. Because it’s fun.

Tyee editor David Beers shows up in the comments and tries – with far too much patience – to explain how this isn’t true and, you know, doesn’t actually make sense.

Firing offences

What’s this in reference too? This, apparently:

“It’s not a project that the city would pursue on its own – it’s a project that has to be pursued integrally with TransLink,” said city engineer Peter Judd, in response to repeated questions from Cadman.

Judd added that the city’s focus and priority is on a Broadway corridor strategy.

“The Broadway line will have a far higher improvement and impact on transit use than the streetcar,” he said.

The City Engineer answered a question posed to him. He didn’t say the NPA streetcar proposal is kickass. Mike Klassen doesn’t like that answer. That will be a firing offence in a Mike Klassen government.

Oh, City Manager Penny Ballem said something too. She’ll be fired too…that goes without saying.

Dear NPA: Take the purge and witchhunt challenge!

NPA School Board candidate Fraser Ballantyne is doubling down on what should now be considered the official party line that there has been gross impropriety in the hiring of Kurt Heinrich. Kurt has The Tainttm. Patti Bacchus must step down and the Minister must investigate! Oh my, pass the laudanum!

His “tough”, “fair-minded”, “principled” stance is, er, undermined by the title of his piece:

“Patti Bacchus must step down as Vision hack hire investigated”

Classy. But, okay, stripped of the juvenile name-calling and the pre-judgment, it’s a position one can take, if one wants to take the principle of the non-partisan civil service to an extreme level – one that was never applied under previous governments. Speaking of which, I wonder if Mr Ballantyne ever donated or volunteered for a political campaign in his long career in education1.

But let’s play along and take it all completely on it’s own terms. We must thus revisit Candidate Klassen’s unambiguous statement from 2010:

The next government’s job will require a merciless house cleaning of anyone with direct ties to Vision Vancouver. If you’ve handed over a donation to Vision, like for example Lesli Boldt in the city’s Olympic communications, or worked on a Vision campaign like the new Director of Communications Ryan Merkley (who by the way was late for work on his first day according to this photo), then don’t count on being kept on.

There’s something that jumps out in Klassen’s statement. Can you spot it? Is it that only one political party is mentioned? Why yes, yes it is….

Surely if you were truly concerned about the principle of a “non-partisan” civil service you would have said something more along the lines of…

The next government’s job will require a merciless house cleaning of anyone with direct ties to a political party. If you’ve handed over a donation to Vision Vancouver, the Non-Partisan Association, the Coalition of Progressive Electors or the Green Party, or if you’ve ever worked or volunteered on a political campaign, then don’t count on being kept on.

Now pardon me while I wipe my ass with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Okay I added that last bit.

I look forward to Suzanne Anton’s upcoming press conference announcing all of this.

<crickets chirp>

1. Question posed to illustrate the potential of hypocrisy. I don’t actually care. More power to him if he did, in fact. If you care about your community, you get involved.

The NPA has misread Machiavelli

Here is a comment [allegedly] left by Dave Weir, Kurt Heinrich’s predecessor at the VSB. I’m going to post it in it’s entirety:

I have refrained from engaging in the debate about the Vancouver School Board cuts because I wanted to put the situation behind me, but I feel the need to defend myself given the change in messaging from the school district.

When I lost my job, I was told it was strictly budget related. The superintendent, in handing me my termination letter, said that he had told the board that eliminating the communications department was an “unacceptable risk” for the district, but that the board had decided to proceed nonetheless in order to save money.

Within weeks, the district’s financial picture improved and they revised their deficit projection to a $1.5-million surplus for 2010-11. Suddenly, the school district needed to re-establish communications. It had only been two months since we were severed.

At the same time, the messaging changed. The elimination of communications was no longer about budget, but part of a restructuring plan and that they never intended to leave the position vacant for long. Suddenly, talk was about how the job descriptions had not changed in a number of years and that the way communications needs to be done is not the way it used to be done.

Readers are left to believe that we were not being progressive with our communications program. Let me remind everyone that Twitter celebrated its fifth birthday this past week, and it’s only been a year since the superintendent ordered the district’s Internet access opened up to social media. Communications responded to the changing landscape by drafting a social media strategy last summer that garnered attention because we were leading the way among school districts.

Were we as successful as we wanted. No. We did not have the time needed to evolve our social media strategy given the demands placed on us by various departments and trustees. The reality of those demands from trustees were detailed in the Special Advisor’s report when she criticized trustees for the volume of work we were tasked with doing to support trustee advocacy.

And thus the problem with the current focus in messaging from the school district. A job description is only the starting point for work. A job description establishes where a position sits in an organization, and the level of remuneration. It does not create day-to-day duties. Those are set given the demands and priorities of an organization.

If we are to believe the current messaging, then why wasn’t the communications department tasked with a renewed focus. Instead, we spent hours upon hours supporting issues such as the school closure consultation because that’s what we were directed to do.

VSB Insider was right to ask whether I was contacted with a recall offer, since I was supposedly laid off due a budget shortfall, and therefore had recall provisions within the terms and conditions of employment for exempt staff. To answer VSB Insider: No, I was not approached about being recalled.

I will leave it for everyone to draw their own conclusion. .

That’s rough. I feel for Mr. Weir. For the sake of argument, let’s assume the worst and say the But I personally know why I was targeted for elimination was because Weir was an NPA’er.

That’s not Kurt Heinrich’s fault. Gregor Robertson, Penny Ballem, Patti Bacchus – they’re fair game. Being held up to public scrutiny is part of their job description. But Kurt simply applied for a communications job and – lacking any evidence to the contrary – won the competition fair and square.

And yet he, and his family, have to endure his name dragged through the public mud all  because he participated in the political process. “Hack”. “No experience”. Etc. Here’s “Glissando Remmy”, the Vancouver blogosphere’s alleged poet laureate, “Cosmopolitan #Vancouver Writer and Political Satirist”…

https://twitter.com/#!/glissandoremmy/status/92090509350281216

He lives in Vancouver and apparently he’s not so busy that he can’t bully a non-public figure on Twitter (In a comment on the same City Caucus thread Glissando is surprised, surprised I say, that his Twitter comments were found thuggish and objectionable by others. He is shocked and horrified and wonders if he needs to reinforce the walls of his echo chamber).

I don’t know what they are hoping to accomplish. Oh “the base” will be worked up into a froth, but it just takes a gentle breeze from the east to accomplish that. The rest of us? I’m no expert, but it seems to me you, you know, shouldn’t introduce a subject that has the potential to produce blowback. For example, here’s Alex Tsakumis on Mike Klassen:

Very quickly, because it’s as thin as a razor, here’s Klassen’s public portfolio of accomplishment: Sullivan gifted him a plum patronage appointment to the Planning Commission while Sullivan was Mayor. This was strictly for being a Sullivan waterboy, as Klassen has NO EXPERIENCE in real estate matters–ever. His credentials in this regard extended to picking up the occasional copy of ‘Architectural Digest‘ from the news rack at Starbucks after ordering a double dummy. Worse yet, to listen to some of his fellow planning commissioners, the learning curve for Klassen was enough to have most people catching up on their sleep while he used regular meetings as tutorials.

That’s it. He’s done nothing else

The Commission is supposed to be made up on member of the general public. In a startling coincidnce it would seem a member of  “general public” was also “the Mayor’s webmaster”. This was, of course, to pack the Commssion with friendly bodies so the Mayor’s pet EcoDensity would have smooth sailing simply a coincidence. It strike me as very unwise for Mike Klassen to bring up the subject of experience.

Political instincts seem to be lacking here. It’s like they only read the part of Machiavelli that says you should exhibit ruthlessness and not the other part that says you should only exhibit ruthlessness when all other options have failed.

But then, this is the same braintrust that turned this:

…into this…

Editor’s note: I’ve said it many times publically, but I’ll repeat it again -> I don’t work for, volunteer for, am “directed by” or donate to any political party. Anywhere. I’m writing this because this sort of nonsense fucking pisses me off. I’ve tried suggesting many times in the past both publically and privately the perils of collateral damage.

Obviously it’s fallen on deaf, or obtuse, ears.

Klassen the [Character] Assassin

I’m so old I remember when Mike thought it was a “hatchet job” to point out a) he was Colin “HST” Hansen’s campaign manager, and b) was the recipient of a no-bid contract [correction: received payments without a written contract] for Mayor Sam Sullivan’s web communications. Indeed, he felt very passionately about the perceived injustice.

And yet here he is, mere weeks after repeating the hatchet job claim in Business In Vancouver, attacking – not the Mayor…not another of his fellow candidates – but some poor mid-level schmuck.

Really?

I mean I can understand why Mike might be unhappy with Ian Reid – not that Ian Reid said anything inaccurate – but what’s his beef with Kurt Heinrich? Is his thirst for power so great (or his polling numbers so low) that he’ll try to destroy the career of anyone? What’s Kurt’s great crime, anyway? Well there’s this:

“I didn’t do a lot of media [for Vision Vancouver] —here and there we’d do some releases, but the majority of it was web communications, so I’d update the website and I did writing and support for the board.”

Outrageous! The man obviously travelled back in time and was trained in Stalin’s Kremlin! No, no…don’t laugh, Ken Denike knows what going on. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge…

He has continuously displayed his partisanship over his @kurtgheinrich Twitter account, attacking NPA elected officials as recently as a few weeks ago.

Shocking. Let’s check this out…

https://twitter.com/#!/kurtgheinrich/status/82940610834735104

Oh, well, that’s not so bad. But there is this one:

https://twitter.com/#!/kurtgheinrich/status/80766339068854272

Oh. Hmmm. Wait! Here we go!

Ah-hah! You invoked The Mike by name! Shame on you!

And…according to City Caucus…

…he was “given” the job. Not “earned”, but “given”. Obstensibly for “services rendered”. But from the Courier…

Cardwell later told the Courier the VSB had 20 applicants for the job, plus a number beyond that who were deemed by human resources as not qualified based on the posting.

The human resource/senior management team does the hiring for all board office management jobs.

“Trustees are informed and the board could have a say in any management hire. In this case, as with other [similar] hires, the board was informed of the hire,” Cardwell said in an email. “The process was a completely open competition from start to finish

Well maybe that’s not true. Strange shit happens. And in that regard, City Caucus and Candidate Klassen offer up strong, irrefutable evidence to the contrary of….[crickets chirp]

And in the face of that…well…gee…as far as I can see Kurt Heinrich exercised his constitutional right to participate in the political process. And then later had the gall to win a job competition between 20 candidates. But that’s beyond the pale for this crowd. Me, oh, my…donate a measly $200 to the communists…well…you get your own expose.

Hope? A positive future? Actual policies? Fuhgitaboutit. Bullying. Intimidation. That’s the currency they trade in. That’s all they got. The message is clear: occupied the same room as Gregor Robertson once upon the time and they will come after you. (After this I’m pretty sure they’ll come after me…but I don’t care anymore…I’m sick of it)

It’s funny because they rail against the “politicization of City Hall”…and yet they’re the only one’s who actually advocate purges and political tests:

The next government’s job will require a merciless house cleaning of anyone with direct ties to Vision Vancouver. If you’ve handed over a donation to Vision, like for example Lesli Boldt in the city’s Olympic communications, or worked on a Vision campaign like the new Director of Communications Ryan Merkley (who by the way was late for work on his first day according to this photo), then don’t count on being kept on.

Did they do a good job? Irrelevant! They’re the “enemy”!

Our future. Or not.

What do Sean Bickerton and Bill McCreery think? Individuals whom I continue to have a modicum of respect for. I would like to think they’re holding their noses. But I’m probably…sadly…wrong.

Update: Share. Tweet. I’m not the best writer or the most informed about civic affairs, but it’s time to stand up for civility.